KISS Scorches Chicago In Final End Of The Road Concert [REVIEW]
Review By: Dennis M. Kelly – Photos © 2023 by: Edward Marshall, Allstate Arena
Photos © 2023 by: Edward Marshall, Allstate Arena
It may have been cold outside, but it was Hotter Than Hell in the Allstate Arena!
Rosemont, IL – Woo! Something that was screamed frequently last night, both by Paul Stanley (Singer/Rhythm Guitarist) and the over 18,000 fans experiencing an amazing career-spanning concert filled with lasers, pyrotechnics, blood-spitting, fire-breathing, and incredibly solid, great Rock-N-Roll. Phenomenal is a word that came to my mind in describing the show. Nobody went home disappointed, that is for sure!
KISS has given us a lot of great Rock-N-Roll and performed for over five decades. Now let’s let that sink in for a moment, fifty years of KISS Rock-N-Roll that have moved fans in one way or another throughout our lives.
Even if you were never a fan, their music has infiltrated the lives of millions globally from very early on in their career. A good case in point happened in 1974 when head coach Dave Brines of the Cadillac High School football team empowered Jim Neff to play KISS music for the team as inspiration, and they employed song titles in their playbook, which paved the way for them to win their final seven games.
The following year, the band performed at the Cadillac High School homecoming in Cadillac, Michigan which literally transformed the entire town, with town officials even wearing KISS makeup. KISS was driven in a parade down KISS Blvd. The entire town became known as KISStown, USA. There is even a monument to the band standing to this day.
This same kind of transformation took place in the ears and hearts of their fans across the globe lovingly called, their KISS Army. The formation of the KISS Army was one of the many facets of the band’s early successes, great merchandising, a completely original image, strong and consistent branding, producing great Rock music and delivering it better than any other band literally in the world in a way, no one else [could] deliver it.
Throughout these fifty years, there were high and (very) low points in the band’s career, but KISS has adapted to the times and the new generations of their KISS Army that continued to love and support them. All of this has led to this night, last night, here at Allstate Arena in Rosemont…
Los Angeles band Amber Wild performed a great yet short, thirty-minute set with many in the crowd already screaming and enjoying their music. You may recognize one of the members of the band, that is because he, Evan Stanley, is Paul Stanley’s son who launched the band in January of this year. For such a young band, their stage presence, and sounds were incredibly polished.
The other members of the band are, Marshall Via on guitar, Jake Massanari on Bass, and Thomas Lowrey on the thunderous drums. This is a band to watch out for, check out their song, ‘Breakout’ here:
If you like what you hear, follow them on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/amberwildband/
On both sides of the stage were inflatable statues of the band members, with screens in the shape of their KISS Army logo next to them, very cool, I might add. The front of the stage was draped with a black curtain with the KISS logo on it, and when the sounds of ‘Detroit Rock City’ hit the audience, so did the shock of the massive explosions, fireworks, and flames as they were lowered down on platforms; this was the start of a childhood dream full-filling show.
Everything you can imagine about a KISS show was presented in full, every aspect of the visual and sonic experience was in full use, including (as mentioned above), an incredible light and laser show, flames & fireworks, an alien invasion battle with Tommy Thayer, (Lead Guitarist/Backing Vocals) of the band, confetti, KISS balloons, and so much more. It was an overload of the senses, for sure, but in the best possible way!
Everything you’ve come to expect from KISS was also delivered last night, great showmanship and stage presence, frequent audience interactions, and still performing their songs perfectly, especially when you take into account that Gene Simmons (Bassist/Vocals) and Paul Stanley are both seventy-four years old and have still been rocking out like they’re in their twenties. With Eric Singer (Drums/Vocals) at age sixty-five, and a young Tommy Thayer at only sixty-three years old. It makes their concerts even more impressive!
There was something different for fans at every point of the show, and whether you loved the older ’70s KISS (Klassic) songs or the more recent songs, their setlist contained a great mix of songs to please all fans. The set list was adjusted a bit since the last time they were here in 2021 by substituting ‘Tears Are Falling’ with the song, ‘Making Love’ off of “Rock And Roll Over,” in which the screen behind them featured an animated version of the iconic cover while still showing video of them interspersed through it.
Ticket prices were also very reasonable given the high-quality show KISS brings, ranging from $100 – $1700 on resale. While I’d never recommend spending $1700 dollars, $200 seats still offered fans great views at Allstate Arena.
And now, it all has sadly come to the end of the road, with only three dates remaining on the tour, the last of which is a Pay Per View event (see the video above).
As a big-time KISS fan growing up, I never had the chance to see their shows, but the show last night easily made up for that and then some! Consider these childhood KISS-fan dreams – fully satisfied!
KISS End Of The Road World Tour Setlist:
1. Detroit Rock City
2. Shout It Out Loud
4. War Machine
5. Heaven’s On Fire
6. I Love It Loud
(end of Firehouse / Gene breathes fire)
7. Say Yeah
8. Cold Gin
(Tommy Thayer alien battle guitar solo)
9. Lick It Up
10. Calling Dr. Love
11. Makin’ Love
Guitar solo duo Tommy/Paul
12. Psycho Circus – Explosions
(Drum solo / 100,000 years outro)
13. God of Thunder
14. Love Gun
15. I Was Made For Loving You
16. Black Diamond
18. Do You Love Me
19. Rock And Roll All Nite
Read more reviews here!
KISS End Of The Road World Tour – Remaining Dates:
Nov 29 – CFG BANK ARENA – Baltimore, MD
Dec 1 – MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – New York, NY
Dec 2 – MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – New York, NY