End of the Road Tour 2019
Darien Lake Amphitheater
Darien Center, NY
Friday August 23, 2019
Review: John Smith
Kiss brought all the glitz and glamour of their End of the Road tour to Darien Center Friday night. Pulling out all the usual Kiss effects, gizmos and other over-the-top enhancements the band is known for they proceeded to leave with all guns blazing. Was this the best Kiss show in the bands 45-year history? No but they spared no expense to make sure they gave the Kiss Army one final show to remember. The show was a celebration with their fans, essentially a victory lap so-to-speak.
The show began with “Detroit Rock City” the song the band has opened up with more than any other. It is the definitive opener for the band. “Shout It Out Loud” followed and with a one-two punch like that the band continued to pour it on with “Deuce”, the powerful “I Love It Loud” and the surprise song of the night “Heaven’s On Fire”. “Heaven’s On Fire” is an interesting Kiss song. Taken from the 1984 Animalize album, it was the one song you would always expect to be in a set list but for whatever reason is hardly played much.
You knew at some point during the show you would be due for a letdown. Although it didn’t come until about the half-way point of the show, there seemed to be a lag once “100,000 Years” came on. Perhaps this was due to the extended version of the song which also featured drummer Eric Singer’s solo, I’m not sure.
The show did pick up speed as singer Paul Stanley came out in the crowd to perform on a platform near the rear of the venue. This was where Stanley played the Kiss classics “Love Gun” and the disco flavored “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.
As Stanley glided back to the main-stage on his rig, the band ended with “Black Diamond”, a song that the band has played since day one.
As the band left the stage the fans knew they would be back. When the lights came back on there was a piano at the front of the stage which could only mean one thing, time for the highest charting song of the band’s career “Beth”. Singer took a seat at the piano and sang the song like original drummer Peter Criss used to. Up next was “Crazy Crazy Nights” which recently was added back in to the set following their first U.S. run earlier this year.
“Rock and Roll All Nite” is clearly the one song that defined the band and has closed out nearly every Kiss show since it was recorded back in 1975. As the band ended with it many memories and things went through my head. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you may miss something such as a Kiss concert. As the confetti and streamers flew one thing stood out, there is simply no band like Kiss.
Throughout the band’s history even during the bleak times the band was able to persevere and look where they ended up today. Celebrating an end to a job well done. That job was not only making great music but giving the fans pure enjoyment and entertainment. Many of today’s bands still do not get it. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a vision and were able to carry it with them right to the end. While it may be the end of the road for Kiss playing live, the spirit of the band and its strong connection to their fans will live on forever.
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End Of the Road Set List
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
I Love It Loud
Heaven’s on Fire
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
God of Thunder
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Crazy Crazy Nights
Rock and Roll All Nite
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II (Tape)
Set List Positives- Heaven’s On Fire, Crazy Crazy Nights and Say Yeah
Negatives- 100,000 years, God Of Thunder and a lackluster War Machine (really missed the drumming of Eric Carr on this one Singer was good but this song not so much)
When a band has as many songs and albums as KISS does there is no perfect set list to please everyone. Best KISS show in quite some time.
Set List- B-
Overall Grade of show A-