KISS Fires Up Tampa with End of the Road World Tour
Kiss came to Florida for two shows, one on the east coast and one on the West Coast. Due to the Florida weather, the West Palm Beach show had to be rescheduled. My friend Adam who is a die-hard Kiss fan drove over to WPB and had to hike back home to Tampa. The great thing about this band is that they have been around 45 years and they know who their fan base is. They didn’t send somebody out on stage to announce the show was canceled, they came out themselves in full uniform! Paul “Starman” Stanley apologized to the fans for the cancellation and they already had a rescheduled date. Respect paid to the fans by doing that, will just make this final tour the most memorable for the fans and KISS..
In Tampa, there were clear skies and the show opened with performance artist David Garibaldi. He has been on the road with KISS since 2019 before the pandemic hit. His technique is different and a lot of fun. Painting to music of The Beatles, David gave a touching tribute to John Lennon for his birthday as well as several other paintings. One of his paintings will be signed by KISS at the end of each show and sold for charity. They have raised over $100,000 on the tour so far for local charities in the cities they visit. He is a breath of fresh air for an opening act.
The KISS Army has assembled and is ready for the show. Every age group and demographic is represented. There are KISS costumes, face paintings and KISS t-shirts from every tour. There were long lines at the merchandise counter to grab the final tour T-Shirts. This show is such a big monster – pyrotechnics, rigs, cannons, lights etc. The stage hands are constantly working to have everything ready for show opening. The curtain drops and down comes Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric through a hail of Pyro and fire. The crowd is frenzied and singing to the opening number, “Detroit Rock City” and then they had everyone shouting out loud! Gene “Demon” Simmons was giving the crowd the tongue! Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer gets a special shout out this week for being inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, Tommy hails from Oregon and played in bands there before his KISS days.
KISS shows have the best lighting and graphics. Of course, they are famous for their pyrotechnics which still make you jump because you never know when they’re coming. There is Paul’s flight across the stage into the crowd and Gene literally raising to the roof and let’s not forget Gene breathing a little fire just for more fun. There are guitar solos, drum solos, and bass solos. Paul singing, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”, complete with disco mirror ball background on the big screens, a nod to the disco era of the tune was awesome! The encore of the romantic rock ballad “Beth” is sung by drummer Eric “Cat” Singer. “Rock & Roll All Nite” brings confetti and the big finish in the badass style of KISS.
The band will be back in Florida for the 10th annual KISS Kruise out of Miami. Night Ranger, Queensryche and KISS superfan Sebastian Bach will be playing on the kruise as well as a host of other musicians. The rescheduled show in West Palm will be on November 5th after they return from the kruise. Floridians have one more chance to see KISS before they move on. The End of the World Tour will go through 2023, since it was interrupted, dates were rescheduled. It is visiting many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Amsterdam and Europe. Check it all out at Kiss Online.
Vicky Sullivan Photos