KISS concluded their “End of the Road Tour” with a final performance on Saturday night (December 2nd) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, returning to the city where their journey began. If it was indeed their last show ever, the rock legends certainly went out in style.
In the days leading up to KISS’ two MSG shows, the Big Apple was besieged by an epic KISS takeover. Among the many events and activities that took place were a special light show at the Empire State Building, the declaration of an official “KISS Day” by Mayor Eric Adams, a pop-up store, complimentary KISS tattoos courtesy of Inked NYC, a “KISS Night” at a New York Rangers game, and much more.
On Saturday night, KISS took the stage one last time, preceded by an opening set from Amber Wild, a hard-rocking new band featuring Paul Stanley’s son Evan. Despite the historic nature of the show, there were no special guests or returning former members (as many fans had hoped). However, KISS did save one big surprise for the end (more on that later).
KISS stuck to the 23-song setlist they’ve been playing throughout the tour, kicking things off with “Detroit Rock City” as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act’s final Kabuki drop revealed the band descending from the rafters.
Among the many highlights were singer-bassist Gene Simmons breathing fire during “I Love It Loud”; a fireworks-enhanced guitar solo from Tommy Thayer; a dueling guitar moment between Thayer and singer-guitarist Paul Stanley during “Makin’ Love”; and, of course, Simmons spitting blood while delivering a bass solo.
At the beginning of “Love Gun,” Stanley zip-lined above the crowd to the smaller B stage, where he remained to perform “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Black Diamond” as his bandmates remained on the main stage.
KISS kicked off their three-song encore with drummer Eric Singer elevated above the ground on a grand piano to perform and sing “Beth.” Next up, “Do You Love Me,” featured huge KISS balloons raining from above, with fans playfully tossing them around.