Kiss’ 1975 breakthrough live album, Alive!, starts with a bold proclamation: “You wanted the best, and you got it—the hottest band in the land!” In the hands of other acts, such an announcement would be considered over-the-top braggadocio. But since emerging from New York City in the early '70s, Kiss have backed up each and every one of their hyperbolic statements with hard-rockin’ receipts. That’s largely due to the efforts of the group’s Lennon and McCartney, vocalist/bassist Gene Simmons and vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley, who pair flamboyant stage makeup and space-age costumes with brilliant songs. Their early sound—a formidable combination of bluesy heavy metal and glittery glam pop—gave way to power ballads (“Beth”), disco jams (“I Was Made for Lovin’ You”), glossy MTV rock (“Tears Are Falling”) and even polarising prog (1981’s sprawling Music from “The Elder” LP). And though their music (and their lineup) has changed across the decades, the overall Kiss experience has remained remarkably consistent. It’s not just that the band had the foresight to copyright their elaborate face makeup—they’re marketing wizards who transformed iconic looks into an eternally cool global brand. But Kiss also have high standards, which ensures that they’re always delivering a flawless, crowd-pleasing live spectacle. The band’s official farewell tour, launched in 2019, was an extended affair featuring every classic Kiss move—an impressive stage production, Simmons’ blood-spitting, extensive pyro—and an arsenal of hits, enticing new recruits into the Kiss Army right until the very end.
ORIGINNew York, NY