A Guide to KISS Bootlegs: The Destroyer Tour 1976

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Welcome to the fifth article of the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series! This article will be focusing on the tour KISS did in support of the album Destroyer. The first half of the tour is very much a continuation of the Alive! tour, which also coincided with the band’s first trek to Europe. The North American summer tour, often dubbed The Spirit of ’76 Tour, debuted new costumes and a new stage set that was thematic to the personas of each member. Enough of the chit chat, let’s dig right in! Or as Paul Stanley would say, “If you people want a little bit of rock and roll, all you gotta do is SHOUT IT OUT LOUD!”

Free Trade Hall
Manchester, England
May 13, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll

This show was the band’s first show, both out of North America and within England. A portion of the show and a backstage interview were filmed for Granada Television’s So It Goes program, which can be found on the KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 DVD. The audience recording that circulates from this show is poor-sounding. There is a lot of tape hiss and the performance is very tiny-sounding. With that said, the show is historically significant. This was released on vinyl under the title Battle of Britain.

Hammersmith Odeon
London, England
May 16, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City

This show was added to the itinerary after the tickets for the first three shows of the tour sold out. The audience recording that circulates from this show is rather good-sounding. The only drawbacks are that it is missing “100,000 Years” and the final two encores. The bootleg that consists of this show is one of the most notable early KISS bootlegs called KISS Blitz London.

L’Olympia Bruno Coquatrix Theatre
Paris, France
May 22, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite

This show took place at 3pm in the afternoon since there was a comedy show by Jerry Lewis taking place in the evening as part of a two week residency. The audience recording that circulates from this show is perhaps the best one from the European tour. The bootleg that consists of this show is one of the most well known earliest KISS bootlegs called Stoned in Paris.

RAI Congrescentrum
Amsterdam, Holland
May 23, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll

While the audience recording that circulates from this show is average-sounding at best, the vocals are buried in the mix. Local radio station VARO had recorded the show for a potential broadcast but due to quality issues, this broadcast never came to fruition. This was released on vinyl under the simple title Amsterdam May 23, 1976.

Grona Lund Tivoli Garden
Stockholm, Sweden
May 28, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite

The audience recording that circulates from this show is very poor-sounding. It is very bass heavy with a lot of tape hiss. This show was released on vinyl under the title Grona Lund.

Falkoner Theater
Copenhagen, Denmark
May 29, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll

The audience recording that circulates from this show is unfortunately another poor-sounding recording. It is a bit harsh in the higher frequencies and it sounds overall distant. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

Olympen
Lund, Sweden
May 30, 1976

Setlist: Deuce/Strutter/Flaming Youth/Hotter Than Hell/Firehouse/She/Nothin’ to Lose/Shout It Out Loud/100,000 Years/Black Diamond/Detroit Rock City/Rock and Roll All Nite/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll

Before the final encore of the show, Paul Stanley, whether he was being serious or was joking all along, says that Ace Frehley was going to sing lead, which would’ve been his fist live lead vocal debut. With all that said, he did not sing lead. The audience recording that circulates from this show is another one of the better-sounding recordings from the tour. This show was released on vinyl under the title Olympen.

Roosevelt Stadium
Jersey City, NJ
July 10, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Strutter/Nothin’ to Lose/Do You Love Me?/Watchin’ You/God of Thunder/Flaming Youth/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond/Rock and Roll All Nite

This was KISS’ first foray into stadiums, the first of several stadium shows in this tour. KISS and stadiums weren’t something that would prove to be a mainstay, considering the fact that ticket sales for this show only came out to cover roughly 40% of the stadium’s available capacity. The show was professionally shot in black-and-white and provides a great glimpse of the early part of the summer tour. The audio is definitely taken from the soundboard but there must’ve been some field microphones present in the rather animated audience as you can hear them in between songs shouting requests and such. It is a real treat to hear a soundboard recording of a track such as “Flaming Youth,” which would disappear from the setlist shortly after this show. This was released on vinyl under the title The Summer of Satan: The Devil Rides Out!

Kiel Auditorium
St. Louis, MO
July 28, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Strutter/Nothin’ to Lose/Do You Love Me?/Watchin’ You/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

This show was filmed via a single black and white camera positioned at the soundboard. While the video doesn’t do the stage show justice, it provides a wide shot of one of the most interesting KISS stage sets. It is likely that the audio that circulates from this show is taken from the video, which would be deemed as an audience recording. Considering the position of the camera/microphone, the audio features a ton of reverb but the band’s performance can be made out. This show was released on vinyl under the title High Spirits in St. Louis.

The Summit
Houston, TX
August 13, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Hotter Than Hell/Shout It Out Loud/Cold Gin/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

The Summit had an in-house video crew named John Crow TV Productions. They would usually run live feeds of shows on a large screen and it is likely that those feeds were what was captured on videotape. Needless to say, this show was videotaped by the video crew and has circulated in bootleg circles for a number of years. For the longest time, only the first half of the show circulated, which cut in the middle of “Nothin’ to Lose.” Several years ago, the second half of the show was finally unleashed but started mid-way through “God of Thunder,” thus we have a semi-complete version of the show. The audio from the video is definitely a soundboard mix. It is safe to say that the quality of the videotape that had circulated for a number of years had to have several generations removed from the master tape. With the second half of the show being unearthed recently, it is believed that a new transfer of the master tape was done and both the audio and video quality received a much needed upgrade. This show was released on vinyl under the title Flaming Youth.

