Each Thursday this summer, BIG 100.3 will play a classic live performance at noon.  The song will come from actual concerts in the Washington D.C. area.

#TBT (also known as Throwback Thursday) is an opportunity to take a look (and a listen) back to the incredible artists that have come through the nation's capital over the years. 

Share your thoughts on #TBT on the BIG 100.3 Facebook page.


This week's #TBT will feature KISS.  The featured track will come from their show at Jiffy Lube Live on July 24, 2004.

KISS formed in January of 1973, but the story of the band really begins with a group called Wicked Lester.

That band featured a guitarist named Stanley Eisen and a bassist named Gene Klein.  Wicked Lester recorded a demo and actually scored a contract with Epic Records.  But, the label hated the album the band recorded.  Eisen and Klein did not like the direction the band was headed, so they decided to start a new band.  They added a drummer named Peter Criss in 1972 and completely changed their image and sound.  The new Wicked Lester played a much harder, more aggressive style of rock.  They also began experimenting with makeup and their wardrobe.

Eisen and Klein also changed their names to Paul Staney and Gene Simmons.

Then, the band added a lead guitarist named Ace Frehley.  A few weeks later, they changed the band's name to KISS.

The band's first show was on January 30, 1973.  By March, the members of KISS were wearing their trademark makeup and costumes.

But, success was slow for KISS.

The band's first three albums weren't big sellers, but KISS was building a reputation as a great live act thanks to their on-stage theatrics.

Things started to change thanks to their first live album, Alive! The album was released on September 10, 1975 and they got their first hit, a live version of Rock and Roll All Nite.

KISS ruled the second half of the 1970's.  After the release of Alive! until the end of the decade, KISS released 9 Platinum albums.  That includes their 1978 solo efforts, another live album and their greatest hits record Double Platinum.

This is when the band started to profit from their famously successful merchandising efforts.

Things changed, however, in the early 1980s.  Criss left the band in 1980 and Frehley was gone by the end of 1982.  The band went through several drummers and lead guitarists through the rest of the decade.

In 1983, KISS decided to "unmask."  The band began appearing in public without their ionic makeup.

KISS remained popular throughout the 1980's and into the 1990's, but not to the level that they enjoyed in the late 1970's.

In 1995, the original four members performed together for MTV's Unplugged.  In 1996, the original band went on a worldwide tour.  The original lineup stayed together for the rest of the 1990's.

But, by 2004, Criss and Frehley were gone for good.  For the past decade, Stanley and Simmons have toured with Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drummers.

KISS was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.


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