A little night music Mini Kiss rolls into the Street Bar this Saturday night.
Byline: Leah Williams
A touring tribute band coming to southern Illinois this weekend is about to prove that you can rock all night and party every day, no matter what the size.
Mini Kiss rocks the mic Saturday, March 3 at the Street Bar in Carbondale. The tribute band features little person performers who have all been diagnosed with a form of dwarfism, and it has been dubbed as the hottest -- and littlest -- KISS commodity.
An interesting point of trivia is that both KISS and Mini Kiss were formed in New York City. Louis Fatale, the manager of Mini Kiss, says the concept of Mini Kiss began offhandedly in 1996 when his brother, Joey, who stood 4-foot-4, was looking at his vinyl record collection when he spotted an unopened KISS live album that was still equipped with the original temporary tattoos and individual pictures of the band.
"He loved all the '80s music with the big hair metal bands and the rock music," Louis Fatale says. "And his first love was KISS and Gene Simmons."
The first gig was about a month later after Joey Fatale approached a friend about his idea. Gathering up three more little people to round out the band, Joey dressed up like frontman Gene Simmons. The first show had the members in full-on costume rocking out to a KISS CD with blow-up guitars, and the rest is history.
Mini Kiss has made a variety of appearances, including a spot on the Game Show Network's revival of "I've Got a Secret" and "Lip Sync Battle." In 2010, the tribute band shot a cameo in a Dr. Pepper Cherry commercial, sharing the stage with the real KISS. The ad aired during the Super Bowl that year.
The band also featured on the television series Z Rock and the Kevin James movie Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.
Mini Kiss now performs for a variety of venues with crowds ranging from the hundreds to the thousands. Louis Fatale says he has a roster of about 40 people who live across the country who can come in to perform as members of Mini Kiss.
Joey Fatale's idea and legacy proved to outlive him. He died in 2011.
"He loved performing," Louis Fatale says. "He loved being up on stage."
What makes Mini Kiss so popular and so special, Louis Fatale says, is the fanbase that was established by the original group.
"There is this built-in audience that is already so involved with KISS," he says. "This just adds something else to it."
Louis Fatale says the company is also able to provide other "mini acts" in addition to Mini Kiss. During the high-energy shows, Fatale said Mini Kiss has also been known to perform a few songs outside the KISS setlist.
"We like to throw in a few surprises in there as well," he says.
For more information about Mini Kiss, check out the official website at minikisses.com.