Opening for Kiss and Styx
By Don Paris
Another of the defining moments in our career came when we were given the opportunity to open for two legendary acts - Kiss and Styx - at an outdoor concert. I was over the moon with excitement, dreaming of the incredible energy and raw power that would emanate from that stage.
However, as fate would have it, the heavens opened up and it poured down rain upon us. It was as if we were reliving the infamous Woodstock festival. In the end, the concert was called off and rescheduled for the following evening at an indoor venue. Kiss was not able to make it so it was Styx and Freeflite.
Don was never one to shy away from taking risks, especially when it came to his music. And that's exactly what happened when he came up with the wild idea to go all-out with full makeup for the Kiss show..
For four hours, Don sat patiently as a makeup artist worked tirelessly to transform his face into a mesmerizing work of art. The end result was nothing short of spectacular - a bold and daring look that would undoubtedly leave audiences stunned.
But it didn't quite work out since the rain stopped the show.
Determined to make the most of a disappointing situation, we decided to pay a visit to Kiss' hotel that night. Don arrived in full makeup!
Visiting with KISS
As Kiss rose to fame and became one of the most iconic bands of the era, they maintained a strict rule when it came to their appearance: no pictures without makeup.
After some interesting conversations about how to get forward in the music business, Don invited Gene Simmons to listen to some of FreeFlite's original music in his car. The recordings weren't exactly top notch, but we had hope that our unique sound would capture Gene's attention.
It wasn't until a certain song came on that Gene's eyes lit up. "Now that's good," he exclaimed. "I really like that one." Don then let him in on a little secret - it was actually Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'". Despite the mix-up, it was a moment that he'll never forget - sharing the love of music with one of rock's most iconic figures.
Several years later, Peter wrote some guitar riffs that Kiss used in their songs.
Making the best of a rained out concert
We spent the night with another all girl band called Vixen and had a great time even though we were disappointed that the concert was called off. The rain eventually stopped but it was too late.
Visiting Mom and Dad
What is happening to our son??
Opening for Styx
The night after the rain-soaked disaster of the outdoor concert, we found ourselves performing with Styx as the only other band in a very different setting. Gone were the massive crowds and open-air venue - instead, we were playing to a much more intimate crowd inside the National Guard armory. Instead of 10,000 plus it was probably only half that many people.
Though the turnout was smaller, the energy in the room was just as electric as ever. The acoustics of the armory created a unique sound that resonated through the crowd, inspiring us to put on one of our most memorable performances yet.
It was during this show that we once again crossed paths with Styx - a band that had always been gracious and supportive of their opening acts. Their kindness and generosity didn't go unnoticed, and we felt grateful to be once again sharing the stage with such talented and down-to-earth musicians.
In the end, it wasn't the size of the crowd or the location of the venue that mattered - it was the music and the connections we forged with our fellow artists. And in that moment, we knew that we were exactly where we were meant to be.
Second try with makeup
Don decided to still try some makeup on once again but it looked pretty silly especially since he was the only one wearing it...
He had been excited to try it but as he looked in the mirror, his excitement turned to disappointment - the makeup just wasn't working for him.
Despite his disappointment, Don was a true professional. He knew that the show must go on, and that his performance was what really mattered. So he shrugged off his failed makeup attempt, put on his best smile, and took to the stage.