In the wake of the 1960s psychedelic and art rock scenes that grew out of the United Kingdom, a new trend emerged: glam rock. The likes of Marc Bolan (and his band T-Rex), and David Bowie pioneered the genre. Around the same time, the heavy metal scene was also exploding following the success of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, who were all formed in 1968.
The UK scene had a big influence on the US music scene, so it was no surprise when American bands began to embrace these new genres. Rather than copying their UK counterparts, the American bands put their own spin on the music. None more so than Kiss, who are about to embark on their last ever live tour.
The band were formed in New York in 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. They shook up the heavy rock scene with face paint, outrageous costumes, and over-the-top stage performances. As they grew more famous, their stage shows became more elaborate, featuring fire, fake blood, and pyrotechnics to impress their stadium audiences.
Kiss’s biggest influence on the music business came from the way they marketed their brand. Each band member had their own signature make-up style, and this transferred well to merchandising. They took concert sales to new levels with a range of innovative goods that went far beyond t-shirts and scarves. This helped to cover the huge costs of their live shows and was replicated by bands all over the globe. Kiss products include their own edition of Monopoly, action figures based on the band members, and even a slot game called KISS Reels of Rock, which is still available at many online casinos in the UK, such as Casino Lab. The band still hosts a website that sells a huge range of Kiss products. All of this helps to keep the band relevant 50 years after they formed and will extend their legacy long after they stop touring.
The Final Tour
Kiss’s epic final tour, dubbed “One Last Kiss: End of The Road World Tour,” began in 2019 and is set to continue until at least October 2022, with more dates to be added. It marks the last ever chance for fans to see the band live. The last ever gig is expected to take place in New York at some point in 2023. Only Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons remain from the original lineup, but drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer have both been involved for 20 years or more.
Over the years, the band has released 24 studio albums and completed over 30 world tours. The current tour is the biggest and most explosive the band has ever done and is the culmination of nearly 50 years of writing and performing.
Although the band has insisted this will be their last ever show, it should be remembered that they also played a 142-gig farewell tour back in 2000/01. But with the two original members now in their 70s, you must believe that this time they mean it.