KISS performing their End Of The Road Tour at The Arena Birmingham on Tuesday 9th July 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

On the first day of their UK tour, KISS came to Birmingham’s Arena last night for their End Of The Road tour, and whilst they have said it before, this time they really are going to hang up their platform boots.

So it was no surprised that every seat was sold and the floor was packed with fans wanting to see this band for the last time. And they were not disappointed as founder members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley together with guitarist Tommy Thayer beamed down to the stage on smoke spewing hydraulic platforms for the opening Detroit Rock City.

The fans were treated to everything that they had come to expect at a KISS Concert. There was Stanley playing guitar behind his head whilst Thayer ripped out a solo and Simmons bobbed his head along to Deuce. Drummer Eric Singer twirled his sticks in both hands during Say Yeah and provided the steady kick drum punch in I Love It Loud.

Heaven’s On Fire saw the crowd clapping along and Lick It Up morphed into The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again which was performed under a cascade of blue lasers. There was also a tumultuous drum solo from Singer, in 100,000 Years as he was lifted high into the air.

For the apocalyptic War Machine Simmons actually breathed fire, and God Of Thunder saw him elevated centre stage as blood dripped from his mouth and that famous tongue worked overtime.

Cold Gin showcased Thayer’s sublime guitar playing but it was Stanley who frequently stole the show as he zip wired over the crowd to reach a circular stage in the middle of the audience. Whilst there surrounded by a halo of blue and green lasers, he displayed his finest prancing during Love Gun and KISS’ biggest worldwide hit, I Was Made For Loving You, which got the loudest audience response.

Finishing the main set with power ballad Black Diamond before flames, smoke, sparks, confetti and more pyrotechnics than Disney have on the 4th July, announced their encore which saw Singer moving from behind the drums to piano, and handling the vocals on Beth before Crazy Crazy Nights and Rock And Roll All Nite brought a thoroughly entertaining evening to an end.

Every KISS show is an immense production but for this tour it was even bigger and better even by KISS’ standards. And having rocked and rolled for decades maybe this might just be for the last time.