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KISS at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View


It’s hard to believe that KISS is bringing their 40 year legacy as a band to a close (again) with their “End of the Road World Tour” which has already been circumventing the globe for years now, hitting the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California for a final visit to the Bay Area (or not) on a balmy Friday night. The crowd, many dressed as their favorite member, made sure to get there early and when Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” started blasting over the PA, the entire venue was on its feet as the scrim finally dropped, revealing the band being lowered from the rafters engulfed in smoke while tearing into “Detroit Rock City.”

In true KISS fashion, the stage production was over the top, clearly designed for larger stages than what the Shoreline had to offer. What that meant for the folks up front was likely the most intimate mega rock show that they would ever experience. The circular platform extensions on each side of the stage were literally pressed up against the seats putting those folks as close to Gene, Paul and Tommy as you could ever want (as well as providing a convenient resting place for their beer cups).

In spite of canceling a few shows due to COVID illness, Stanley and Simmons were none the worse for wear, prowling the edge of the stage and hamming it up for anyone and everyone in their view, a lucky number getting anointed with a guitar pick along the way. All the while, smoke, fire and pyro spewed forth at the back of the stage where Eric Singer held down the beat.

The “End of the Road” Tour appropriately delivered all you would expect of the band’s legacy and packaged nicely into a 2 hour over-the-top extravaganza. You got Gene breathing fire on “I Love It Loud” and and Paul zip-lining out to a small stage at the soundboard to perform “Love Gun” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” And then there were the solos … Tommy Thayer spitting pyro out of the end of his guitar, Gene being lifted high above the stage where he spat blood before banging out “God of Thunder.” Most curious, however, was Eric Singer using most of his drum solo time toweling off sweat while he doubled up on the bass drums. He did redeem himself later on during the encore when he stepped further into former drummer Peter Criss’ shoes to perform “Beth” at the piano.

For the KISS diehards, Friday’s show was the perfect send-off … predictably over the top and giving you the highlights from their storied career. For those simply curious about all the hubbub and finally getting around to seeing KISS before they’re (allegedly) gone forever, the production alone was worth the price of entry. For the more casual fan catching multiple dates over the course of this long goodbye, there was a refreshed setlist but the kitsch might be getting a little stale. Whatever your view, KISS is certainly not a band to go away quietly.

Setlist:

  • Detroit Rock City
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • Deuce
  • War Machine
  • Heaven’s on Fire
  • I Love It Loud
  • Lick It Up
  • Calling Dr. Love
  • Say Yeah
  • Cold Gin
  • Guitar Solo
  • Tears Are Falling
  • Psycho Circus
  • Drum Solo
  • 100,000 Years
  • Bass Solo
  • God of Thunder
  • Love Gun
  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You
  • Black Diamond

Encore:

  • Beth
  • Do You Love Me
  • Rock and Roll All Nite

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