Charles I. Guarria
I came to bury KISS, not to praise them. But...
Updated: Jan 25
Let's get this out of the way up front.
I love Kiss.
Heck, I've got Paul Stanley's rose tattoo on my left arm in the same place he does on his left arm.
However, If we are being honest, then there has to be admittance to the fact that he can't sing rock n roll anymore. This is understandable; he has been doing it for about 55 years.
It isn't sacrilege to make such a statement. Even one of the world’s biggest KISS fans, Eddie Trunk, has said it. (BTW, Paul sounds great in Soul Station.)
I love Gene Simmons, but he no longer menaces the stage except for when he spits blood. Now, he looks like your grandfather trying to be scary in a Halloween custom.
Kiss' only other farwell tour was in 2000. Believe it or not, I was hoping they meant it. I wanted the band that I hold close to my heart to be the band that stuck to their word. After all, during that tour, Gene was saying, "I mean what I say, and I say what I mean."
As it was to be, Paul gave the reasonable alibi that what he really wanted was to get Ace Frehley and Peter Criss out of the band.
But if one considers that their last three albums combined can be one good lp. Well, then maybe they should have left in 2000.
With that as context, let's move forward to Welcome to Rockville.
On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Kiss closed out the first full day of the four and half day rock festival in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The show was, as always, a phenomenal performance. No one has their showmanship. This includes Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on lead guitar. They are awesome and as much a part of KISS as Peter, Ace, Bruce Kulick, et al.
They ripped through 20 songs. Instead of listing them, I linked to them. Kiss sounds and performs amazingly well.
Of course, the opening is one of the best moments in rock n roll and the ending? Read on; I got words for that.
They mixed classics with their top 40 hits very well. Kiss has had so much commercial success songs like Forever and Dr. Love don't always make the setlist. That's a testament to their greatness.
Gene was menacing, and Paul, well, the screams are not what they were; however, his voice really isn't that bad, and he is the epitome of a rock star.
I came to bury KISS. To tell you, my fellow rock fans, that though they are the band I love dearly, it's past time to retire.
But then the tears started building during Rock n Roll All Nite. As one or two escaped my eye and ran down to my jawline, with my hands raised in the air during one of the greatest sing-along rock songs ever, I realized; I may have come to report to you that they are not what they were. But instead, I am here to say they are that and more.
They are the soul of generations; they are over-the-top goodness; for those reasons and more, I spent near a lifetime defending them from the music snobs.
They will never go away. As I will spend all my days listening to them.
I may have come to bury them, but they will live in me, forever.
I love Kiss.
Gene Simmons as KISS closed out their 90-minute set with Rock n Roll All Nite.
May 19, 2022, at Welcome to Rockville
Courtesy Kiss Twitter
As of this writing, Kiss is not scheduled to appear at this year's Welcome to Rockville.
The Promoter of Welcome to Rockville has threatened to leave Daytona Beach.
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See ya soon!