Hold Me, Thrill Me, KISS Me Goodbye – The End Of The Road Comes To Madison Square Garden On December 1, 2023!

December 3, 2023, 2 months ago

By Robert Cavuoto

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After 50 years of thrilling fans worldwide with their music and live shows, the ultimate concert band, KISS, are calling it quits. They have been on their End of the Road Tour since 2019, with their two last shows at Madison Square Garden on December 1st and 2nd. Knowing KISS are resilient and crafty, fans continue to speculate if this will really be the end of their heroes, but what the future holds for these masked men only KISS knows. Regardless of what lies ahead, it is still a bittersweet night for the New York City chapter of the KISS Army, knowing that this could certainly be their last bombastic show as we know it.

For KISS fans, it has always been about sticking to your guns, delivering songs laced with attitude and fuel-injected riffs. Throughout their career, KISS has never wavered from that mantra, upholding the integrity of their music no matter of its genre. KISS fans enjoy their musical diversity as it has been the soundtrack of our lives.

The air at The Garden on this second-to-last show was palpable as fans were on their feet as soon as the lights dimmed and the first chord of "Detroit Rock City" sounded through the PA system. The giant curtain that draped the front of the stage fell, revealing the band descending from the top of the arena to a cascade of raining sparks, fire, and smoke. Ravenous worshipers rocked back and forth, chanting KISS in unison as multiple orb-shaped video screens floated above their heads. Hands were raised high with the infamous devil's horn, paying homage to the band as all Hell broke loose on stage. Just one song in, and KISS has already spoiled their fans for all other concerts.

Buckle your seat belt, secure your safety harness, and KISS your ass goodbye as the performance of a lifetime was off to an epic start. With that said, a KISS show doesn't live and die with fire and explosions but by giving fans the classic songs that made them a success. Paul Stanley [guitar/vocals], Gene Simmons [bass/vocals], Tommy Thayer [lead guitar/vocals], and Eric Singer [drums/vocals] performed 23 career-spanning songs like "Deuce," "Shout it Out Loud," "Calling Doctor Love," "Psycho Circus," "War Machine," "Heavens On Fire," "Lick It Up," "Do You Love Me," and "I Love It Loud." No matter when they were written or who initially performed on them with Gene and Paul, they were played with the same unbridled passion and energy. 

No KISS show would be complete without Gene spitting blood before "God Of Thunder" with axe bass in hand rising to the rafters of The Garden or spitting fire at the end of "I Love It Loud." Paul flew across the arena during "Love Gun" to a specially designed platform by the soundboard while clutching his red sparkle Ibanez guitar. While in the crowd, he also performed "I Was Made for Lovin' You" to a laser light show that swirled around him. Dancing, prancing, and romancing is his business; nobody does it better! His excitement and presence could be felt all the way to the last row of the last row of The Garden. 

Tommy Thayer shot rockets from his mirrored Gibson Flying V on "Cold Gin," then traded licks with Paul for a smoking hot two-fisted blues solo that showcased Paul's playing skills above the nut of his guitar. Eric Singer sang Peter Criss' legendary 1977 People’s Choice Award song "Beth" while seated at a baby grand piano and later levitated on his monstrous drum kit during "Black Diamond." An endearing moment of the night came when Paul Stanley lamented on the first time the band played The Garden in the ‘70s and then got choked up when he pointed to the section where his parents sat for that show! 

Gene became emotionally visible after the band took their final bow, so much so that Eric grabbed him by the hand and led him off stage! For the final encore, Paul broke his gold sparkle Ibanez in a defiant celebration of all things KISS while Tommy and Gene were lifted above the fan's heads in cherry pickers for "Rock and Roll All Night." KISS packed enough explosives and pyro to rock The Garden off its foundation for its second-to-last show! 

The performance ended amid whirling confetti, rubble of smashed guitars, and a spectacular light show as KISS put on a soul-crushing display of American-made Rock & Roll in the city that never sleeps. The band has always had a very strong connection with their fans, and their music is forever relevant in their hearts. Their unique individuality served as a deceleration of independence for all of us and will always be remembered. Thank You!

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