Mr. Speed – KISS Tribute

By Maddie Monan

A Terre Haute favorite returned Saturday, April 6th to the Zorah Shrine Temple at Indiana State University, The “Rock and Roll Church” as Mr. Speed themselves dubbed it was one of their first real performances when their band had set out. This title bestowed to the venue did not disappoint, with the interior architecture resembling a smaller version of a much larger theater that you would expect to see a play in, the Shrine was truly built to give the best experience with sound and visuals. A large upper seating area was available for those who liked to view the show from afar in comfort and a spacious floor area provided ample room to get the best spots in the house right up near the stage. The performance stage itself was low-set and gave the best chance to get up close and experience the music very personally.

The opener, Octane, got the first chance to pull everyone into the throwback night of rock and roll. Covering top hits from classics such as Mötley Crüe and Poison, they assured everyone this night was for the young at heart and old souls alike. The lead singer glided around his vocals expertly to the different songs and the guitarists gave eye-widened solos and duos that excited the whole room. One would be hard pressed to find a local band that could intro and energize as well as Octane for a band as reputable as Mr. Speed.

First stage appearance. Photo by Maddie Monan

Over 200 tribute bands for KISS play regularly across the U.S. but few as requested and adored as Mr. Speed. Their purpose of keeping such a loved rock and roll spirit alive was no doubt exceed in the minds of every fan, new and old, there that night. The immaculate costumes and stage set-up immediately sent an electric chill to all spectators. This concert was doubtlessly one of the best I’ve ever been too, I had not expected such a genuine energy and passion to explode like they had in this kind of venue. Truth be told, at times it was easily forgotten that they were a tribute and not the real men, they certainly animated themselves as so.

The Demon spits fire. Photo by Maddie Monan

The two leading men who impersonated the Demon and Starchild adored interacting with the crowd and consistently gave attention to us in the front rows, throwing personalized picks and pointing to their biggest contributors during well-known tracks such as “Lick it Up”, “Heaven’s on Fire”, and “Tears are Falling”. Even pitching a half-dozen individual roses during the emotional song “Beth”.

Photo by Maddie Monan

As well as they did on the more mellow songs of KISS, Mr. Speed was certainly just as exceptional at the harder, more metal hits such as “Calling Dr. Love” and “War Machine”.

Photo by Maddie Monan

Mr.Speed wasn’t short on their tricks either, they expertly performed some of the most well known and crowd-pleasing tricks from the KISS routine. The Demon spit fire in a jaw-dropping display, played so hard he drooled blood, and Spaceman played a classic guitar-smoking-solo.

The Demon shreds his axe guitar and drools blood. Photo by Maddie Monan.

This tribute band truly didn’t miss a beat and yet still painted their routine with their own personal insignias and flair, I would highly recommend jumping at the chance to see Mr. Speed and will most definitely go to another one of their shows myself. I have no doubt they can make anyone want to rock and roll all night, and party everyday with their performance.

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