KISS and their Army conquer the Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia, October 10, 2021

 

With pleasant evening fall temperatures as a backdrop, 13,000 fans (as announced by Paul Stanley!) flocked to the Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday night to catch KISS one final time (maybe?) as their “End of the Road World Tour” circus rolled through town. Having seen KISS twice before unmasked, and years in the past during both the “Hot in the Shade” and “Revenge” tours, I was really looking forward to getting the “full KISS experience” out of this show, with my 16-year-old son as my traveling concert companion. Needless-to-say, neither of us were disappointed, culminating in three lasting words from my son as he got buried in confetti during the final song —

“That was insane.”

When you think of KISS concerts, most people know what to expect at this point …

Lots of pyro? Check
Guitar picks flying everywhere? Check
Gene Simmons spitting blood and fire? Check
Tommy Thayer shooting fire rockets from his guitar? Check
Paul Stanley flying across the arena to a B stage? Check
Obligatory Eric Singer drum solo up on a riser? Check
KISS balloons dumped on the crowd? Check
Enough confetti and streamers to compete with the Super Bowl? Check

And oh yeah, along the way KISS played 20 tunes, spanning their 48-year catalog. My favorite songs being “Cold Gin” and “Tears Are Falling.” The full setlist is posted below, but besides the finale of “Rock And Roll All Nite,” the crowd seemed really into singing along with Stanley on “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” as he was on the B stage in the middle of the amphitheater. It just seemed like the crowd energy was gaining even more momentum at this point, as it immediately followed Simmons spitting blood during “God of Thunder,” and fan favorite “Love Gun.”

Following “Black Diamond,” the encore set began with Singer on the piano for a rendition of “Beth,” supported by cell phone flashlights and a smattering of lighters that got snuck in. Stanley then introduced the penultimate song of “Do You Love Me” off Destroyer, reflecting that the 1976 album spawned a ton of hits they had played that night, each with a story to tell. And then it was time for the moment of celebration all 13,000 fans were waiting for, those opening chords of “Rock And Roll All Nite.”

This is all I can say, if you get an opportunity to catch a date on this tour, the “Rock And Roll All Nite” finale is worth the price of admission, especially closer down towards the stage. There is so much confetti being shot out with streamers falling from the ceiling while dozens of large KISS-branded balloons are bouncing through the air, you’d think you just won the Lombardi Trophy. It was hard to sing through the ear-to-ear smile on my face. I turned to look at my son; his eyes were as big as saucers with his mouth gaped open, as he held up his phone to capture a video of what will surely be a memory of a lifetime.

If this is truly the end of the road, I am glad Atlanta was a destination on that final journey.

KISS:

Paul Stanley – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1973–present)
Gene Simmons – lead and backing vocals, bass (1973–present)
Eric Singer – drums, backing and lead vocals (1991–1996, 2001−2002, 2004–present)
Tommy Thayer – lead guitar, backing and lead vocals (2002–present)

 

 

Setlist (10/10/21, Cellairis Amphitheatre, Atlanta, Georgia):

1. Detroit Rock City
2. Shout It Out Loud
3. Deuce
4. War Machine
5. Heaven’s On Fire
6. I Love It Loud
7. Say Yeah
8. Cold Gin
9. Lick It Up
10. Calling Dr. Love
11. Tears Are Falling
12. Psycho Circus
13. 100,000 Years
14. God of Thunder
15. Love Gun
16. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
17. Black Diamond
18. Beth
19. Do You Love Me
20. Rock And Rock All Nite

 

 

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Elliott is a music photographer covering shows in the Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding area. The highlight of his photography career was back in the early 90s, selling Neil Diamond the rights to his negatives from a show and purchasing a set of tires for his 1979 280ZX during college with the money.

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