Checking the calendar shows it has been almost four years to the day since rock giants KISS first brought their “End of the World Tour” to Newcastle as part of their final blowout. Joining the growing list of artists who announce farewell tours, voices from within the KISS camp have backed up statements that these 2023 dates will be the band’s swansong so it would seem silly not to join Gene Simmons and Co for one last party KISS style.
Now, if you were here four years ago and it would be a fair to assume that most fans here tonight were also here in July 2019, you weren’t going to get too much different for your money. But, this is KISS so, if we’re talking about getting bang for your buck, you’ll have walked away from these two hours with the rock heavyweights making sure they delivered value for money.
Yes, it’s a completely ridiculous over-the-top rock circus but KISS have made a career out of that. From the ludicrously brilliant costumes, the iconic face paint and a show which sees them flying up into the rafters of the venue, spitting blood, shooting fire out of their instruments and zip wiring over the crowd, the KISS live experience is a sense-battering two hours.
Does all of this take away from the songs? Well, for some bands you would say yes but, again, this is KISS. Despite unleashing enough explosions for a small army, KISS pepper their final tour setlist with an absolute wealth of crowd-pleasers from their immense catalogue. Opening with “Detroit Rock City” and storming through the “Shout It Out Loud”, “Love Gun”, “Cold Gin” and many, many more, given the raft of endless classics, the KISS setlist is one that will please everyone while leaving you grumbling at why they didn’t play your favourite.
Absurd is often a word used when people talk about the KISS show and watching them individual take centre stage for various solos, it’s a word that comes to mind again. However, the arena is full of hardcore fans who all want to lap it up for one more time. “This will be the last time we play in Newcastle,” announces Paul Stanley, “so let’s make this special.” and, as “Rock N Roll All Nite” brings the night to a confetti, explosion-filled finale, ten thousand members of the KISS Army are hoping that this really wasn’t goodnight and goodbye from their rock ‘n’ roll heroes.
Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest