Kiss performing their End Of The Road Tour at the Resorts World Arena Birmingham on Monday 5th June 2023.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Iconic American rock band Kiss said farewell to a packed Resorts World in Birmingham on Monday night, on one of the legs of their End Of The Road World Tour, but this is not the first time that they have said that they are bowing out. This tour has been a very lengthy one and Kiss said goodbye to their English fans back in July 2019 and again at Donington in 2022. Yet here they were again, complete with their make-up, wild costumes and pyrotechnics.

Up first was London band, The Wild Things, who are fronted by Sydney Rae White, a singer and actress who has made appearances in the Netflix show, Uncle and the 2017 film American Assassin. Also in the band are her husband, guitarist Rob Kendrick, her brother and bass player Cameron White and drummer Pete Wheeler.

Running through a well rehearsed set, honed over a few busy years of opening for giants like The Who and in venues such as Madison Square Garden, this was a band that was at ease on the Arena stage. With their own fans in the crowd, they treated them to the likes of singles Heaven Knows and Paradise. You’re Really Something and their set closer I Think You Can Do Better had the crowd on side. And with Kendrick’s fantastic blue hair making them memorable, there was nothing unforgettable about their set.

Up next was the heavy metal band from South Wales, Skindred, who offered up a brilliant mix of heavy metal guitars and hip hop style rapping from front man Benji Webbe. Also in the band are Daniel Pugsley, Mikey Demus and Arya Goggin who gave the Arena an injection of energy with all the fire power of heavy metal and the groove of ragga.

On the set list was the gentle L.O.V.E (Smile Please) and a huge rendition of Nobody. Fans favourite Rat Race went down a treat and by the time that they closed their set with Warning, there were a few in the crowd who had their shirts spinning above their heads in true Newport Helicopter style. With Webbe explaining what the ‘helicopter’ was all about, it didn’t take long for many of the crowd to follow suit.

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Kiss have been entertaining their fans for fifty years and still manage to deliver gigantic performances that include an abundance of pyrotechnics, humungous statutes of each member on stage, face paint, blood, fire and cinematic camerawork.

As the curtain dropped, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley, vocalist and bassist Gene Simmons, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer were lowered on to the stage whilst suspended on platforms to perform set opener, their massive hit, Detroit Rock City, and the fun had begun.

Only their second song of the night, Shout It Out Loud, saw streamers shooting out of canons which covered the crowd and for Deuce from their 1974 eponymous album huge screens depicted movies of the old Kiss behind them as they romped around the stage in their giant boots.

Delivering a twenty three song set list from a pool of total bangers the width and depth of that which Kiss have created these past five decades, they followed up with some of their classic hits, such as War Machine, Heaven’s On Fire, Cold Gin and 100,000 Years. There were brilliant harmonies in I Love It Loud, proving that after all these years; they are still a tight band, which was celebrated with Simmons breathing fire.

After an immense guitar solo from Thayer which saw him shooting fireworks out of his guitar headstock, Lick It Up had the crowd in great voice and they were grateful for the breather on the slower Makin’ Love. Singer pounded his drums on his solo and Simmons’ bass solo was delivered from a platform raised to the lighting rig as he drooled blood before breaking out God Of Thunder.

Ahead of Love Gun a platform rose out of the floor and Stanley travelled over the heads of the crowd, clutching his guitar, one platform boot in the hoop and the other playfully swinging low, just out of touching distance. He was still out there playing as they transitioned into I Was Made For Lovin’ You that saw the crowd pumping the air and singing along as they finished their main set with 1974’s Black Diamond, complete with more pyrotechnics, giant pinwheels and colourful fountains.

The encore was typical of Kiss, as drummer Singer sang a poignant and emotional rendition of their famous rock ballad Beth after he rose from the stage behind a glitzy piano. After Do You Love Me there was a spectacular finale of Rock And Roll All Nite which was accompanied by most of the UK’s supply of confetti and a mine field ‘s worth of explosions.

And with the crowd going wild with appreciation, the foursome came to the front of the stage, bowed to the audience and said their final goodbye. Well, at least until the next time.