Written and Photographed by Suzanne Cordeiro
Legendary rock quartet KISS brought their “End of the Road World Tour” to the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Wednesday, and it was everything fans wanted and more. The streets surrounding the venue were filled with fans donning full face make-up waiting to flock the merch tables to pay $50 for a tour t-shirt. In what will likely be their truly final Dallas concert, band founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, alongside longtime band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, delivered a celebratory farewell party showcasing their unique and peculiar style of showmanship. If fans came expecting to see pyros, blood, and the best platform boots in rocker history, KISS delivered and then some.
Throughout their two-hour and twenty-song set, KISS’ performance was ridiculous in the most awesome way. From the moment the curtain dropped, and the band descended from the top of the arena, there was no shortage of pyro, lasers, and good old nostalgic greatness. And did they sound good, heck yeah! If there was any lip-syncing whatsoever, it truly didn’t show, or matter. KISS is incredibly deserving with respect to their showmanship and ability to captivate an audience. Gene Simmons gave an epic performance as he drooled blood and breathed fire. In between songs, Stanley was artful in his banter with fans throughout the performance. He even zip-lined across the orchestra level while performing ‘Love Gun’ and stopped at a secondary stage across the arena to sing ‘I was Made for Loving You.’ Although much of the attention gravitates towards Simmons and Stanley, lead guitar player Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer both had their opportunity to shine as well. Both musicians performed solos, and indisputably, the iconic foursome entertained fans spanning several generations.
A noteworthy observation was the multigenerational demographics of the concert goers. With both Simmons and Stanley pushing 70, their fandom spans at least three generations. Grandparents brought their kids and even their grandkids to see this concert, and it was awesome to see children as young as 5-6 dressed up and wearing KISS makeup while their parents wore vintage 1970s concert tees.
Witnessing a KISS performance live is entirely everything you ever thought it would be, and so much more too. Fireworks and confetti canons lit up the arena for a grand finale and the band closed out the show with ‘Rock an Roll All Nite.’ KISS can never be replaced and will truly be missed.