The Night KISS Conquered Poughkeepsie

A classic concert from 1984 gets an unexpected release 

KISS Poughkeepsie patch (Image: KISS)

The Mid-Hudson region of New York was always hard rock/heavy metal country.

And while Middletown surely stood in contention with the Orange County Speedway and the iconic head shop Rock Fantasy and all, ultimately it was Poughkeepsie that served as the area’s capital for local headbangers. The Chance Theater, located in the city of Po-Town, always played host to such New York greats as Wasted Angel, Twisted Sister and Zebra, while larger acts would play the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, which back then was also a regular home to the WWF when they were still a fairly regional wrestling promotion. 

I myself have seen some pretty killer shows at the Civic Center, including Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Tool, Anthrax and Primus to name a few. But I was way too young to have gotten to see KISS when they performed there on November 28, 1984, so thanks be to the band for making this latest installment from their Off The Soundboard series available to the public. 

KISS Off The Soundboard: Poughkeepsie, New York, 1984, UMe 2023

Recorded during the Animalize World Tour, this is the fifth in a series of live releases by the band is the only known soundboard recording with guitarist Mark St. John. While the tracks “Young And Wasted” and “Rock And Roll All Nite” from this historic show are incomplete due to a tape change and tape space – these recordings were originally for archival use – this live recording is significant in light of the scarcity of Mark St. John gigs committed to tape. And he really plays well on these songs, giving them a power pop edge that really brings out the Big Star element of the KISS formula.  

“How the fuck are you doing, Poughkeepsie?” asked Paul Stanley after this all-too-short lineup of Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and St. John finishes up the blistering set opener “Detroit Rock City.” And while a good portion of this show is dedicated to non-makeup material like “Lick It Up” and 1984’s “Heaven’s On Fire,” which hit No. 49 U.S. Billboard chart, this Poughkeepsie show also features perennial KISS anthems “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun,” and “Rock And Roll All Nite” from their classic back catalog. A note on what an exceptional rhythm section Simmons and Carr were, evidenced in an explosive version of “Creatures Of The Night” the band busts out early in the concert. Gene is a pretty decent bass player, truth be told. Paul is in top form as well, telling stories of his escapades while serving as a waiter in nearby Hopewell Junction before blasting into the Lick It Up deep cut “Fits Like A Glove.” 

I got my KISS records out too, with Off The Soundboard: Poughkeepsie, NY at the top of the pile–a crucial document honoring an unsung lineup in the KISS family tree.

KISS ’84 (Image: Pinterest)

CD tracklist:

Detroit Rock City

Cold Gin

Creatures Of The Night

Fits Like A Glove

Heaven’s On Fire

Guitar Solo

Under the Gun

War Machine

Drum Solo

Young and Wasted (Incomplete)

Bass Solo

I Love It Loud

I Still Love You

Love Gun

Black Diamond

Oh! Susanna

Lick It Up

Rock And Roll All Nite (Incomplete)




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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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