In the 50 years since Kiss burst onto the New York rock scene, the band has given the world sing-alongs and shout-outs like “Detroit Rock City,” “Crazy Crazy Nights” and “Beth.” and live performances filled with blood splatters, fire breathers, pyrotechnics and cartoonish stage makeup.
“Their schtick took them to the absolute top,” music writer Joel Selvin, author of numerous books on rock musicians, including Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead and Sly and the Family Stone, told NPR.
On Saturday, the memorable stage show that made Kiss one of the world’s best-selling hard rock bands will come to an end, as its members perform what they bill as their final performance of their aptly titled “End” which lasts four years. of the Road World Tour” — at Madison Square Garden in New York. The concert will be available live on Pay-Per-View.
“It has nothing to do with the personalities of the band, or tensions, or difference of opinion or musicality. It’s purely practical,” said the Kiss co-founder, rhythm guitarist and singer. , Paul Stanley, in an interview with music publication Ultimate Classic Rock of the band’s reasons for ending five decades of Kiss. “You can play against the clock, but ultimately the clock wins.”
The city apparently went Kiss crazy in the days leading up to the event, with Kiss-themed taxis, metro cards and pizza boxes popping up. On Wednesday, the New York Rangers hosted KISS Game Night, featuring Kiss-related activities and “limited edition KISS x Rangers merchandise.” Members of the group also made an appearance Thursday at an Empire State Building lighting ceremony. Staged in honor of Kiss’ swan song, Empire State emitted the colorful lights associated with the band: silver, red, purple, green and blue.
Despite all the hype, this may not actually be Kiss’s goodbye kiss. The group had already undertaken a “farewell tour” more than 20 years ago. After a brief hiatus, the band began touring intermittently again in 2003. Concerts and album releases continued from there.
In interviews, band members talked about continuing after Saturday’s performance at Madison Square Garden in one way or another. Stanley and his co-frontman Gene Simmons both have their own bands and say they aim to at least continue making appearances in those formats.
“No one ever really says goodbye,” said rock critic Selvin, citing returns over the years of Cher, Steve Miller and the Grateful Dead. “It’s a show business strategy. You bow down. But there’s always a reminder.”
Selvin said artists often reappear after retiring because they can make a lot of money from pent-up fan demand. For example, pop-punk band Blink-182 is earning four times as much on its current reunion tour as it did during its last reunion in 2009, according to Far review. (The group released a statement in 2005 saying they were on an “indefinite hiatus”, only to reunite four years later.)
“Personal life gets involved, you want to disappear into the woodwork for a while and then the demand increases and you come back to it,” Selvin said. “Steve Miller broke up his band in 1999. He was just tired. And he was gone for six years. And then in 2005 he put his band back together and all of a sudden his price went up, and there was no more interest in seeing it.”
Meanwhile, some musical groups simply never retire. The Rolling Stones, for example, are embarking on a new tour of North America in 2024. The group has just announced additional dates.
Selvin doesn’t think we’re done hearing Kiss.
“The rule of the farewell tour is you have to say goodbye to every venue, and sometimes you have to say goodbye twice,” Selvin said. “I don’t expect this to be the last time Kiss performed any more than ‘Fare Thee Well’ was the last time The Grateful Dead performed.”