After starting 50 years ago in 1973, KISS performed their last show in Los Angeles for what they are calling their End of the Road World Tour.
Although there was no posted support band on the bill, Paul Stanley’s 29-year-old son Evan kicked the night off with his new band, Amber Wild.
For KISS, it will be the end of touring, but for Amber Wild, it was just beginning as Paul Stanley has passed the torch to his son.
Amber Wild had a very eclectic mix of music; from “Lover,” that sounded like classic Led Zeppelin, to “Breakout,” which had more of a pop punk feel to it.
One thing that definitely stood out was his guitar skills, which should come as no surprise since he had one of the best teachers in the world. As KISS retires, I look forward to great things ahead for Evan Stanley and Amber Wild.
The anticipation of KISS performing was building as a video appeared, showing the band walking to the stage from the dressing rooms at The Hollywood Bowl.
The announcer then yelled with excitement, “Los Angeles – you wanted the best; you got the best. The hottest band in the world… KIIISSSSS!” A large stage banner fell to the floor as the band dropped out of the sky onto their elevated platforms onstage, jamming to “Detroit Rock City” with fire and pyrotechnics blasting.
Up next was the KISS classic “Shout It Out Loud” with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley switching off on vocals. “War Machine” followed and featured Simmons on vocals and a very cool, interactive visual show of fire-breathing dragons coordinated with an actual fire show on stage.
“I Love It Loud” had Simmons getting the crowd to sing along to the chorus while he paced the stage with a sword on fire.
Stanley got on the mic and said, “Some of you were not born in 1983, but you know the song and you know what it’s about, so you can sing it,” as he introduced their mega-hit song, “Lick It Up.”
One of my favorite moments came with “God of Thunder.” Simmons set the tone for a spooky scene as he laughed and blood flowed out of his mouth along with his all-too-familiar and unforgettable tongue.
Simmons was then hoisted up on the platform as bolts of lightning raced across the screen in the background.
After the song was over, Stanley let the audience know this would be the last time KISS played in Los Angeles and gave an impassioned speech. He said, “Once upon a time, I used to see bands and they thought they were doing me a favor. I said I’m going to get up on the stage and show them the way we wanted to perform and then became the band we never saw. So, for one last time, I want to come out here and be with you.” Then a zip-line took him across the venue, to a platform in the middle of the Bowl, as he sang and played guitar to “Love Gun.” What a memorable scene!
KISS wrapped up their set with their classics “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Black Diamond.”
The crowd would not let them go out like that though and of course asked for more. KISS came back out for an encore, starting with the love ballad “Beth.” Sung by drummer Eric Singer, the song prompted the crowd to light up the sky with their cell phones and lighters.
KISS ended the show with “Rock and Roll All Nite,” having the crowd sing along while confetti and laser lights surrounded the fans.
Stanley closed out the night, saying, “People, we love you. Good bye!” The flames and fireworks blasted from the stage and shot above the backdrop of the legendary Hollywood Bowl.
After Los Angeles, the tour takes KISS through Canada to the East Coast, ending it all with two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Thank you for the 50 years! Your fans will never forget you!