Kiss: years of circus – La Tercera

The world is a very different place since Kiss broke through nearly half a century ago defaced and disguised as comic book characters., spitting blood, filling the stage with smoke and flames with the giant logo behind it, an essential kit to sing about rocking and partying every day. Last night, on the first date of their farewell tour End of the road at the Movistar Arena, a sold-out show that is repeated today, they were supported by Frank ‘s White Canvas, the proudly lesbian Chilean rock duo, an unlikely company in the past millennium for the authors of lick it up, accused more than once of being misogynists. Perhaps rock is not as dead as Gene Simmons repeats for years. The bands no longer move between mansions and limousines -especially when your band is Kiss, inventors of large-scale merchandising for the rocker public-, but they evolve and convince like the national number did in the previous one.

Minutes from the start, scenes of hugs and handshakes are repeated between old gray-haired friends wearing shirts with covers of classics like destroyer (1976). They look smiling and ready to sing for the last time the hymns of childhood and adolescence, when Kiss was a worldwide phenomenon followed by millions of children and young people copying the makeup of those musicians who at the peak of their fame mortified anonymity, eager to be recognized by their true faces, a paradoxical drama within the tremendous success achieved towards the end of the 70s.

Kiss’s first time in Santiago in 1994 at the Mapocho Station, hard years for the group trying to fit in with the grunge tide as veterans, they brought a half show. On this, his sixth visit, the show is monumental and basically the same as it was seven years ago at the Bicentennial Stadium in Florida, half rock concert, half circus act.

Kiss’s script is old school, imbued with the spirit of masters of musical entertainment like James Brown, and the great stars of soul and funk in general. Paul Stanley officiates as a reverend capable of asking as many times as necessary if we are having a good time. To each answer he replies that he does not listen and asks again until he achieves a huge scream. At 70 years old, Stanley Bert Eisen looked in better vocal condition than the latest records available on Youtube, of this long farewell tour interrupted by the pandemic. Starchild remains synonymous with guaranteed spectacle, still athletic. That makeup that prevented him from full fame now hides the passage of time playing in his favor.

Gene Simmons performs the same number decades ago with great success, why change. He spits fire, climbs onto a platform that raises him to the ceiling, executing a dubious bass solo, while prop blood runs from his mouth. One of a kind rock and circus kind of him, The Demon drags his heavy armor with the charm of always.

The roles of Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums are assumed in this final stage of Kiss, if they definitely retire because you never know in showbiz, in a combination of musicians and performers mimicking the manners of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the partying original members who always short-circuited the leaders. Thayer replicates that fiery New York guitar sound Ace patented by influencing a generation of successful musicians in the ’90s alternative nation, from Dimebag Darrell to Tom Morello. Singer practically mimics El Gato: he uses a similar battery, chews gum with the same self-confidence, sings, harmonizes, and dispatches a discreet solo, far below his possibilities, but in tune with the years of the original lineup. .

The song list is not wrong. Five cuts are from destroyerthere are the eighties hits like Heaven’s on firethe power ballad Bethand the inescapable success I was made for lovin’ you, the best mix of disco and hard rock in history. Balloons with the band’s logo fall, the cotillion explodes, the flames light up the stage throwing waves of heat towards the public. Kiss say goodbye in a big way, true to their style of total fun no matter what.