I am embarrassed to say this, but I thought KISS retired a few years ago.
My first album ever was KISS‘ Dynasty on vinyl. It came out in 1979, making me a wee lad upon its release, but I loved it. Arguably a more accessible album than the classics that preceded it, the painted faces on the cover were enough to pull me in.
I didn’t see the band until February 4, 1988, on the Crazy Nights World Tour. There was no makeup, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were no longer in the band, and they had clearly embraced a radio-friendly level of popularity that few hard rock bands have achieved. That said, there was fire, there was blood, and there was a feeling of rock and roll salvation in such a monster performance that had fists pumping around the arena.
Unfortunately, KISS have evolved over time into caricatures of what they once were. With age, musical output, reality shows (Jesus, Gene!), and unrelenting commercialism, the danger that they once imbued has dissolved into a cliche. This is only compounded with a number of teases that the band would retire, including a 2000 tour they named the KISS Farewell Tour.
The End of the Road World Tour is forthcoming with details to be announced soon. There’s no doubt that it will be a financial success. Tickets will surely be in demand, the band will put on a spectacular show, and fans old and new will be enthralled by the showmanship that supports the timeless rock anthems that KISS have penned over the years. But given past claims that their retirement was imminent, it is truly time to hang up the leather and lock away the make-up kit.
With this in mind, I have but one request for the men in KISS from a longtime albeit disillusioned fan: Do us a favor, and please make this your last “final” tour.
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