KISS deliver a rocking good time as they take their final bows


KISS | RAC Arena | Friday 2 September | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

KISS made a huge entrance as they took to the stage of the RAC Arena for the Perth stop of their End of the Road World Tour. The tour began in 2019 but had been delayed several times due to Covid-19, but that only made their loyal fans more excited as they finally took to the stage.

Launching into Detroit Rock City, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer descended to the stage on circular platforms, while drummer Eric Singer was surrounded by the flames and loud explosions that the band’s live shows are famous for.

Soon the band were launching into their many hits including staring off with Shout It Out Loud from their Destroyer album of 1976. As they played Deuce, the trio of guitarists perfectly recreated their synchronised guitar moves, as video played the band making the same moves throughout the decades played behind them.

After five decades on the road, this was the band’s last hurrah, a celebration for the fans, and a showcase of flawless stagecraft and showmanship. Lead singer Paul Stanley greeted the crowd promising they were going to play “old stuff, older stuff and the oldest stuff.”

With their roots in the glam rock scene of the early 1970’s, the band’s heyday came in the late 1970’s when their posters adorned the bedroom walls of teenagers around the world. Their characters of a demon, a starchild, a cat and a spaceman held appeal for rebellious teenagers, while also appealing to a younger audience, parents scratched their heads and wondered if the band were a bad influence.

The early 1980’s saw them unmask and abandon their make up in the early 1980’s, around the same time The Village People stopped dressing as characters. The band continued on delivering album after album of hard rock tunes, but they eventually returned to their costumes and make up, probably realising the power and payday of nostalgia.

Today the band features original members Stanley and the imposing Gene Simmons, they’re joined by drummer singer who has been with the band since 1991, and guitarist Thayer who has been playing the group for over 20 years.

With hundreds of tunes in the band’s repertoire this show focused on the fan favourites and they quickly worked through War Machine, Heaven’s on Fire, I Love It Loud, Say Yeah and Cold Gin. 

Interspersed were moments for each band member to show off their skills, each getting a solo moment in the spotlight, for Gene Simmons his moment involved his legendary act of drinking and drooling a litre of blood.

In his regular banter with the crowd Stanley noted that it was the twelfth time in their career that the band had played a show in Perth, but this time round the show had been postponed several times over the last few years, “tonight was worth it.” Stanley said of the crowd who finally got to see their idols final shows.

“We are here to kick some ass!” the singer declared.

The personalities of the band members shone through, Stanley is cheeky and flirtatious, Thayer is moody and cool, and while Simmons strutted the stage in his platform boots looking scarier than Darth Vader, he also came across as a larrikin, with a twinkle in eye. Singer really is just an adorable pussycat.

The steady stream of fan favourites continued with Lick it Up, Calling Doctor Love, Psycho Circus, 100,000 Years, God of Thunder and Love Gun. As the show built to it’s climax Stanley flew across the audience to a smaller stage, suddenly giving the people in the stands a front row seat.

As the band launched into their disco tinged hit I Was Made For Lovin You from 1979’s Dynasty album, the auditorium was immersed into a sing-a-long. The show wrapped with Black Diamond. 

The combination of amazing musicianship, the iconic costumes, massive pyrotechnics, brilliant stage presence and flawless sound and lighting made this one of the most enthralling performances.

Soon the band returned for an encore with Singer taking to a grand piano to play Beth, before the band played another sing-a-long hit Shandi. The tune was not included in the earlier legs of the tour, but was added in just for Australian audiences who have always had great affection for the song.

Finally the sound of Rock and Roll All Nite filled the arena, confetti canons fired, and with the audience singing along and promising to “party every day”, KISS bid everyone farewell.

Graeme Watson, images: Keith Leroux, Jay Gilbert, Igor Vidyashev from earlier in the tour. 

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.



Tags: ,