Dortmund (AFP) – Gene Simmons’ latest run with Kiss stirs up mixed feelings. “I am equally happy and sad,” the bassist and singer of the legendary American hard rock band tells dpa, shortly before the start of the first concert of the European Tour in Dortmund.
“You have to know when you come off the stage. And we have a lot of respect for ourselves and the fans for staying on stage for so long.”
It’s only after 9:00 p.m. when the batteries for Westfalenhalle 1 speakers sold by the pound start. Well, Dortmund! To the cheers of 11,500 fans, many in Kiss T-shirts, the famous words echoed by speakers before every Kiss concert: “I wanted the best, I got the best,” the bear roars. Fanatic “The World’s Hottest Squad: Kiss!”
fireworks and flames
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 are taken down on platforms as they play their smash hit in 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.
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 in an interview with the German news agency (dpa). “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.”
The schedule has been revised due to Corona
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 famous for his long tongue and spitting (artificial) fire and blood during the party. “We can’t play in every city in the world, it takes a long time. But maybe another year of touring and then we’ll stop. We’ll only do it when we’re still good.”
Rock music at its best
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, there are classics such as “Shout It Out Loud,” “Lick It Up,” or “Calling Dr. Love” roared particularly loudly along. To “Love Gun” Stanley glides over the audience on a tightrope. Stage in the middle 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? “Obviously the crowd and camaraderie between us and our fans,” Stanley says. “There is nothing to compare.” Simmons will also miss the audience, according to his statement. “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.”
At the end of the national anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite”
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 awesome 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 girl.”