Watch KISS’ Gene Simmons Play a Van Halen Deep Cut and a Motorhead Classic with His Solo Band

While KISS retired from touring after wrapping up its End of the Road trek last December, bassist/singer Gene Simmons is still rocking out with his solo band. The Gene Simmons Band played its most recent concert on Wednesday, July 3, at the Rock & Brews restaurant in Milwaukee.

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The show featured Simmons and company playing a set made up mostly KISS songs, as well as a couple of tunes from Gene’s solo career. In addition, the band performed a few interesting cover tunes, including the Van Halen deep cut “House of Pain,” with which Simmons has a connection.

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“House of Pain” is a song that dates back to Van Halen’s early days, and in 1976, Simmons produced a demo version of the tune for the band. Van Halen eventually reworked the song and recorded it for their smash sixth studio album, 1984.

At the Milwaukee concert, the Simmons Band played the 1976 demo version of the tune. According to Setlist.fm, this marked the first time Simmons ever performed the song in concert.

[RELATED: Gene Simmons Reveals Why He Wishes He Was Harder on Former KISS Bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss]

The show also featured versions of the Motörhead classic “Ace of Spades” and Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown.” The Simmons Band also played both of those songs at their previous two 2024 concerts, on April 23 at a Rock & Brews restaurant in Ridgefield, Washington, and April 26 at a festival in São Paulo, Brazil.

You can check out fan-shot video of the Simmons Band performing “House of Pain” and “Ace of Spades” on YouTube.

Incidentally, Simmons and his KISS bandmate Paul Stanley are two of the co-owners of the Rock & Brews restaurant chain.

More About the “House of Pain” Demo Simmons Produced

“House of Pain” was one of a series of songs Simmons produced for Van Halen in November 1976 as part of a collection of demos known as the Zero demos. Simmons was interested in securing the band a record deal, but they eventually signed with the Warner Bros. label.

In a 2020 interview on the Jeremy White Podcast, spoke highly of the demos he produced for Van Halen, including “House of Pain.”

“I would say that there’s some material on there that’s better than anything that’s been on Van Halen records,” Gene maintained.

“The original version of ‘House of Pain’ is like a locomotive that doesn’t stop, and your jaw would drop,” he added. “The ‘House of Pain’ that’s been recorded by them is tame compared to what this is. You’ll be shocked. And mostly it’s live in the studio.”

The Zero demos have never officially been released, although they’ve been widely bootlegged.

Gene Simmons Band’s 2024 Tour Plans

As previously reported, Simmons and his solo band will be launching European tour this summer. The group’s overseas trek runs from a July 27 concert in Kuopio, Finland, through an August 16 show in Taranto, Italy. They also have a concert scheduled on August 19 in North Tonawanda, New York.

Tickets for Gene Simmons Band shows are on sale now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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