On Saturday, Sept. 10, Buffalo’s tribute band KISS THIS! will release “Buffalo Rock City ALIVE!” This limited-edition CD is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2020 KISS tribute album, "Buffalo Rock City.” “ALIVE!” will only be available at the Music Is Art Festival (at Buffalo Riverworks and Riverfest Park, 359 Ganson St.) on Sept. 10.
The members of KISS THIS! will be on hand throughout the day, meeting with fans and posing for pictures. The group will perform a special set that evening at 10 p.m.
“Buffalo Rock City ALIVE!” is Music Is Art’s first partnership for a live album, as this is this is the first official release including live performances from Music Is Art. (All other MIA releases have been studio recordings.)
"Buffalo Rock City ALIVE!" features six performances from KISS THIS!’s live archive, going back to 2017, with four songs recorded during last year’s 19th annual Music Is Art Festival, run by Goo Goo Dolls co-founder Robby Takac.
Takac and KISS THIS!’s connection dates to 2015, when the band was asked to open for the Goo Goo Dolls’ main stage performance at the 13th annual Music Is Art Festival.
KISS THIS!’s John Jeffrey (portraying original KISS guitarist the “Spaceman” Ace Frehley), Taylor Stursa (bassist, as the tongue-wagging “Demon” Gene Simmons), Kevin Blakita (guitarist, as the “Starchild” Paul Stanley), and Julius Giambelluca (drummer, as “the Fox” Eric Carr) all perform on the live recording.
Jeffrey and Stursa participated in an additional special "Buffalo Rock City" set with drummer Shawn Przybylak and guitarist Gene Schmidt, both featured predominantly on the original release. Guest vocalists from the “Buffalo Rock City" album reprised their parts on “ALIVE!”, including Western New York talents Jody Velletta (DoDriver), Nat Peace (Judas Priest tribute band Call for the Priest, and Rush tribute Analog Kids), plus Casey Moyer (716 Dance Band), and Takac, too.
Now live on YouTube is a new commercial at https://youtu.be/de9l3kLHxiY in support of the “Buffalo Rock City ALIVE” album and KISS THIS!’s Sept. 10 performance at the 20th annual Music is Art Festival.
Lockport native, John Peace, (local producer and father of "Buffalo Rock City" alumnus vocalist Nat Peace) mixed the new production to “perfection,” Jeffrey said. “Mr. Peace has assembled and remixed professional live releases from a range of acts, including the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd, and he’s supportive of all things hard rock and heavy metal."
A press release noted, “Having such an extensive background in working on live recordings made Peace an obvious choice to have mix the album.
“Eventually, the Johns – Peace and Jeffrey – co-produced ‘Buffalo Rock City ALIVE!’ with the best sounding recordings from the KISS THIS! audio archive, along with the songs preserved from the Music Is Art performance.”
The album’s artwork was done by renowned KISS fan artist Nobuya Tamaki, who has many of his pieces of art used by KISS. The design pays homage to the Simmons white room/blood session done in 1977 with Lynn Goldsmith to promote "KISS ALIVE II."
Each “Buffalo Rock City ALIVE” CD comes with a randomly inserted trading card, featuring photos of the members of KISS THIS! and the Buffalo Rock City 2021 Music Is Art performers. All proceeds will be donated to Music Is Art.
The original “Buffalo Rock City” album, released in 2020, features top local musicians along with several national players who worked with Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Journey, Alice Cooper, Simmons, Stanley and Ace Frehley, plus the Goo Goo Dolls.