Farewell approaching in Dortmund
The kiss you want to know one last time
06/02/2022 at 2:00 pm
The farewell kiss tour has been going on for several years now. But the band is slowly approaching the final stage, which is scheduled for October. “I’d cry like a 12-year-old,” singer Gene Simmons says. But at first Dortmund became unsafe.
Gene Simmons has mixed feelings about his latest run with Kiss. “I am equally happy and sad,” says the guitarist and singer of the legendary American hard rock band, shortly before the start of the first concert of the European Tour in Dortmund. “You have to know when you’re off stage. And we have a lot of respect for ourselves and the fans for staying on stage for so long.”
It’s only after 9 p.m. when the batteries in the speakers on the sold-out Westfalenhalle 1 begin to fall off. “Okay Dortmund!” To the cheers of 11,500 fans, many of them wearing Kiss T-shirts, the famous words that rang out from speakers before every Kiss concert: “I wanted the best, I got the best,” the fanatic roars in a downward voice, the “hottest” band in the world: Kiss! “
The explosion was loud, and the curtain with the band’s logo fell – then Simmons, participant and guitarist Paul Stanley and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer fell on stage. Under a barrage of fireworks, they were lowered onto platforms while performing their smash hit “Detroit Rock City”. Drummer Eric Singer drums on a lift platform. Jets of flame are rising. Excessive use of fireworks and bonfires is standard at Kiss parties.
“It’s a celebration”
The band is clearly having fun in Dortmund, where they first performed in 1980 and are now playing for the sixth time, according to Stanley aka “Starchild”. The 70-year-old is surprisingly good at voice. “We are having a great time,” he said enthusiastically. “It’s not a funeral, it’s a celebration.” However, the singer understands that after almost 50 years it will soon be over. “I’m sure it will be more realistic as we get closer to the end.”
Kiss had already bid farewell to German fans on his “End of the Road” tour in 2019. When the world tour had to be halted for a year and a half due to the pandemic, the schedule was revised and more concerts were added in Europe. In the coming weeks, Kiss will be showing in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
According to Simmons, promoters, friends, and fans have complained. “They said: ‘You didn’t play in Dortmund, you have to come here!'” , said the 72-year-old, who was notorious for his long tongue and spitting out fire and (artificial) blood during the ceremony. “We can’t play in every city in the world, it takes a long time. But maybe we’ll have another year on the road and then we’ll stop. We’ll only do it while we’re still good.”
“There is no such feeling”
At the start of the nearly two-month European tour, the New Yorkers, who will celebrate their band’s 50th anniversary next year, were at their best. In addition to the opening song, classics such as “Shout It Loud,” “Lick It Up,” or “Calling Dr. Love” are sung out loud. To “Love Gun” Stanley glides over the audience on a tightrope. On a platform in the middle of the inside, he also sang his band’s big disco song, “I’m Made to Love You.”
What will you miss with a kiss when the round is over? “Of course the audience and the camaraderie between us and our fans,” Stanley says. “There is nothing like it.” According to Simmons, the audience will also be missing out. “When you’re on stage, you can almost understand why someone would want to be the pope,” jokes the 72-year-old. “There is no such feeling.”
After three songs and a total of 23 songs, the concert in Dortmund ends as usual with the song “Rock And Roll All Nite”. Confetti fall into thousands of beer mugs as fans sing enthusiastically. “Kiss loves you Dortmund” is written on the big screens.
If the schedule doesn’t change anymore, Kiss will play her last concert in October in Sacramento, California. Even the cool Gene Simmons, aka “The Devil,” would come close. “It’s going to be very emotional on the last day,” the rocker admits. “I will cry like a twelve-year-old.”