Saturday May 14, Kiss descended onto the stage at The Xfinity Theater in Hartford Connecticut. This show was postponed twice, once due to Covid and a second time due to a hurricane that was supposed to come through but ended up pretty much missing the area. The line of cars to get into the parking lot was about half a mile down the street. While waiting in this line there were numerous people selling bootleg t-shirts. People were tailgating in parking lots of the local establishments along the route to the venue. With the threat of thunderstorms, many concert goers were carrying umbrellas or ponchos for the lawn area of this amphitheater. Many people had to pay to store their bags or return them to their cars due to new bag policies at the venue. While walking from the car to the entrance, there were lots of Kiss fans with their faces painted to match their favorite band members. This was my first-time seeing Kiss since their Crazy Nights tour, so I was so excited to share this experience with my 15-year-old daughter as her first time seeing (and photographing) them.
The opening act for Kiss was an artist named David Garibaldi. David is a performance artist that paints large images to the sound of music. Within minutes he creates masterpieces that are raffled to fans. The first painting he did was of Alice Cooper and was completed while listening to several songs by Ol’ Black Eyes. David can be seen splatting the paint on the canvas and throwing his brushes about whimsically to the music as his masterpieces come together. David has raised over 6 million dollars for charity. He painted several masterpieces before it was time to put up the Kiss curtain in front of the stage and get ready for the main attraction.
Before the curtain with a huge Kiss logo on it dropped, you could see billows of smoke coming from the bottom and sides of the stage while “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin was playing. As soon as the curtain started to drop, the band started play “Detroit Rock City” while descending on platforms that were high above the stage surrounded by smoke and showers of sparks. Kiss still sounds and performs like they’ve been around for 50 years. Moving along through a 16-song set and 3 song encore Kiss played all their popular songs and then some. I was hoping to hear a song or two off of Crazy Nights, but to no avail.
The theatrics continued throughout the night. Gene spitting fire during “I Love It Loud” is always a crowd favorite. Then after “Cold Gin”, Tommy Thayer does a solo and shoots rockets out of his guitar. During Eric Singers drum solo, his riser brings him up high above the stage with his double bass drums pounding. Soon, Paul gets on a motorized zipline and flies up to the soundboard to sing “Love Gun”. As the song finished, he asked the fans if they wanted him to sing another song from there, and the answer was a resounding, yes. He then went right into “I was Made for Loving You” and as the song was almost over the zipline brought him back to the stage.
With the crowd cheering loudly, Kiss came back out for the Encore. Eric Singer got on the piano and took on the lead vocals for “Beth”. I think the whole crowd was singing along. Ending the night with “Rock and Roll All Night.” I have to be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen that much confetti launched into the air above the fans along with smoke and streamers. This lasted for the entire song. After the music ended, the fans began to slowly filter out, with some hanging back and going to the front of the stage in hopes the band would come out to greet them. As I was walking out, I saw a janitor with a garbage barrel and broom and thought to myself, “dude, you are going to need a bigger garbage can”.
In conclusion, I would have to say that Kiss still puts on a killer show and not a single fan was let down. The sound, lighting and theatrics were top notch and all that you can expect from probably the biggest rock band in the world. The End of The Road World Tour is one not to be missed! This is being billed as “The Final Tour Ever”. I wonder if it will ever end.
Paul Stanley – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar
Gene Simmons – lead and backing vocals, bass guitar
Eric Singer – drums, backing and lead vocals
Tommy Thayer – lead guitar, backing and lead vocals
1.Detroit Rock City (Band Pods)
2.Shout It Out Loud
5.Heaven’s on Fire
6.I Love It Loud (Gene Fire)
9.Guitar solo (Tommy Thayer, rockets)
10.Lick It Up
11. Dr. Love
12.Tears Are Falling
13.Psycho Circus/100,000 Years (Drums/Lifts) (Drum solo)
14.God of Thunder
15.Love gun (Paul Files – Front of House & Back)
16.I Was Made for Lovin’ You
17.Black Diamond (Drum riser)
2.Do You Love Me (Balloons)
3.Rock and Roll All Night (Drums/Arms)
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