Back in 1974, Kiss were blowing up across the United States, and the band was catching traction around the world too.
With the band’s debut album slated for release in a few weeks, Kiss made its first trek to Canada, playing Edmonton on February 5, 1974.
“The first night in Edmonton was OK, but then we were booked into high school cafeterias,” said Paul Stanley to The Toronto Star in 2013. “Our road crew took the lunchroom tables and gaffer-taped them together. That was our stage.”
Coming to Canada wasn’t the easiest option: there was a 10% “amusement” tax for bands coming to play Canadian shows, and many other bands were cancelling at the time due to faulty equipment at venues (or lack of infrastructure, as in Kiss’ case with the stages at high schools.)
But the tour commenced, with the Edmonton show going through at Dinwoodie Lounge at the University of Alberta with a capacity of 600. The band moved on to Calgary (Jubilee Auditorium) and Winnipeg (the University of Manitoba.)
Since 1974, Kiss has played countless dates across the globe, and has sold over 21 million albums in the United States alone. The band is currently on its End of the Road tour.