A couple years ago this show was my first time back into concerts, as Covid was retreating. The last show I attended before this one, just coincidentally was also a KISS show! Enjoy....
September 10th 2021, KISS is resuming their "End of the Road" tour, and Shoreline Ampitheatre is hosting. People piled into the Shoreline with great enthusiasm, obviously happy to get out of the house as well as excited to see these larger than life musical super heroes. Many older bands have more new members than they have the originals still together. KISS is split, they've changed their drummer a few times and Ace Frehley was also replaced through the years, Tommy Thayer in his place presently. 72 year old Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, 69, remain.
Simmons standing in 7 inch heel boots, full face makeup, blood dripping out of his mouth and showing his tongue at every opportunity...he is quite the showman. Paul Stanley the same in his own way and usually the spokesman of the band. The KISS show is more like an over the top choreographed Vegas act than a rock show. However, its Simmons and Stanley's business know how that makes KISS one of the highest grossing bands ever. As soon as you enter the venue this is very apparent with its merch. Everything from $85 hoodies and $50 tee shirts, you just 'feel the business' component with the KISS organization. The show is well rehearsed and pretty similar each time. Once you see a KISS show, you've pretty much seen a KISS show. My first time seeing them live was just before the start of Covid, March 6, 2020. (Posted recently, click here, as the other 'bookended' live show before and after covid shut downs). I was in awe of and very enthusiastic after that show, whereas after this one, I felt my ears ringing from the many explosions and regularly intervelled pyrotechnics all throughout the performance. Although its fun, and 'new' the first time....I must say, the second time the show was not as fun. Too many pyrotechnics make the explosions mundane, annoying and painful. Incorporating firey explosions into a rock show is great, but at meaningful times like the end of show or end of a certain song that calls for it...not through the entire show. The business of KISS was a bit much. One can certainly see how they are still going strong, by both their dedication to the KISS organization and the die hard fans that keep coming. So, if you have never seen them before, you may want to get in a KISS show before 'the end of the road tour' really does end. Or simply avoid the big business of KISS and watch a show on the telly. Either way, their live act is different and dramatic, but loud, VERY VERY loud. So definitley bring your earplugs and save your hearing if you head out to one of their live performances, cause you'll need them, not due to the music, but for all the explosives you'll have to endure through the entire show!
KISS was the last show we saw before Covid shutdowns began, in March of 2020. Now its one of the first shows resuming during the pandemic. Bookends for my friend and I. Both of us are light hearted KISS fans. Me for the highly animated photo shoot, always fun and my friend admires their body of music.
If you've seen a KISS show, you've seen a KISS show. With Simmons dripping blood mid way into the show, from his mouth. And Stanley flies across the audience from a trapeze setup. They play many of their hits and a few older tunes that the die hard KISS fans recognize.
For me, Eric Singer, the drummer, in full KISS attire still outshines everyone on stage in his musicianship. Tommy Thayer, the Ace Frehley replacement is ok, and both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons do what they are there for, to wow the audience with their larger than life characters, and their passable musicianship. Eric Singer was completely amazing on the drums, a true talent behind the kit! And for me, he outshone the others onstage simply due to his expert musicianship. Singer is an insanely talented drummer indeed! And I think, Simmons and Stanley are lucky to have him onboard.
© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2021