A Spectacular Evening with Mixed Emotions for Kiss Fans
Merely two tracks into their performance, the iconic rock ensemble Kiss encountered jeers from the packed venue at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on a recent Friday evening. This reaction was not a critique of their show, which was as grandiose and flamboyant as one would anticipate from Kiss’s half-century of touring. The spectacle commenced with “Detroit Rock City,” unveiling Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Tommy Thayer on elevated platforms, surrounded by pyrotechnics, while Eric Singer was encircled by jets of flame.
The performance of “Shout It Loud” was a visual feast, with lasers and fireworks complementing the vibrant presence of the band members, each embodying their iconic personas. The audience was fully engaged, with no grievances, until Stanley’s announcement that this would be their final Los Angeles performance, sparking a wave of boos and protests from the crowd. Despite this being their third farewell tour appearance in five years, the finality seemed more palpable given Stanley’s and Simmons’s ages.
Fans like David and Judy Flores, who dressed as Kiss members and have attended multiple shows on this tour, expressed a mix of hope and resignation, wishing for the band’s continuation in some form. Onstage, Stanley attempted to uplift the crowd, emphasizing the celebration of their collective journey with the Kiss Army.
The concert continued with a setlist of 22 songs, delivering fan favorites and some newer tracks. The show’s theatrics were consistent with previous performances, including Thayer’s guitar solo battling against video screens and Simmons’s fire-breathing antics. The band’s comic book-like showmanship was on full display, delighting first-timers and long-time fans alike.
Despite a slight dip in energy with extended solos and lesser-known songs, the concert concluded on a high note. Stanley soared over the audience on a zipline, and the encore featured Singer’s rendition of “Beth” and the quintessential Kiss anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite,” culminating in a confetti and streamer-filled finale.
As the night concluded with an impressive fireworks display, the band’s departure left a lingering question of finality, with the possibility that this spectacle at the Hollywood Bowl might indeed be Kiss’s last hurrah in Los Angeles.