Just over a month after announcing they would be launching a farewell tour in 2019, Kiss have revealed the initial 44 shows for the first leg of the trek across North America, kicking off in Vancouver, British Columbia at Rogers Arena Jan. 31. The tour will stop at the Wells Fargo Center for one show March 29.
Tickets for the general public will go on sale starting Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com. There are also VIP meet and greet experiences available via the official Kiss website, kissonline.com.
The announcement of the “End of the Road” tour was first made in mid-September on the finale of NBC’s America’s Got Talent where the band played the classic “Detroit Rock City.” Following the performance, co-founding frontman Paul Stanley confirmed it would be the final go round for the greasepainted rockers, who got their start 45 years ago.
“It will be the most explosive, biggest show we’ve ever done,” he said. “People who love us, come see us. If you’ve never seen us, this is the time. This will be the show.”
Stanley will be joined by fellow co-founding bandmember Gene Simmons on bass and vocals, Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums. Like all of their tours since 1996, the band will be in full makeup, though Thayer and Singer are replacements for original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss respectively.
Known for their trademark larger-than-life performances, Kiss have proven for decades why they are one of the most iconic live shows in rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide are saying this tour is devoted to the millions of Kiss Army fans around the world.
“All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years,” the band said in a statement. “This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us and a last chance for those who haven’t. Kiss Army, we’re saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet and we’ll go out the same way we came in…Unapologetic and Unstoppable.”
In addition to the North American leg, which ends April 13 in Birmingham, Ala. at the BLCC, 23 European and 8 Australian and New Zealand dates were announced, wrapping up at the beginning of December. Logic would only dictate that 2020 will see shows in Asia, and likely another run in the States in secondary markets and major cities missed the first time around.
Like many rockers before them, there is a bit of eye-rolling and skepticism over this being the very end of Kiss. The Who, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest and Scorpions are just some of the acts who have all done farewell tours. Each one of them are either currently on tour or have future dates planned – with Osbourne going so far as to name his current outing “No More Tours II,” a callback to his “No More Tours” jaunt in 1992 – more than three decades ago.
Kiss embarked on their own “Farewell Tour” in 2000 through 2001, only to launch a co-headlining tour with Aerosmith just two years later. Speaking to Rolling Stone earlier this year, Stanley talked about that run and brushed off criticism that they returned afterward.
“The farewell tour took place 19 years ago,” he said. “The farewell tour was at the end of the time that we had brought back the two original members (Frehley and Criss) and it was such drudgery and so difficult and so unhappy that it just seemed like, ‘Let’s put the horse down.’ And after the tour was over, it didn’t take me very long to realize I didn’t want to say goodbye to the band; I wanted to say goodbye to two members.”
Now that it feels much more like the actual end of Kiss, many fans are calling for those original members to be brought back in some capacity, akin to what the Rolling Stones did by bringing former guitarist Mick Taylor out for a couple songs during their “50 & Counting” tour in 2012 and 2013.
Frehley has been vocal about his willingness to return to the band, but says he hasn’t been in talks with them. Criss is retired, but could come out and sing “Beth,” which remains the highest charting Kiss single. There’re also two other surviving guitarists, Vinnie Vincent, who played with the group from 1982 to 1984 and Bruce Kulick, whose stint lasted from 1984 to 1996.
There’s still some time to work out the details, and with Kiss claiming that they will be playing 25 songs per night – as opposed to the typical 16 – it provides more than enough opportunity for the spotlight to be shone on former bandmates.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to email@example.com. Also, check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com