Hershey’s Last KISS
Last night I attended my third concert, so far, on KISS’ End Of The Road Tour, and it was great! I previously saw the band back in the spring in Philadelphia and then Atlanta. Both of those shows were inside large arenas, while this one was outside, making for a totally different atmosphere. With 20,000 fans in attendance and sweltering heat, it was a high-energy performance that had people on their feet the entire time. And with it taking place in an amusement park, I know it conjured up images for fans of the cult classic KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
I was fortunate enough to have a meet and greet pass to get my photo taken with the band before the show. While backstage, which was also outside, I ran into a friend I made on Facebook, Eric Alberty, and it was great for us to finally meet. I spoke with him and his girlfriend for a while about KISS, music, and family, and we took a few photos.Following my chat with Eric, it was time for everyone to get their photo with KISS. The band came out, and the photographer started snapping away. As I made my way to the front, I introduced myself to the band’s tour manager, who is a wonderful guy. Then I stepped up to get my photo with KISS. Eric Singer said to me after the photo, “This guy looks like John Thayer? Tommy, he looks like your brother, JT!” I’ve gotten this before from the band and I’ve even interviewed John and told him this. So, it made me smile hearing it again.I saw the band’s manager Doc McGhee as I was walking away from the band, so I asked him for a photo too. He’s always been incredibly nice to me, and it was wonderful seeing him again.I started off the show up in the rafters, and then I worked my way down to the stage where an usher told me to get into the front row – an offer I wasn’t going to turn down.
The set was filled with all of the KISS classics people have come to know and love, including my favorite KISS song: “Love Gun.”
Seeing Paul fly over a sea of hands reaching up and Gene spit blood before breaking out into “God Of Thunder” is always a fun time.
Tommy’s guitar solo, replete with rockets and explosions, was awesome. He’s a consummate musician, and an even nicer person.While in the front row, I turned to my right and noticed that the woman next to me looked extremely familiar. I quickly realized it was my friend Karen Brown, who I haven’t seen since my last KISS Kruise a few years ago, and she gave me a big hug. What a coincidence that we should wind up standing next to each other amongst 20,000 rabid KISS fans.The highlight of the show for me was seeing KISS perform “Crazy Crazy Nights,” one of my favorite songs and one I haven’t seen KISS perform live since 2010. It was a real treat, which was followed by the rock and roll national anthem: “Rock And Roll All Nite.”
This was my 16th KISS concert in the 16 years I’ve been seeing them live. I’m thankful that they decided to continue beyond the “Farewell Tour,” which wrapped up in 2001. Had they not, I would have missed out on a ton of memories. Over these past 16 years, I’ve attended three KISS Kruises, interviewed almost every living member of the band – some numerous times – saw the original lineup inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and so much more. It’s been a wild ride and while last night’s KISS was Hershey’s last, I know it won’t be mine.