KISS (Live) – The End Of The Road – A Personal Journey – Part II

KISS (Live at The Hydro, Glasgow, U.K., July 8, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It just had to be done. Just one more time. The lure of catching the self-styled “Hottest Band In The World” on the last night of their UK tour as part of their End Of The Road Farewell Tour was just too much to resist.

Sure, I thought I’d been here before back in 2019 in the same venue but as fate would have it a worldwide pandemic halted the tour in its tracks along with everyone else’s. Once that was over and live music returned, those postponed shows were rebooked along with a whole raft of added dates to satiate demand and so a second round of European shows was added to the final strait of the Farewell Tour including a handful in the UK.

Having seen the show in Newcastle back in June there’s no need to do a re-run of that review which can be seen here. Instead this will be more of a personal journey that ended on a rain swept night in Glasgow up in bonny Scotland.

After discovering a copy of Alive II in my sister’s record collection back in 1979, all it took to change my musical life was the opening riff to “I Stole Your Love” on Side 3 – nothing was ever quite the same again. So began a journey that started 44 years ago, has taken in multiple shows starting with the “Lick It Up” tour in 1983 and has ended up tonight at the Hydro in Glasgow. Tonight was certainly one of mixed feelings.

Who would possibly fail to be impressed by the legendary battle cry of “You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world….KISS!!!!” followed by a cataclysmic eruption of flames, explosions and smoke as the band descended from the rafters on platforms spewing showers of sparks to “Detroit Rock City.”

That pretty much set the tone for an evening of fire and brimstone Rock‘n’Roll mayhem that saw bassist Gene Simmons breath fire, spit blood and sing “God of Thunder” from the top of the lighting rig. Elsewhere guitarist Tommy Thayer fired rockets from his guitar, blowing up a few of the octagonal platforms in the rafters in the process. Drummer Eric Singer was raised high into the air surrounded by smoke and sparkling Catherine Wheels while frontman Paul Stanley directed everything with exuberance and classic cheesy patter, even flying out over the audience to perform “Love Gun” and “Black Diamond” from a small stage in the middle on the enormous arena.

The setlist remained the same as that in Newcastle except for the exclusion of “Do You Love Me” but there seemed a load more pyro – maybe they were getting rid of as much as possible before leaving the UK shores. The addition of the giant, inflatable KISS statues flanking the stage was also a new addition since that earlier show.

Of course, the end had to come and what better way to go out than with the Rock ‘n’ Roll national anthem itself, “Rock and roll All Nite” complete with confetti blizzard, a streamer storm and a ton of pyro all while Simmons, Thayer and Singer were hoisted high into the air as Stanley smashed his guitar to smithereens.

And then it was over. Feelings were mixed, part sadness that this was the last time but part elation at the sheer scale and spectacle of the show. What a show and what a way to bring it all to an end. Thanks for a lifetime of music and memories. The end of the road has been reached but it’s been quite a ride along the way with the Hottest Band In The World.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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