KISS played Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa on their first tour of the U.S. in 1974! In 45 years things have changed in the music business, technology, and the concert going experience. KISS has not only survived it all but has continued to break records in spite of losing band members, going through changes in modern day record sales and even taking off their makeup in the 80’s.
All said and done, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer bring one of the most incredible, bombastic rock shows to the masses as they take their final bows in the “End of the Road World Tour”.
The KISS rock and roll circus is an extravaganza of epic proportions! The biggest pyrotechnics, smoke, amazing lights, zip-lines, risers, KISS balloons, confetti, the latest technology in graphics, blood, dragons and more. The KISS Army was out in full force, t-shirts and makeup to honor their rock heroes! There is no mistaking that you are at a KISS show, it is a world of its own. The diehard fans of KISS have stuck through thick and thin and love their band, Demon (Simmons), Starchild (Stanley), Cat (Singer) and Spaceman (Thayer). There were fans all the way to the top of the arena and they said the sound was great! They just wanted to be there for the spectacle of it all!
Making a total KISS entrance with “Detroit Rock City”, the band was lowered from the ceiling of the Amalie Arena, with an epic amount of fire and pyro that put the crowd in a total frenzy. Everyone was on their feet as Paul Stanley yelled to “Shout It Out Loud”. The band honored their albums by introducing songs by the album title they were on. In the world of digital music, KISS still sells an incredible amount of vinyl and there many collectors of their vintage albums. KISS has sold over 100 million records and was named the top American band with 30 gold records, the most in history at this time. Mind-boggling numbers, that doesn’t even cover the massive amounts of memorabilia sold over the years!
During the show, everyone gets a solo. For the Ringmaster Demon, it is on “War Machine” with Gene breathing fire and “God of Thunder” complete with blood and bass solo! Starchild Paul takes a ride on a zip line thrilling the audience and landing on a second stage across the arena for “Love Gun” and the worldwide 1979 hit “I Was Made for Loving You”. The Cat brings a monster drum solo on “100,000 Years” and a beautiful scaled down piano version of the 1976 tune “Beth” that was a power ballad before there was term “power ballad”. Last, but not least, Spaceman guitarist Tommy Thayer slays it on “Cold Gin” with his riffs, battles riffs a bit with Starchild, and joins Gene in being raised above the audience for “Do You Love Me” which ends with the ultimate encore of “Rock & Roll All Nite”! Confetti cannons ringing out and streamers falling from the ceiling in a complete confetti white-out! The KISS circus may have left town but what a great, unforgettable show and that’s what it is all about!
Opening the show in Tampa was world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi. A fun, frenzied artist, painting rock portraits for the audience! It is unknown to the crowd as to what he is putting on the canvas until he is finished, unless you can guess by the music that is playing. Tampa got treated to an Ozzy portrait among others! Check out his website and Facebook to see more of his artistry.
The KISS show will continue to tour through April 2020. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of America’s greatest rock bands one more time! All info is at www.kissonline.com.
Photos by Vicky Sullivan / The Sarasota Post