Article and Photos by: Michael Flores
Sunrise, FL – This past Tuesday night, the BB&T center hosted the Rock N Roll legends KISS with a nearly sold-out performance for their “End Of The Road Tour.” After a 45 year career, KISS is giving their loyal “KISS Army” a last chance to “Rock and Roll All Nite.” The KISS lineup included original band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and added members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
For their last tour, one could expect that this was not going to be any ordinary rock and roll show. The opening act was not a typical rock band. Instead, the crowd was greeted by a performance painter by the name of David Garibaldi. David started off the night by painting to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” only to quickly reveal a portrait of the hall of famer rock star. David’s technique reminded me of another performance artist named Michael Israel, who would also paint to the beat of music, all while constantly rotating the canvas so he would never be painting right side up, only revealing the final image at the last couple of strokes. After completing the first painting, David then went on to paint a piece of “KISSTORY” depicting KISS on their final tour. That painting will be sold via auction and a portion of the profits will be donated to charity.
The stage was impressively covered with a larger-than-life curtain, spanning from the floor to the rafters, that had the band’s name on it. When it was time for the curtain to drop, the stage was revealed and KISS made a fashionable entrance, geared up with their iconic makeup, studded jackets, and platform shoes. They performed a Led Zeppelin cover of “Rock and Roll,” then transitioning to one of their fan favorites, “Detroit Rock City” while the stage was filling up with pyrotechnics.
For their farewell tour, KISS said they wanted to “go out the same way we came in, unapologetic and unstoppable,” meaning there would be no expenses spared for the KISS Army. Their performance had it all: pyrotechnics, fireworks, fog machines, bubbles, balloons, confetti cannons, and Gene Simmons’s iconic tongue moves. The attention to detail was evident. There were parts around the stages and platforms that had the iconic metal studs that matched their outfits. Fans of all ages came ready to rock, dressed in their KISS makeup and leather clothing, and even whiskers! There were loyal fans that either left work early to ensure they made it on time to see the show, or missed work altogether in preparation for the occasion.
During the performances, the band members would often rise up and down via telescopic stage platforms that would raise the band high over the crowd. For a couple of songs, such as “Love Gun” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” lead singer Paul Stanley would float across the stage (suspended by the rafters) hovering him to a secondary stage in the crowd. The crowd here were beyond ecstatic to get a surprising up-close and personal view.
KISS would end their set with a song called “Black Diamond.” The crowd quickly demanded an encore, which brought the band back out to play one of my personal favorite songs, “Beth,” which was performed by Eric Singer on the piano. Afterwards, they performed “Crazy Crazy Nights.” At the end of their encore, the arena was filled with confetti as they performed the song that everyone in that stadium wanted to hear, “Rock and Roll All Nite!,” followed by Paul Stanley smashing his guitar in pieces. That guitar will also go up for sale at a charity auction along with the guitars played during the show.
The crowd was hyped and on their feet for the entirety of the show; This was a must see show and I am glad that I was able to witness a part of “KISSTORY”. If you are part of this KISS Army, then this is must see show! Go check them out in a city near you as they have extended their national tour until the end of September and will then be heading over to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.