By ERIC ALTHOFF / LA TIMES
Nearly 20 years after KISS’ farewell tour, Gene Simmons insists the band will hang it up for good when its “End of the Road” engagements conclude. Simmons, who turns 70 in August, said he simply cannot perform too far into his eighth decade wearing 40 pounds of armor and platform boots.
“This is a good time to do one last victory lap,” the band’s bass player, co-lead singer and public face, said by phone. “You want to go out on top.”
KISS has been rocking a feverish fandom since the mid-1970s, the shows as notable for outlandish makeup and costumes as for the similarly festooned “KISS Army” of attendees. The tour comes to the Honda Center in Anaheim on Feb.12, and Simmons promises that KISS — not precisely known for restraint — will exceed its previous spectacles.
“It’s by far the largest and most over-the-top we’ve ever done,” Simmons said.
Today would have been former KISS guitarist Mark St. John's 63rd Birthday. Please take a moment to remember Mark and his great guitar playing!
Here's Mark with KISS in the "Heaven's On Fire" video.
By Stephanie Hammett / www.spokesman.com
Lights, lasers, floating drum kits, pyrotechnics, fire breathing, blood spitting, guitar smashing and a whole lot of fan appreciation: KISS’s farewell to Spokane will not soon be forgotten.
Show opener David Garibaldi kicked off the evening with a little performance art, painting three full-sized portraits in the space of 15 minutes.
The mesmerized crowd watched as Garibaldi carved the faces of several rock icons out of a central black canvas, ostensibly conducting the backup music with an assortment of paint brushes. It took some time for Freddie Mercury and Jimi Hendrix to recognizably materialize. But as soon as Garibaldi slashed the beginnings of Eric Singer’s “Catman” into the last canvas, it was clear what would follow; Gene Simmons’ “Demon,” Paul Stanley’s “Starchild” and Tommy Thayer’s “Spaceman” quickly joined before Garibaldi tore a section of fabric from the bottom of the canvas revealing “SPOKANE” in bold white KISS lettering. The small tribute attached to this new piece of “KISStory” was loudly appreciated.
A massive black banner emblazoned with the KISS insignia covered the stage. The Arena crackled with anticipation as cheers broke out at every hint of activity behind the curtain.
Sinister rumblings and ethereal, red lights filled the arena. Then, with an “all right Spokane, you wanted the best!” the curtain fell away to the opening notes of “Detroit Rock City,” revealing Stanley, Simmons and Thayer descending from above on three suspended, octagonal platforms and Singer upstage on a dais backed by a half pyramid out of which lasers, sparks and fire streams flew.
Lights ricocheted off of Thayer’s “spacesuit” at angles and up into the rafters while Stanley’s eye-catching guitar, rhinestoned for the gods, sparkled continuously.
The pyrotechnics were immediate, extreme and expertly timed, seamlessly creating a percussive extension of Singer’s drum kit.
Turn it up today at 5pm ET on Sirius XM Channel 30 for the new KISS Army Radio Channel!
By Glen Casebeer / http://www.northwestmusicscene.net/
One thing that never gets old is the feeling you get in a large arena setting with around twenty thousand other people that are all there for the same reason. There’s an explainable energy that you feel a part of, and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t even have to be your favorite band in the world, although of course that doesn’t hurt. Inside the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night though, for many of the concert attendees, this was their favorite band and they hold fond memories of being a member of the KISS Army starting over four decades ago and still going strong. For them, there is no bigger band in the world. No better experience than seeing the makeup wearing, fire-breathing traveling rock and roll psycho circus that is KISS. And they aren’t wrong, there aren’t too many more electric experiences than a KISS concert, whether it’s your first or your 20th. And since this was likely the last time many of them will experience a KISS concert live, the evening was that much more special.
As expected on this crisp but not too frigid pacific northwest Saturday night, this New York band delivered exactly what the devoted fans came to see. From the moment the stage exploded and they descended from the rafters while playing “Detroit Rock City” until the last note of “Rock and Roll All Nite” it was a evening of heavenly rock and roll bliss for the jam-packed Tacoma Dome crowd. A quick look around the room revealed that many in attendance weren’t born when KISS got their start and they had just as good a time as those that have followed the band since the beginning.