Detroit Rock City – Unveiling the Epic Anthem of Escapism and Exhilaration


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Kiss's Detroit Rock City at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. An Ode to the Night – The Euphoria of Live Music
  5. Revving Engines and Racing Hearts: The Thrill of the Ride
  6. The Shocking Twist: A Cautionary Tale
  7. Deadly Decibels: The Song’s Hidden Narrative of Loss
  8. Memorable Lines that Echo in Eternity

Lyrics

I feel uptight on a Saturday night
Nine o’clock, the radio’s the only light
I hear my song and it pulls me through
Comes on strong, tells me what I got to do
I got to

Get up
Everybody’s gonna move their feet
Get down
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat
You gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City
Get up
Everybody’s gonna move their feet
Get down
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat

Getting late
I just can’t wait
Ten o’clock and I know I gotta hit the road
First I drink, then I smoke
Start the car, and I try to make the midnight show

Get up
Everybody’s gonna move their feet
Get down
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat

Moving fast, down 95
Hit top speed, but I’m still moving much too slow
I feel so good, I’m so alive
Hear my song playin’ on the radio
It goes

Get up
Everybody’s gonna move their feet
Get down
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat

You gotta lose your life in Detroit Rock City

Twelve o’clock, I gotta rock
There’s a truck ahead, lights staring at my eyes
Oh my God, no time to turn
I got to laugh ’cause I know I’m gonna die
Why?

Get up
Everybody’s gonna move their feet
Get down
Get up
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat
Get down

Full Lyrics

Released in 1976 as part of Kiss’s album ‘Destroyer’, ‘Detroit Rock City’ merges the glam of rock ‘n’ roll with a harrowing narrative. It is a song that encapsulates the turbulent chaos of escaping into the electric embrace of music amidst a society that is often grim and restrictive.

This track isn’t just an opening salvo to an album; it’s a thrilling, guitar-driven journey boasting a dual narrative of thrill and tragedy, a celebration of rock that has immortalized itself as one of the anthems for the disenchanted and rebellious.

An Ode to the Night – The Euphoria of Live Music

Describing the ritualistic anticipation of a rock concert, the protagonist of ‘Detroit Rock City’ crosses the boundary between mundane reality and the electrifying world of music. With lines like ‘Nine o’clock, the radio’s the only light,’ Kiss paints an audacious picture of the excitement that envelops a rock fan ahead of a life-altering show.

The steady build-up describing the evening’s preparation before hitting the road is a vivid reminder of the visceral power live music has over its devotees. In this anthem, the night itself becomes a character – alluring and charged with boundless potential.

Revving Engines and Racing Hearts: The Thrill of the Ride

The song showcases a masterful blend of metaphor and literal expression with lines like ‘Moving fast, down 95’ and ‘Hit top speed, but I’m still moving much too slow’. It’s a homage to the adrenaline rush one seeks in both the fast lane and the frenzied moments before the concert’s kickoff.

Kiss uses the metaphor of driving to describe the journey to ‘Detroit Rock City’, equating the speed of the car with the rapid heartbeat of an eager fan. The car is a vessel of liberation – a conduit through which one races to escape the confines of daily life.

The Shocking Twist: A Cautionary Tale

In a stark turn of events, the lyrics segue into a grim tale: ‘There’s a truck ahead, lights staring at my eyes / Oh my God, no time to turn’. The shock of impending doom mingles with disbelief and a chilling recognition of mortality.

Here, Kiss offers a caution against the very escapism they glorify, highlighting the inherent dangers of living life on the edge. It’s a poignant reflection on the fleeting nature of exuberance and the fine line between celebration and catastrophe.

Deadly Decibels: The Song’s Hidden Narrative of Loss

What starts as a high-octane ode to rock and the spirit of freedom subtly morphs into a meditation on the ever-present dance with death. ‘You gotta lose your life in Detroit Rock City’ is a dark play on words juxtaposing literally losing one’s life with losing oneself in the music.

The duality of meaning serves as a metaphor for the dichotomy of the rock lifestyle – the quest for liberation and connection through music, alongside the risk-taking behaviors that can lead to a tragic finale.

Memorable Lines that Echo in Eternity

‘Get up, everybody’s gonna move their feet, get down, everybody’s gonna leave their seat’ is more than a catchy chorus; it’s an invocation to listeners to abandon restraint and join in a collective experience of uninhibited joy.

The anthemic quality of these lines has solidified ‘Detroit Rock City’ as a rallying cry for generations of rock fans, a piece of lyrical history that continues to reverberate through concert halls and across airwaves, even as the decades roll on.

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