The Alive/Worldwide Tour (also known as the Reunion Tour) was a reunion concert tour by American hard rock band Kiss which began on June 15, 1996 in Irvine, United States and concluded on July 5, 1997 in London, England. It was the first tour with original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley since the Dynasty Tour in 1979.
While Kiss continued to exist publicly as Simmons, Stanley, Kulick and Singer, arrangements for a reunion of the original lineup were in the works. These efforts culminated with a public event as dramatic as any the band had staged since its 1983 unmasking on MTV. With the following statements, Tupac Shakur introduced the original Kiss lineup, in full makeup and Love Gun-era stage outfits, to a rousing ovation at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards on February 28, 1996:
You know how the Grammys used to be, all straight-looking folks with suits. Everybody looking tired. No surprises. We tired of that. We need something different, something new, we need to shock the people … so let’s shock the people!
On April 16, 1996, the band members held a press conference aboard the USS Intrepid in New York City, where they announced their plans for a full-fledged reunion tour, with the help of new manager Doc McGhee. The conference, MC’d by Conan O’Brien, was simulcast to 58 countries. On April 20, nearly 40,000 tickets for the tour’s first show sold out in 47 minutes. The band would bring back their vintage stunts, including Simmons’ blood-spitting and fire-breathing, Frehley’s smoking and shooting guitar, pyrotechnics and platform risers.
The members worked out to physical shape for the tour, with Frehley going for plastic surgery, as Stanley stated that they ‘did not want people to be disappointed when they saw a bunch of fat guys in tights’.
Following rehearsals, Kiss began their reunion tour on June 15, 1996 with a warmup gig in Irvine, California for the KROQ Weenie Roast. It was considered by the band to be a live rehearsal for many aspects of the stage show before the tour was set to begin at a sold out Tiger Stadium in Detroit, playing to approximately 40,000 people. The tour lasted for 192 shows over the course of one year and earned $43.6 million, making Kiss the top-drawing concert act of 1996.
In the tour program for the band’s final tour, Stanley reflected on the tour:
There were many many nights when I was looking around the stage and going “This is magic.” This is beyond anybody’s wildest fantasies. What was important about these shows is we had a much bigger task than people understood. Our biggest competition was our history. We didn’t have to be as good as we used to be. We had to be as good as people thought we were. The show wasn’t to be a replica of what we’ve done, it was to be what people imagined we had done. We had to be totally committed. and also totally sure that we could not only live up the legend but also surpass it. In terms of the stage show for the reunion tour, what we wanted to do was look at the ’77 show in a sense as a pinnacle. That is what we chose to build on but not copy. There are also elements from other shows too in the sense that there’s bombs and the flying rig and the breaking of the guitars. At that time, it was the ultimate Kiss show in the sense that we looked at the show, which we thought was our best and said, “Top this.”