KISS: THE FAREWELL TOUR
Marcus Amphitheatre. Milwaukee, WI. USA
Friday May 19th, 2000
Reviewer: Maiden Milwaukee
Note to Reader: Technically KISS isn't metal. Personally, I see them as representatives of straight up rock 'n roll (or HARD ROCK), but their influence on metal and metal bands/musicians cannot be denied. KISS' imagery, attitude and love of LOUD music, in my estimation, is metal to the core!
What can I say about the "HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD" that hasnıt been said millions of times by those fortunate enough to have been inducted into the largest active army (the KISS ARMY!) on the planet? In case you have been comatose for the last 25 years, KISS is an unprecedented cultural phenomenon that manifests itself as a living tribute to the magnificence that is ROCK 'N ROLL! KISS is an AMERICAN institution that represents the entire ROCK UNIVERSE. If aliens made contact tomorrow, I hope they set down in the lawn seat section of THE KISS FAREWELL TOUR (considering the constant stream of flash pots, flames and other assorted pyrotechnics, the audience will think that it is part of the freakin' show!). 'Cause in this one brief spectacle the aliens would understand what it means to be human. It's all there: love, loss, lust, blood, fire, sex and everything
I rolled into the show about two minutes late. Walking into the amphitheatre while KISS was halfway through DETROIT ROCK CITY (their opener) was pure excitement. I felt like I was in a movie. However, instead of a flat screen, I had 360 degrees of visual stimuli surrounding me: the cheering crowd, gigantic KISS ARMY banners swaying from the rafters and the sonic assault of KISS booming right in front of me. My girlfriend, a friend and I walked up into our bleacher seats (where the hardcore ARMY members sit!) just as DETROIT ROCK CITY came to an end. I took a deep breath (taking in the
wonderfully sweet smell that occurs when the stench of beer, weed and cigarettes combines with the cool night air), looked up into the night sky and then gazed upon the stage. The stage that would bring a close to the years I had spent dreaming about KISS LIVE and provide for an experience that would last forever in my memory.
It was a chilly Friday night in Milwaukee. At 45 degrees, it was very much below average for the end of May in Wisconsin. But the cold air was not an issue, besides KISS was going to change all that. PAUL STANLEY was sure to make everyone know that the cold was only fleeting as he shouted, "I know itıs cold out there Milwaukee! But we're gonna make it HOT!" And for a little over two hours they made it HOTTER THAN HELL!
Can you tell I liked it? I LOVED it! They sounded great, they looked great and they were full of an energy that would sap the shit out of my 27 year old body. Too young to like KISS, you say? One of my favorite Halloween costumes was when I went as GENE SIMMONS in 1979. I was 6 years old! Besides, no one is too young or too old (unless it's too loud) to like KISS!
There were a few technical difficulties. The main screen behind PETER didnıt work and PAUL wasn't able to soar over the crowd during LOVE GUN as planned, but these problems were handled gracefully and soon forgotten. They covered all the songs KISS fans expected to hear and more! Including such non-PETER and ACE rockers as LICK IT UP and HEAVEN'S ON FIRE. PETER and ACE add a real classic feel to these songs and I believe this is something every KISS fan should hear. Also included was PSYCHO CIRCUS, which to my ears is one of rock's most powerful opening title tracks! ACE had several opportunities to shine on such numbers as 2000 MAN and SHOCK ME as did GENE (blood, tongue and all) on GOD OF THUNDER. PETER had his obligatory drum solo (and BETH) and PAUL played a lovely guitar intro which led into BLACK DIAMOND. PAUL made everyone very aware of the fact that this was the last time KISS would grace a Milwaukee stage; that every song they played was the last time it would ever be heard live. This added to the overall emotional momentum of the show. By the middle of ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE (with all of the confetti and pyro only KISS can deliver), I was a little choked up. It was indeed a farewell and KISS put on the best show they had in them, which, to me, is one of the best shows one could ever hope to see.
Some people say KISS are only in it for the money, but I disagree. First of all, KISS have openly admitted that one of the reasons they are in it is for the money, thatıs no secret (and come to think of it, aren't we all "in it for the money" on a certain level?). But no one could put on a show like they do without a genuine LOVE for the FANS and the MUSIC! Some people also say that KISS is all spectacle. I say KISS is about GREAT MUSIC! They never could've gotten as far as they have, to put on the big show, if it hadn't been for the SONGS. KISS write unforgettable, timeless rock songs that haven't gotten the credit they deserve. GOD GAVE ROCK 'N ROLL TO YOU, but God also gave us four kids from New York who became THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD!