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The Tacoma Dome in Tacoma WA was packed with a sold out crowd anxiously waiting for what has been billed as KISS final tour. Scanning the audience, there were many older KISS fans who were there with their children and in some cases, they were also there with their grandchildren. This was event was surely to be a multi-generational event.
There was to be no opening act. Tonight’s event was to be all KISS. A large curtain with the iconic KISS logo was covering stage. The house lights were lowered and the famous “You Wanted the Best…You Got the Best!” intro was announced over the public address system. The band kicked the evening off with “Detroit Rock City” as Gene Simmons (bass / vocals), Paul Stanley (guitar / vocals), Tommy Thayer (guitar) were lowered from platforms from the top of the stage, with Eric Singer (drummer) behind his drum kit, perched on a platform in the center of the stage.
As the band performed, the stage was adorned with multiple video screens as visuals such as speakers, video montages of the band members throughout the band’s history, and video of each band member playing, along with huge doses of pyro, lasers and bright lights, the band played a twenty song, two hour set that spanned the bands storied 40 plus year career.
All of the theatrics that fans have come to love over the many years of KISS performances were still the staple of the band’s performance. With Simmons’ signature fire breathing during “War Machine”, as well as the blood spitting prior to “God Of Thunder”, which saw Simmons raised to the top of the lighting rig instead of flying as he had in previous years.
During “Love Gun”, Stanley had made his way over the crowd onto a miniature stage above the center of the arena that was shaped like a star in the middle and had a cat walk that allowed Stanley to walk from one side of the crowd over the next. He also stayed on this platform as the a band performed “I Was Made For Loving You”.
Singer had performed a thunderous drum solo during “100,000 Years” which saw his drum platform make its way high above the stage.
Thayer had performed an electrifying solo during “Cold Gin” which saw him shoot explosives to the lighting rig which caused even more explosions.
KISS ended their main set with “Black Diamond”, which saw all the members of the band being risen high above the stage. The house lights went dark before Singer made his way to the piano on center stage to perform “Beth”, which at the conclusion of the song saw the rest of the band making their way back on to the stage to perform “Do You Love Me” before concluding the evening with “Rock and Roll All Night” in which the arena was filled with confetti during the duration of the song. Simmons and Thayer were on platforms that made their way out and over the crowd. The end of the song saw Stanley smashing one his guitars on the stage before the band exited the stage for the final time with “KISS LOVES YOU TACOMA” displayed on the screens that were left, center and right of the stage.
The band sounded incredible and the musicianship was on point. The only drawback was Stanley couldn’t hit those higher notes and Simmons sounded a little rough, but for their age and the decades of touring and performing live, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise .
The song selection was very good, as the band tried to best represent their history, albeit some of the songs were surprises such as “Say Yeah” and “Hide Your Heart”.
Will this truly be the end of the road and the last time that KISS performs in the Tacoma or Seattle area? That has to be seen. But if it was indeed their last performance, they went out will all guns a blazing and put on one incredible show.
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Heaven’s on Fire
Lick It Up (with ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’… more )
100,000 Years (with drum solo)
God of Thunder
Cold Gin (with guitar solo)
I Love It Loud
Hide Your Heart
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
Love Gun (Paul on stage over crowd)
I Was Made for Lovin’ You (Paul on stage over crowd)
Beth (Eric Singer on piano)
Do You Love Me
Rock and Roll All Nite
Song played from tape
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II