KISS End of the the Road Tour
When: Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Rogers Arena
Tickets: From $62 at ticketmaster.ca
Kiss played its first Manhattan concert in 1973. Mixing the shock rock theatre of Alice Cooper with a dumbed-down take on the glam rock coming out of the U.K., the band comprised of bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley released its self-titled debut in February 1974.
The album stalled at #87 on the charts.
The band’s next two releases fared slightly better. But it was in concert where the group gained its popularity. Kiss toured relentlessly.
When the double album Alive! came out in 1975, it became the band’s first Top 10 release and remained on the charts for 110 weeks. Drawing upon only the best material from the first three releases, the performances of songs such as Deuce, Strutter and Cold Gin bristled with energy. Alive! is still considered one of the classic live hard rock releases ever. Kiss became superstars.
The band saw its fortunes ebb and flow, but always retained a dedicated fan base. Now the quartet of Simmons, Stanley, drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer is embarking on a farewell tour. Here’s five things to know before you go to opening night in Vancouver.
1 – Ear plugs: Bring them. This band has always loved playing with its amps turned to 11, and they still do.
2 – How high are those platform boots?: If song lyrics are to be believed, then Do You Love Me? from 1976s Destroyer provides the answer as Paul Stanley sings: You like my seven-inch leather heels.
3 – Rock and Roll All Nite: The tune from 1975s Dressed to Kill wasn’t a Top-10 hit initially. But the version taken from Kiss Alive! not only became the band’s first major single, it also became its signature. Sure, fans can argue that Detroit Rock City is equally huge, but it isn’t.
4 – The make-up: While appearing without its face paint and costumes on the cover of 1983s Lick It Up took the band back to platinum sales following a four-year glut, it also left everyone hoping that the fellas would get back in character asap. In 1996, the original line-up reunited in full regalia. Even with changing membership over subsequent years, Kiss has kept the costumes on.
5 – Is it really farewell?: Rock bands are notorious for saying farewell and then saying it again. Kiss announced the Farewell tour in 2000-2001. The band played a show on June 27, 2000, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which was a pay-per-view concert film titled The Last KISS, later released on home video. Turns out, Kiss changed its mind after this and returned for World Domination in 2003 with replacements for Criss and Frehley.