Watch KISS Announce Final Concert Ever: 'This Is The End'
March 1, 2023
During an appearance earlier today (Wednesday, March 1) on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show", KISS announced the final shows of its last tour — two back-to-back shows at Madison Square Garden in New York at the end of 2023.
The last leg of KISS's 19-date North American tour kicks off in October in Texas and culminates in the MSG concerts on December 1 and December 2.
Tickets will be available starting Monday, March 6, with a KISS Army presale at 10 a.m. local time. Additional presales will be available throughout the week before the general on sale starting on Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m. local time at livenation.com.
Speaking to "The Howard Stern Show", KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley said: "December 1st and 2nd is Madison Square Garden. Those are the last two shows of the band. We're finishing up where we started. I believe there are 17 shows before that in the States.
"Some people have kind of snickered and said, 'This 'End Of The Road' tour has gone on for years.' Yeah, we lost two and a half years to COVID," Paul explained. "We would have been done already. Yeah, this is the end.
"When you come to see the show, it's awesome," he added. "It's the most high-tech show out there, and yet it's clearly a kick-ass rock and roll show. It's not Vegas; it's not something that loses its balls, so to speak. It's everything KISS, just amped up and ramped up."
When host Howard Stern brought up the fact that Gene Simmons had previously said he will shed tears at KISS's final gig, the 73-year-old bassist/vocalist said: "Oh, I'm sure. I kid around a lot about 'men don't do that.' I'm sure I'm gonna cry like a nine-year-old girl whose foot's being stepped on.
"KISS was born on 23rd street. It's only taken us 50 years to go play the final shows 10 blocks away on 33rd street, which is Madison Square Garden," he added.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"End Of The Road" was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but has since been extended to late 2023. The trek was announced in September 2018 following a KISS performance of the band's classic song "Detroit Rock City" on "America's Got Talent".
KISS's current lineup consists of original members Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! entertainment music editor Lyndsey Parker, Stanley was asked whether he thinks it will be emotional for him to play the final KISS show. Paul said: "More so than I know. There's gonna be some tears shed, for sure.
"You've gotta remember that Gene and I started this together when I was 17 and he was 20, 21. It's 50 years later. We've lived pretty interesting lives, and we have families and children and huge sales in terms of albums and concerts. So it's a big part of who we are; it's a big part of our lives. So, that final show, yeah, that's momentous. And it's gonna hit harder than I think we know. And we know it's gonna hit hard."
Asked whether the last concert of KISS's "End Of The Road" tour will truly mark the band's final performance or if there is a chance of one-off shows or a Las Vegas residency in the future, Stanley said: "I really can't say. But it is the last of any kind of regular shows or touring.
"It's just time," he explained. "And in the same way, it's time consuming. And physically, it's grueling to do what we do. Hell, if I could go out on stage in my jeans and a t-shirt, give us another 10, 15 years easily. But what we do is a whole different sport. I mean, we're athletes; we're running around on stage with 30, 40, pounds of gear, and it's not possible to do it that much longer. So we're not like other bands.
"So, will we do more shows or one-offs? I really have no idea," Paul admitted. "But this is a real clear mindset that the touring days and doing those kind of shows, that's over."
In early 2019, Stanley told Australia's "Sunday Night" that "Rock And Roll All Nite" "has to be" the song that KISS performs as the last encore at the final concert of the "End Of The Road" tour. "That is the rock anthem that connects the world," he explained. "It was the start of other people coming up with anthems. They really didn't exist, per se. So, 'Rock And Roll All Nite And Party Every Day', that's a song that just connects with people on all different levels."
Simmons concurred, telling BUILD Series: "How do you not end with 'Rock And Roll All Nite'? We will have played that song, probably without exception, more than any other song we've ever been involved with. You might say, 'Aren't you sick and tired of hearing that?' But I will tell you the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint, there ain't nothing like it. When you hear everybody getting jazzed about that and you get off the stage... [it's] like the fire in the belly. You're dog-tired; you've just done a big show; and you get up on that stage, when you see the joy in everybody's face... We've seen it all. We've been around for generations, but when you see a little 5-year-old kid in KISS makeup on his dad's shoulders who's wearing KISS makeup, next to his father... we're badass kind of guys — nothing affects us much — but that stuff will put a lump in your throat. You have to turn around for a second. It gets me. Yes, it's music, but it's generational, and it brings families together instead of separates [sic] them."
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