Anaheim Stadium
Anaheim, CA
August 20, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Hotter Than Hell/Nothin’ to Lose/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Do You Love Me?/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

Here is where we get into one of the most infamous shows in KISStory. This show was undoubtedly the highlight of the tour, as the band performed to their biggest American crowd of almost 43,000 people. This show was also in the top 20 of the top stadium concerts of the year and grossed almost $36,000 alone in just merchandise sold! It was an all-day event which also featured Bob Seger, Montrose, and Ted Nugent along with tightrope walkers and hot-air balloonists performing in between acts. The all-day event was hosted by Flo and Eddie and they also introduced the band on stage, wearing their own makeshift KISS costumes and makeup designs. The show was projected onto two video screens on both sides of the stage and the feed was captured on videotape. While the video angles are a bit shaky in areas, the band delivers a high energy performance. An audience recording that circulated from this show was the basis of one of the earliest known KISS bootlegs called KISS Destroys Anaheim. This release only featured a portion of the show and there was a KISS Destroys Anaheim Part 2 release that brought together the leftover songs; but it doesn’t stop there!

Whether it be for posterity purposes or for potential use on a future project, Eddie Kramer was enlisted to record the show. The soundboard recording leaked around the 2000s and it received a vinyl release under the title Anaheim – The Complete Soundboard, housed in a gatefold sleeve with an OBI strip with a poster and tour booklet. It is by far one of the most impressive modern KISS bootleg packages, down to the exquisite packaging and the sound quality of the recording being as amazing as it is.

Richfield Coliseum
Cleveland, OH
September 3, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Hotter Than Hell/Nothin’ to Lose/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Do You Love Me?/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

The soundboard recording that circulates from this show is absolutely amazing. The audience can faintly be heard and the band’s performance is completely in your face; the essence of a true soundboard recording. The only drawbacks are that the mix levels are adjusted within the first couple of songs and “Rock and Roll All Nite” cuts midway through. Otherwise, this recording is one of the best from the tour. This show was released on vinyl under the title The Spirit of Cleveland.

Varsity Stadium
Toronto, ON, Canada
September 6, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Hotter Than Hell/Nothin’ to Lose/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Do You Love Me?/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

The soundboard recording that circulates from this show is another knock out of the park. There must’ve been some extra reverb applied to the mix since there is a bit more air in this particular recording. This recording also shares some of the same characteristics as the Cleveland show, as the audience can faintly be heard and “Rock and Roll All Nite” cuts midway through and jumps right into an in-progress “Deuce.” There’s also a few interesting anomalies in this show. The band flubs the outro of “Hotter Than Hell” and during the intro to “Black Diamond,” Ace can be heard calling someone an “asshole.” This show was released on vinyl under the title The Hottest Band in the Land!

Springfield Civic Center
Springfield, MA
September 12, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/King of the Night Time World/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Hotter Than Hell/Nothin’ to Lose/Cold Gin/Shout It Out Loud/Do You Love Me?/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Firehouse/Black Diamond

In total contrast with the other recordings from the summer portion of this tour, the audience recording from this show that circulates is poor-sounding. Whether it be the intense recording levels or the condition of the master tape, the band’s performance can be made out but also sounds distorted at the same time. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

It goes without saying that the recordings from the European tour vary in various degrees of rough quality, as they are all audience recordings. The standouts are definitely the shows from London, Paris, and Lund. In regards to the North American tour, man, we are spoiled! The soundboard recordings from Jersey City, Anaheim, Cleveland, and Toronto are outstanding due to either the historical significance behind them, how the setlist evolved, and the different nuances surrounding each show. Stay tuned for my next entry in the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series, as it is about to Rock and Roll Over.

Dig this article? Check out the full archives of The Record Spinner, by Dylan Peggin, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/the-record-spinner-archives/

About Post Author

Dylan Peggin

Dylan Peggin was born and raised in Vineland, NJ, USA. Music has always played a huge part in his life, thanks to his parents who brought him up on bands such as Rush, Genesis and Yes. At the young age of two, he became a member of the KISS Army and has never looked back since. Dylan started his vinyl collecting journey in 2014, partly inspired by musician Jack White and his label, Third Man Records. What started out as a casual hobby turned into an issue when Dylan realized he could not expand his ceiling to make way for his ever-growing vinyl collection, featuring artists that reside in Rock, Metal, Punk, Alternative, Psych and Indie, just to name a few genres. On January 1st, 2018, Dylan started <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE-Bo2U7mrTWPb1zIS8Jk1A">The Record Spinner</a>, a YouTube channel about vinyl collecting and music. Videos are uploaded every Friday based on a myriad of topics such as mastering engineers, pressing plants and best-sounding pressings. Other content is featured, as well, such as artist analysis videos, monthly vinyl hauls, record store vlogs, unboxings, interviews with musicians, and much more. The channel has grown to reach almost 3K subscribers, obtained over 300K views and received 1.5 million minutes in watch time. Dylan is also studying to receive a BA in Music Business with Berklee College of Music and he hopes to take what he is doing on YouTube to bigger heights.
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