Attendees for the Thursday ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building in New York include Kiss band members Tommy Thayer, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Paul Stanley, in rotation.
Kiss gave the world sing-along hits like “Detroit Rock City,” “Crazy Crazy Nights,” and “Beth” in the fifty years since the band first stomped and kicked its way onto the New York rock scene. Live performances featured blood-spattering, fire-breathing, pyrotechnics, and gobs of cartoonish stage makeup.
The author of many books on rock singers such as Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, and Sly and the Family Stone, Joel Selvin, a music journalist, told NPR that “their gimmick propelled them up to the extreme top.”
As Kiss’s members play what they are promoting as their last gig of their appropriately named, four-year “End of the Road World Tour” at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, the iconic stagecraft that helped make Kiss one of the hardest-selling hard rock bands in the world will come to an end. Pay-per-view will provide live streaming of the performance.
“It has nothing to do with disagreements over musical taste, band dynamics, or individual personalities. When asked why the band was ending five decades of Kiss, co-founder, rhythm guitarist, and singer Paul Stanley gave a straightforward explanation in an interview with the music magazine Ultimate Classic Rock. “Even if you play to beat the clock, the clock always wins.”
The emergence of pizza boxes, Metro cards, and taxis with Kiss themes suggested that the city had gone completely crazy about Kiss in the days leading up to the event. The New York Rangers held KISS Game Night on Wednesday, which featured activities related to Kiss and “limited-edition KISS x Rangers products.” On Thursday, band members also attended an Empire State Building lighting ceremony. Empire State projected the band’s colors—silver, red, purple, green, and blue—in observance of Kiss’ farewell song.
This may not be Kiss’ last kiss, despite all the fanfare. The group embarked on a prior “farewell tour” almost two decades ago. It resumed touring periodically in 2003 after a short break. From then on, live performances and record releases continued.
Band members have discussed carrying on in one form or another after their performance at Madison Square Garden on Saturday in interviews. Both Stanley and fellow leader Gene Simmons claim that their goal is to at least keep performing in their respective bands.
Rock reviewer Selvin said, citing comebacks throughout the years by artists such as Cher, Steve Miller, and the Grateful Dead, that “nobody actually bids farewell.” It is a business approach for a show. You give a bow. However, there’s always a sequel.”
Selvin said that since musicians can earn a lot of money off the resentment of their fans, they often make a comeback after retiring. For instance, For Out magazine reports that pop-punk group Blink-182 is making four times as much money on their current reunion tour than they did when they previously got back together in 2009. (The band said in a statement that it was on an “indefinite sabbatical” in 2005; nevertheless, they reunited after four years.)
“Personal life gets in the way; you want to hide away for a bit, but then the pressure mounts and you have to return,” Selvin said. “In 1999, Steve Miller broke up with his band. All he was bored of. And he spent six years in hiding. When he later reformed his band in 2005, his fee increased, and there was more demand to see him.”
Some musicians, however, never really go away. In 2024, for example, The Rolling Stones are planning another trip to North America. The band has revealed further tour dates.
Selvin believes that Kiss has more to say.
Selvin said, “It’s a requirement of the farewell tour that you say goodbye to every venue, often twice.” “I do not anticipate that Kiss will play for the final time any more than The Grateful Dead did with “Fare Thee Well.”
Published by : Reshraman