The KISS Snowstorm

The Origin of the KISS Snowstorm


Every KISS fan is familiar with the snowstorm/blizzard that has become a regular feature of the KISS encore. What would a KISS concert be without the signature closing: "Rock And Roll All Night, Party Every Day" accompanied by a raging confetti snowstorm? Here's a piece of KISStory, probably not widely known.


The KISS snowstorm was invented for the Cadillac, Michigan show and was first used in Cadillac.


Here's the story...

I had seen KISS several times prior to the Cadillac event. In those days the show did not include a snowstorm at the end. They knew that Cadillac was in northern Michigan and that we got a lot of snow in the winter. One of the special effects people, I think it was a man named Fritz Postlethwhaite, came to me and said the band was planning a surprise for Cadillac, something they had never done before. He wouldn't tell me what it was, but he needed me to get some cylinders of compressed air.

Well, I searched high and low in our small town and the only people who had compressed air cylinders were the ambulance drivers (who carried oxygen cylinders in their ambulances). Cadillac had two ambulances then, and each had a cylinder on board and a reserve at the dispatch garage. They agreed to loan us the spares for the KISS concert, provided that we return them immediately after the show.

The special effects people said that two cylinders would work, but that the surprise would be better if we had more cylinders. Two was all we could come up with, though.

Unknown to me, the KISS road crew had rolled up a tarp above the front of the stage. Inside the tarp was confetti, tons of it. The idea was that on cue, the tarp would be slowly unrolled and the confetti would be released. At the same time two guys behind the stage would unleash the compressed air from the cylinders and literally blow the confetti into the audience. Theoretically this would work, although it had never been tried before (either during a rehearsal or concert).

About halfway through the show, the ambulance drivers who were on duty at the time snuck in to catch the last part of the performance. Luckily, it was a slow night and no accidents or emergency calls had to be made. They knew we wanted more air cylinders, so they took the ones from their ambulances and added them to our arsenal.

When KISS launched into "Rock and Roll All Night" none of us knew what would happen. Then, just as they were finishing the song, the tarp was unfurled, the confetti drifted down, the compressed air cylinders were aimed and fired, and the crowd was buried in the very first KISS snowstorm!

I'm sure that when KISS plays for a final time and the cannons create the final blizzard there will be a tear in my eye. It will be a final salute to little Cadillac, Michigan -- the first place to ever be buried by a KISS snowstorm. -- Jim Neff