Concert review: One long KISS goodbye

KISS performing their End Of The Road World Tour at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on April three, 2019. Errol McGihon/Postmedia

Errol McGihon / Postmedia

Goodbye, KISS.

The band that set a high-decibel, fire-spewing commonplace of showmanship for rock live shows gave an epic farewell at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday in entrance of a close-to-sold-out crowd of simply over 15,000 souls, many in face paint and costumes that paid tribute to their musical heroes.  

Original members Paul “The Starchild” Stanley and Gene “The Demon” Simmons, joined by longtime drummer Eric “The Cat” Singer and guitarist Tommy “The Spaceman” Thayer, put the cherry on the highest of a 46-year profession with a retrospective live performance that was stripped-down and over-the-top on the identical time.

The 4 males carried out on a stage that was deceptively easy and uncluttered, however with particular results you don’t see daily, together with levitating platforms, heart-stopping blasts of pyro, fireworks, smoke and a zipper line. Plenty of dazzling lights and a few huge screens rounded out the manufacturing.

The legendary Americans kicked issues off with the propulsive beat of Detroit Rock City, adopted it up with Shout it Out Loud and melted faces with Deuce, then roared by means of a set checklist that veered from hit to hit, with Stanley dealing with the between-song dialog in addition to many of the vocals.

“Tonight is the end of the road tour … this is going to be awesome,” he screeched, flashing again to the primary time the band performed the Ottawa Civic Centre in 1976.

“You people have always been awesome,” he added. 

Hard to think about this blood-spitting, fire-breathing heavy-metal monster being put out to pasture, however that’s the major objective of the world tour, which started in Vancouver on Jan. 31 and is winding its manner by means of North America. The long goodbye will proceed till December, hitting Mexico, Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, with one other swing by means of North America this summer time (together with dates in Montreal and Toronto). It’s fairly seemingly that extra reveals will likely be added, extending the journey into 2020.

Of course, we’ve been right here earlier than, again in 2000, when the band mounted its first farewell tour, calling it quits after virtually 30 years, with a reunited lineup that included drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley.

Back then, the bodily pressure of performing each evening in a 40-pound costume was mentioned to be the primary cause for pulling the plug.

However, the band was again at it inside a few years, and went on to attain some main milestones, together with their long-awaited induction into the Rock‘n’Roll Hall of Fame and their first look on the duvet of Rolling Stone journal. There was additionally that landmark 2009 efficiency at Ottawa’s Bluesfest, the place the band attracted a then-record-setting crowd to the pageant and gave one of many loudest rock live shows in historical past, clocking 136 decibels earlier than noise complaints prompted officers to show it down.

The band has additionally stored on making gobs of cash, thanks largely to an more and more extensive number of branded merchandise and ever-more-expensive VIP ticket packages. One instance: A ticket for the Ultimate KISS Army expertise is $6,500 US for the Aug. 16 present in Montreal.

Still, they aren’t getting any youthful — Simmons turns 70 this yr — and the exertion needs to be a pressure, though there was no signal of fatigue throughout final evening’s two-hour exercise.

“It’s important for everyone to realize that life is finite, and there is a expiration date for us,” Stanley mentioned in a latest interview with the Chicago Tribune. “It’s better to stop now than to kind of fizzle out.”

We’ll see about that.

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