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Review & Photos: Cleveland gets one last KISS goodbye

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications
For fifty years the one and only KISS have entertained with definitive rock ‘n’ roll and a phenomenal shock-glam live show production that leaves newcomers never forgetting their first KISS concert, inevitably making them KISS concert veterans that return time and time again—the legendary band made a stop last night at a packed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in  Cleveland (this their 28th show in The Land) as part of the last leg of their final tour ever: End Of The Road Tour.

The day prior, KISS was presented as a Music Keynote to Cleveland with a proclamation that declared Oct. 22, 2023 as KISS Day.

Paul Stanley (the Starchild), Gene Simmons (the Demon), Eric Singer, who is a Euclid native, and Tommy Thayer went out with a bang to deliver an unforgettable two-hour performance with all their trademarks: the makeup, the wardrobe, the realistic fake blood, the tongue, the extensive explosive pyro, the fire breathing, the zip line, and of course the talent filled solos.

Stanley told the cheering crowd, “I remember playing Cleveland and nobody knew who we were. We cannot thank you enough for staying with us, you are the KISS Army!”

Their was never a dull moment as the band members moved across the stage, lugging their heavy outfits and boots, stepping without strain while making animated gestures and motions.

The overall musicianship and camaraderie of the four rockers—most in their 70s—is admirable and the band’s youthful energy and endurance is inspiring.

The extensive setlist focused on catchy hits from their 1974 self-titled debut as well as 1976’s Destroyer, but they didn’t leave out “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “War Machine” (which had massive pyro),  “I Love It Loud,” “Say Yeah,” “Rock and Roll All Nite” and others.

It was a farewell to remember; fans wanted the best and they got the best. This remarkable chapter of rock-and-roll history concludes, but the legacy will live on through the mass amount of musicians, artists and fans influenced by the one and only KISS. 

KISS (click photos to enlarge)