Live Nation and Xcel Energy Center present Kiss End of the Road Tour
Those of us whose musical appetite was shaped by the broad range of artistry that defined the 60s, 70s and 80s are now being bombarded with a slew of farewell tours selling one final chance for a walk down memory lane. Many of these offerings are costly and, in some cases only a shell of the original band that originally inspired you. The KISS – END OF THE ROAD TOUR, however, should top the list of farewell shows WORTH attending, as fans in St. Paul on February 24th would attest to after experiencing its second Twin Cities go-around a year later, this time at the Xcel Energy Center.
Still the best large room in the metro to take-in a big event, Xcel presented this massive production without a hitch at a comfortable listening volume that still packed plenty of punch and included quite a few pyro-driven explosions. The visual aspect of this show is unmatched with live action and animation playing out on 2 KISS Army logo shaped side stage screens, 1 massive backdrop display and 8 octagonal shaped panels floating above the action like satellites. The main stage was equipped with amazingly tall risers to draw your eye to Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer during standout moments, plus the trademark rising drum platform remains a fixture for Eric Singer. There is also a second smaller stage that Stanley glides out to giving fans at the back of the arena a taste of front row excitement for a couple tunes.
In typical KISS fashion, this show is a model that should be followed by others when putting together a farewell production. It is the ultimate fan experience packed full of greatest hits and includes the many stage antics this band has become known for. While Stanley is still the ultimate front-man and a master at crowd interaction best demonstrated during “Love Gun”, Simmons has done the most with his character development, brought to life on “God of Thunder”. Thayer accomplishes the original Ace Frehley guitar feel, but also incorporates his own style during the extended solo part in “Cold Gin”. Singer has elevated most of the Peter Criss drum parts and completely satisfied high expectations for the encore performance of “Beth”.
The band covers a substantial amount of material during the 2-hour set, which makes you realize just how many memorable tunes they managed to crank out over the years. “Detroit Rock City” their signature opener was paired with “Shout It Out Loud” and “Deuce” to start things off on a high note. “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” was a surprise crowd favorite and represented one of the bands biggest shifts during the disco era. “Lick It Up” was a popular selection from the early 80s with a lineup that included Vinnie Vincent (guitar) and Eric Carr (drums). More recent material also was present in the form of “Psycho Circus” from the late 90s and “Oh Yeah” off 2009’s “Sonic Boom”. “Parasite” and “Black Diamond” also deserve some recognition for their creatively catchy instrumental interludes.
The final show is now in the books for Minnesota, but this massive undertaking already a year in, still has an incredible 72 weeks to go. So, there are still opportunities if “you want the best, to get the best” and experience “the hottest band in the world – KISS”.
David Lee Roth provided a hit packed opening set including both solo material and songs from his years as part of Van Halen.
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
I Love It Loud
Heaven’s On Fire
Tears Are Falling
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
God of Thunder
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Do You Love Me
Rock and Roll All Nite