It’s without a doubt KISS has become something of a worldwide rock’n’roll phenomenon. Since their initial inception in ‘73, they’ve racked up a sizeable amount of miles on the road, albums, and tours, spanning the length of the globe. I’ve been raised listening to this band and had the pleasure of watching them perform on numerous other tours over the years. This, however, seems to be the end of the road for them, hence the name of the tour I suppose… (Well supposedly… I mean look at Ozzy and Priest for example)
The evening started out not with a warm-up band, but a performance by David Garibaldi, an American painter. I have to say, it was really refreshing and different to see an opening act performing something totally different, and out-of-the-box instead of the usual warm-up band line-up. Garibaldi painted three paintings in his half-hour time slot, one of Mick Jagger, and upside-down painting of Freddie Mercury (there was a big gasp when he flipped it around, although all the Queen songs playing while he was painting it sorta gave it away…) Ahem, where was I? Oh! And finally a painting of all the KISS members. The final painting would be ‘put up’ as a prize, where concert-goers could make a donation to a children’s cancer charity. The painting would then be given at random to one lucky donor.
KISS took the stage at 21:55 with a blistering two-hour setlist. Everyone was greeted by the usual:
“ALL RIGHT BIRMINGHAM. YOU WANTED THE BEST. YOU GOT THE BEST. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD. KISS.”
No matter how many times I hear that opening it never gets old. Whether it be on record or in person.
Detroit Rock City was first on the setlist, with the band lowering themselves down from the ceiling rafters on platforms. Alas, you’ve gotta expect the usual theatrics when it comes to Kiss shows. I’ve got to say, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are getting on a bit but man they still sound good. Gene especially. Paul can’t really hit the highs he could back in the day but he can still put on a damn good performance. That being said, instrumentally, they were totally flawless. I guess that’s what you get for playing your music for this long, eh? Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer returning as the Spaceman and the Catman respectively also performed to the absolute top tier.
Kiss classics old and new were on the setlist. The likes of ‘Cold Gin’, ‘God of Thunder’, ‘Deuce’, ‘Lick it Up’, ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’ were all present at this show. (Unfortunately so was ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’, if you like that song, more power to you but I can’t say I’m a fan sorry.) all the usual theatrics were present too. Gene spat some fire, Flew up and played a bass solo while spitting blood, the usual good stuff. Plenty of pyros and fireworks too.
The real curveball for me was Eric Singer rising from below the stage sporting a grand piano for the encore. I didn’t expect to hear Beth on this farewell tour but goddamn, I sang my heart out. Of course Rock and Roll All Nite was the grand finalé, let’s be honest you wouldn’t expect to leave a Kiss show on any other song. Looking back, all in all, it was probably the best Kiss show I’ve been too. Knowing they went out on such a high note (maybe, we’ll see) really added to the experience.
Author: Adam Hathaway