AUTHOR: TABOR

What: KISS in concert.

Where: Tupelo Coliseum.

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13.

Tickets: $28.50 and $40, plus service charge. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets can be purchased at the Coliseum Box Office and all Ticket King outlets or charged by phone at 841-6528 using VISA, MasterCard or Discover.

Lottery tickets: 750 lottery wrist bands will be handed out Thursday, Aug. 8, and Friday, Aug. 9. If all wrist bands are handed out on Thursday, none will be handed out on Friday. Only one wrist band per person. Ticket customers will be allowed to buy up to six tickets. No line-ups on coliseum lot before 7 a.m. Lottery drawing to determine the starting number will be held at 9 a.m.

Coliseum to rock and roll all night with KISS

By Terri Tabor

Daily Journal

Don't worry about cracked mirrors, black cats or spilling salt on Friday, Sept. 13.

Tupelo Coliseum Director Mike Marion predicts the superstitious day will be Tupelo's luckiest yet since he was able to secure the date for the much-hyped KISS/Alive Worldwide '96 tour.

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss - all the rock band's original members - will bring their infamous fire-breathing, blood-splitting, guitar-smashing stage antics to the coliseum at 8 p.m.

"It's just awesome," Marion said. "It's a great show to see on Friday the 13th."

Known for their Halloween-like costumes and makeup combined with an electric brand of rock 'n' roll, the band has reunited this year in response to overwhelming demand by fans, according to a press release from Mercury Records.

The tour marks the first time in 17 years that all four original members have toured together and the first time since 1983 that the makeup is back on.

The show is a monumental event for Tupelo, which is the only Mississippi venue. Tupelo Coliseum Marketing Director Betty Baxter said currently Biloxi and Jackson do not have dates.

"With us being a smaller market, it's a big deal for us to have the only Mississippi date," she said.

The Tupelo Coliseum joins the ranks of metropolitan KISS tour sites, including Madison Square Garden in New York, the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Civic Arena in Pittsburgh and the Sky Dome in Toronto.

"I have had more than one building manager call me and say, 'How did you get a KISS date?'" Marion said.

But other building managers shouldn't underestimate Marion, who has landed other big-time acts like The Eagles, Rod Stewart, George Strait and Michael Bolton.

The "Hell Freezes Over" Eagles concert on Feb. 25, 1995, was also an exclusive for the Tupelo Coliseum. The concert has gone down in the coliseum history books as the biggest event ever with more than 9,500 ticket sales. But the KISS show will be a phenomenal event in its own right, Marion says.

"We can safely say this will be the biggest show, productionwise, to ever play at the Tupelo Coliseum. There's all kind of fireworks and pyrotechnics."

To be exact, more than $7 million in sound, lighting, video, pyrotechnics and staging has been assembled for the 210-city, 26-country tour.

Marion even had to travel to KISS' July 10 show at the Pyramid in Memphis to talk with the group's production staff to make sure the coliseum could house such a concert.

"This show is going to be amazing," he said. "They sing all the old favorites. It's just great."

The worldwide tour kicked off June 28 at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, which sold out in a record- breaking 47 minutes. KISS continued to break records like Paul Stanley guitars, selling out four consecutive nights at Madison Square Garden (60,000 tickets in a record-breaking 58 minutes) and eight shows simultaneously on May 12 through Ticketmaster (120,000 tickets within one hour).

With the major arenas selling out everywhere the pressure is on for Tupelo to sell out the some-9,000 seats available for the concert. But Marion and Baxter are both optimistic that the Tupelo concert will do just that.

"I never make that prediction," Marion said. "But I wouldn't be surprised."

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