Kiss said farewell to Phoenix with a two-hour show that started with the crowd chanting the legendary rock band’s name.
Sparks flew, flames rose and pyrotechnics took over the Gila River Arena stage on February 13. But what else should we expect?
Kiss played a retrospective of hits, from “Shout It Out Loud” to “Heaven’s on Fire,” reminding fans why they, indeed, are rock gods.
Drenched in face makeup, the four musicians dazzled. Paul Stanley’s black pants and vest shimmered so prominently that he could be seen from the rafters.
Gene Simmons kept court in his shoulder-spiked-suit of armor and demon “Destroyer” boots. With his white lightning Les Paul, Tommy Thayer was in an out-of-this-world embellished black suit with lightning bolts and Eric Singer beat his drums in a low-cut studded shirt with leather pants.
The concert was detail oriented to the last spike, from the stage consistently changed colors, to the vertebrae on the mic stand, to the nonstop pyrotechnics so intense we could feel the heat from the fireballs.
In between each song, Stanley engaged with the crowd. It’s a difficult part of being a performer, but he mastered the art.
“The Kiss Army are leaders not followers,” said Stanley with his tousled hair.
“How many people here believe in rock ‘n’ roll?” Stanley shouted.
The sound of sirens overtook the venue and the crowd hollered and threw devil horns as Simmons delved into his classic fire-spitting act. After all, what would Kiss be without a little blood? The lights went black and Simmons appeared bathed in a green spotlight, looking at the crowd like he demanded respect from the Kiss army. “Blood” oozed from his mouth onto his armor as the backdrop raged like a storm. The stage riser flashed like lightning. Simmons’ platform raised to the ceiling and he belted “God of Thunder,” while spitting blood.
Stanley made sure everyone in the venue could eye him. He grabbed a cord and rode a metal ring across the venue.
“This is a cool place to be because I can see Kiss from here,” he joked. “Here’s one. It’s the biggest international hit we have ever had.” He was referring to “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” which the crowd enjoyed as disco balls blinded the venue.
It wasn’t all about being showy. Singer romanced the crowd with “Beth” on a crystal-encrusted piano, while the group somberly stood by him.
The show ended with a literal bang of red, white and blue confetti, which covered the venue. Balls of fire and sparks shot from the stage as Kiss performed “Rock & Roll All Nite.”
Stanley kissed his guitar before sacrificing it in the name of rock ‘n’ roll during Kiss’ final “goodbye” to Arizona.
“Doesn’t matter when you get to the party, it just matters that you go to the party,” Stanley said.
(Scroll beyond the setlist to see photos by staff photographer Kimberly Carrillo)
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Heaven’s On Fire
Lick It Up
God of Thunder
I Love It Loud
Hide Your Heart
Let Me GO, Rock ’N’ Roll
I Was Made For Lovin’ You
Do You Love Me
Rock and Roll All Nite