By Allen Kiger – Sights N Sounds
When the lights go dim and Led Zeppelin’s song “Rock and Roll” begins playing, you know you are about to hear Gene Simmons voice say. “Alright Indianapolis! You wanted the best. You got the best. The hottest band in the world, KISS.” The curtain covering the stage drops and KISS leads into their first hard hitting songs “Detroit Rock City,” and “Shout It Out Loud.”
Fortunately for KISS fans, the band made a stop in Indianapolis at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on November 25th as part of their The End Of The Road World Tour. KISS was making the rounds with their final 50 shows, celebrating their 50 years of music. The show had all of the elements that make up a classic KISS show: traditional KISS costumes, fire, explosions, a laser light show and founding member, Gene Simmons, breathing fire and spitting blood.
KISS is the band that I would say took concerts to the next level by making it the biggest show you could see, always on the cutting edge with pyrotechnics, lifts, and zip lines. During the concert I found myself immersed in the memory of seeing KISS for the first time back in 1984 at Market Square Arena.
Another founding member of KISS, Paul Stanley, talked to the crowd throughout the evening and introduced most of the songs. The many hits included “Deuce,” “Heaven’s on Fire,” “I Love It Loud,” and “Cold Gin.” Also in the musical lineup was “Lick It Up” that includes a middle section of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” from The Who. Next was “Calling Dr. Love” and “Psycho Circus” including dueling guitar solos by Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer.
During the show, Gene Simmons was on a platform that took him nearly to the very top of Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Soon after that Paul asked the audience if they wanted him to visit them by getting the crowd to cheer for him while he zip lined to another stage at the other end of the Fieldhouse. Paul had the crowd energized and one of the songs KISS played while on two stages was “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” Paul returned to the main stage for the band’s final song “Black Diamond.” KISS then left the stage but returned for an emotional encore that included a piano rising up from the stage featuring drummer Eric Singer who played the piano and performed lead vocals on “Beth.” The last two songs “Do You Love Me” and “Rock and Roll all Nite” wrapped up the 27th and final appearance in Indianapolis for KISS.
KISS is a band that will be truly missed. Arena after arena cheering them to play the hits have made KISS one of the most famous bands of all time. It was my third time to have seen KISS but it was my wife’s first time seeing the band. Thousands left Gainbridge Fieldhouse knowing it wasn’t just the last time the band would visit Indianapolis but with only just a few shows left, it is the “End of the Road,” an end to a musical era. KISS helped shape arena concerts and to them we will always be thankful.
I’m thankful to Live Nation and to KISS for allowing me the pleasure to attend one of the greatest shows I have seen.