KISS returns to stage for their final ‘End of the Road’ World Tour


Michael photo courtesy of Michael Christopher, UCR

KISS returns for the stage for their final tour.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

For decades, the phrase, “You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS!”has been used to introduce one of the world’s hardest rock groups prior to each of their concerts.  This phrase is mainly used to pump up the crowd before the four masked men start the show, and it is absolutely deserved. KISS, known for their unique makeup designs and elaborate stage acts, have been behind hits like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock City” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” as well as many others that evoke the “Oh, I’ve heard that song a thousand times, but have never known the title” sense. Now with 50 years of experience under their belt, KISS is officially hanging up their cleats, or rather, platform boots, after announcing on the Howard Stern Show the group’s intentions to retire following the conclusion of the “End of the Road” world tour, which began in January of 2019. 



Despite a recent four-month touring hiatus, KISS hit the road again on April 12 beginning their final trip through South America. After a one-off show in Columbus on May 27, KISS will begin their penultimate leg of the tour in Europe this June before heading back to North America in October for the final stretch. Being from the “Big Apple,” it’s only right that KISS’s last two performances are set for Dec. 1 and 2 at New York City’s hallowed Madison Square Garden. 



One notable aspect of the tour is that Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the original “Spaceman” and “Catman,” respectively, have not been asked to return to the group for an official farewell. Frehley and Criss have been in and out of KISS multiple times each with their most recent stints coming in the early-2000s. Potential disputes over management or terminations of contracts have led to their departures. The two have since been replaced by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, who now perform under Frehley and Criss’ original makeup concepts. This changing of the guard has led to two camps to form within the KISS fanbase, with one side preferring the original members to come back for their farewell tour and the other pleased with the band’s decision to move on. 



Any hope for the former camp’s wish to come true may have to hold off for some time, as Paul Stanley (the “Starchild”) and Gene Simmons (the blood-spitting “Demon”), the two original members who have remained with KISS throughout its entire lifespan, have largely dismissed the idea of Frehley and Criss coming back. Stanley even went on to describe a potential reunion of the four founding members as “PISS, not KISS” on the aforementioned Howard Stern Show appearance. While Criss has remained mum about this comment and the prospect of a reunion as a whole, Frehley and Stanley engaged in a recent threat-filled spat because of it. Seeing the relationships between original members deteriorate as time goes by is a sad sight, but some still hold out hope that Stanley, Simmons, Frehley and Criss can put their differences aside before KISS ends for good.