The Animalize Tour was a concert tour by American band Kiss in support of their Animalize album.
It was divided into two halves: the European leg and the U.S. leg, with two very different shows and stage sets. The European staging was essentially the Unmasked Tour stage, decorated to resemble the Animalize album cover (amps painted with leopard spots and tiger stripes). One short-lived prop saw two growling panthers covering Eric Carr's bass drums.
When Animalize became a surprise hit in America, a much larger stage set was designed for the American leg of the tour by Tait Towers.
The shows would start much in the same manner as the Dynasty show, with the band being lifted onto the stage by a lift behind the drum riser. Sound effects of a large airplane landing would be played over the speakers while the band was coming up, and after the famous "You Wanted The Best" intro the band would launch into "Detroit Rock City". This was the first tour with Bruce Kulick on lead guitar, replacing Mark St. John who couldn't play due to his arthritic condition. Originally Kulick was a temporary replacement, but St. John's condition did not improve, and Kulick was named an official member on December 8, 1984. Bon Jovi was the opening act on the European leg, with Queensrÿche, WASP and Krokus opening shows in North America.
The Animalize period was the band's most successful of the decade with the crossover success of "Heaven's on Fire" onto CHR/Top 40 radio, a very well-attended concert trek, and with Animalize selling nearly 2 million copies by the end of the tour.
"I've Had Enough (Into The Fire)", "Get All You Can Take" and "Burn Bitch Burn" were all performed at the opening show in Brighton, England. "Get All You Can Take" would never be performed live again, while "I've Had Enough (Into The Fire)" would continue to make sporadic appearances through the November 18 show in Buffalo. "Burn Bitch Burn" would be performed only once, being played on opening night.
Eric Carr would handle lead vocals on "Young and Wasted" at all shows. In a 1989 interview just prior to the release of Hot in the Shade, Eric was quoted as saying that the Animalize Tour was his favorite with Kiss.
Mark St. John made his final appearance with Kiss at the December 7 show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During a meeting in Fort Wayne later that night, St. John was fired and Bruce Kulick was named the band's new guitarist.
Footage from the December 8 show in Detroit was used for an episode of MTV's Saturday Night Concerts series. A more complete, but still heavily edited (and overdubbed) version of the show would be released by RCA/MusicVision as Kiss: Animalize Live Uncensored in April. This show was also broadcast live it its entirety on a local FM radio station. Furthermore, "Heaven's on Fire" from this concert was included on the 1985 Hear N'Aid charity LP.
Footage for the "Thrills in the Night" music video was shot at the December 14 & 15 shows in Cleveland and Louisville.
Tragedy hit on the January 3, 1985 show in Greenville, South Carolina when local lighting tech John Addington fell to his death during the changeover between openers Krokus and Kiss.
A rare snowstorm nearly canceled the February 1 show in Waco, Texas. The decision to proceed with the concert was literally made minutes before show time.