KISS performs an explosive farewell show in New York and debuts computerized avatars in the ‘new era’

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NEW YORK (AP) — This is the end, my lovely buddies.

The Doors’ Jim Morrison may have said it, but KISS lived it Saturday night at the world’s most iconic stadium – Madison Square Garden – a symbolic culmination of a 50-year career that began only a few streets away in New York City.Kiss Resume Farewell Tour After 17-Month Delay: Photos, Set List

Starchild, Sayanora. Demon, leave me alone. Farewell, ear-splitting pyro to “Heaven’s on Fire” and “Black Diamond.”


Or… is it truly goodbye?


KISS spent 2 hours and 15 minutes at MSG on the second night of a two-night engagement assuring 20,000 diehards that this was their grand finale. That we’d never see Gene Simmons’ top-knot bobbing and (fake) blood flowing from his chin again during “Deuce” or see him expel a breath of fire again.

KISS to end farewell tour with Madison Square Garden concerts

When Paul Stanley took a final trip to a B-stage, zip-lining over the heads of fans to pony step and shake his shaggy black coif through “Love Gun,” it felt like the end of an era was just around the corner.

And, without a doubt, after drummer Eric Singer rose from the depths of the stage behind a piano to croon KISS’ most accessible – and unlikely – hit “Beth” and Stanley, Simmons, and guitarist Tommy Thayer slowly walked out, all clearly engaged in the moment as they moved to every corner to wave to fans, this was an emotional conclusion. Right? Especially when Stanley tapped Simmons on the shoulder and gave a thumbs up, a reference to their decades of brotherhood?

Was this truly the last KISS concert?
We’ll set aside our cynicism and trust that the four men on stage were expressing genuine emotions. But, in the most on-brand KISS move even by KISS standards, a message blasted on the video screens before the quartet likely hit their dressing rooms after disappearing on stage in the blizzard of smoke and confetti that accompanied the set-closing “Rock and Roll All Nite”: “A new KISS era begins now.”

The band’s digital avatars then played their hymn, “God Gave Rock and Roll To You.” Yes, just as actual KISS with their dragon boots, studs, spandex, and face paint were being remembered, their virtual counterparts were introduced.Kiss say farewell to live touring

But, put that ick factor aside for a moment and appreciate the bonkers-in-the-best-way production KISS developed for their End of the Road tour, which began nearly four years ago.

Several times during the program, which was televised live on pay-per-view, Stanley addressed the audience in his booming New York-ese, beginning each engagement with a conversational, “So…”

He offered a nice anecdote about his cab driving job in 1972, when he drove a couple to MSG to see Elvis Presley and assured them, “One of these days, people are gonna come here to see me.”

Stanley regularly patted his chest in gratitude and created a heart symbol with his hands throughout the night.

Simmons’ voice sounded far better preserved than Stanley’s shriek, especially during “Cold Gin,” and Stanley’s vocals on “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” looked brazenly beamed in from vocal recordings, but no one seemed to complain.

KISS will never be remembered as a game-changing band. The majority of their work comprises of thundering beats, jagged guitars, and simple choruses laced with sexual innuendo. But that’s why it was important. There was no pondering or hesitating. Simply raise your fist in the air and “Shout it Out Loud” to enjoy the blitzkrieg of fire, lasers, and unprecedented theatrics.

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