You wanted the best; you got the best. After waiting three years, the hottest band in the world, KISS, took the stage in West Valley City, Utah, on September 22, 2021, at USANA Amphitheatre. The show had been rescheduled originally because of a medical procedure that Bassist Gene Simmons needed. The show was rescheduled yet again in 2020 and finally took place on the first day of fall.
The show opened to the epic “Detroit Rock City” and was accompanied by pyrotechnics that seemed to singe hair all the way into the crowd. Gene came out with his quintessential tongue fluttering for the masses. Paul Stanley appeared with his trademark white face paint and black star. KISS then broke into “Shout It Out Loud.” Tommy Thayer dazzled the crowd as “The Spaceman” with his guitar work. KISS then broke into “Deuce” with a vengeance. As the show continued, songs would appear that may not have been known by the passive KISS fan. One of them was a thundering rendition of “War Machine” from Creatures of the Night. When it comes to KISS’s extensive library, I am familiar with almost all of it. Having an older cousin or sibling helps you become a part of the Army at an earlier age. Though, most of my favorites are from the 80’s KISS collection. So, when the opening riff to “Heaven’s on Fire” began, my excitement grew a little more. “Lick It Up” followed soon after, and memories of staying up late on the weekend to watch “Friday Night Videos” rushed through my head.
As the set continued, Tommy took over the stage for an epic guitar solo. Two more songs from the ’80s and ’90s followed. They were “Tears Are Falling” and “Psycho Circus.” Next would be the hair-raising drum solo of Eric Singer. His kit would elevate some 40 feet in the air as he played. Soon after, it would be Gene’s turn to thump the bass, spit blood, and elevate himself for a solo that eventually transitioned into “God Of Thunder.”
Not to be outdone by the others, Paul launched himself on a cable into the middle of the crowd. He stayed out on his platform for two songs before returning to the stage for the final song, “Black Diamond.”
With an encore inevitable, things slowed down for “Beth” but then sped back up for “Do You Love Me.” Finally was the KISS anthem we had all been waiting to hear, “Rock and Roll All Nite.” Fireworks would accompany it from the stage, along with cannons full of paper machete.
The show was extraordinarily special for me as I was able to pass down my love for KISS to my daughter, who accompanied the show with me just as my cousin passed his love for KISS down to me some 40 years ago. Who would have ever thought that one band could transcend to so many generations?
The End of The Road World Tour continues all over the United States throughout 2021. It is a show to see before it is gone forever.