Only an idiot would say that KISS have played their last-ever gig. We've seen several 'last ever' gigs from the legendary band over the course of the past two decades, and the 'End of the Road' tour they're on right now isn't even their first-ever 'last' tour. Like some heavyweight boxers, many professional wrestlers and even a few music acts before them; KISS is a band that doesn't seem to know when to let it go. That's not a bad thing for their fans though - Gene Simmons and his (sometimes) friends are legends, and one more chance to see them is never a bad thing.
Even though we’ve been down the ‘retirement’ road with them before, there was something different about the ‘End of the Road’ tour when they set off on it. Simmons is on record as saying that at the age of 70, he’s finally accepted that the band can’t carry on forever. He may have said it at the same time as confirming that the tour would extend into 2021 , but he said it all the same. When the final note rang out on the final song of this tour, that would be ‘all she wrote’ for the band, and KISS would begin to fade into memory and history.
Unfortunately for the band and their best-laid plans, they may have lost control over this final tour. The official line as of right now is that the tour is on hold until late April when they're due to play in El Salvador. The likelihood is that unless a vaccine is found or the situation dramatically improves between now and then, that El Salvador date is highly unlikely to happen.
It’s hard to overstate the influence of KISS on the stadium rock bands of the past four decades. They may not have had as many hits as some of the other stadium bands of their era, but they laid the template that many now follow in terms of spectacle and wrote some era-defining songs in the process. We can’t imagine a world without ‘Detroit Rock City’ in it, and we don’t want to. Such is the selling power of KISS that they’ve been immortalized in their own game on online slots websites, where their music is used to appeal to gamblers. They’re not alone in that - other legendary bands like Megadeth and Guns n’ Roses also have their own UK Online Slots available, too. Perhaps having your own online slots game is a bad omen for rock bands!
KISS had tried to sidestep and work around the problem as much as possible before travel and gathering bans took the matter out of their own hands. So much has happened with the global approach to the crisis in the past few days that it feels like a lifetime since they announced they were canceling meet and greets before and after shows, but that was actually only two weeks ago. Two dates were subsequently canceled on the North American leg of their tour, and then the cancellation of a third saw them decide to put everything on hold until El Salvador.
If we presume - which at the moment seems a reasonable thing to do - that the situation will not have been resolved by the end of April and the El Salvador date gets canceled, then what happens to the rest of the tour is far from clear. The band originally suggested that they would look to tag the canceled North American dates back onto the end of the next leg of the tour and play them in April, but the more dates are canceled, the more difficult and impractical things become. A tour of this magnitude takes extensive planning, and there's no guarantee that stadiums will be available on the dates that the band wants to play them in. We don't doubt that the band wants to fulfill every date that they intended to play - and so they'll want to go back to the cities and venues that have missed out - but the more they do that, the longer the tour goes.
Despite the frustrations that they must be facing, both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are thought to be in good spirits. The pair gave an interview - over the telephone, of course - to Rolling Stone magazine last week, and confirmed that they believed that home was the best place for them to be, and they thought that their fans would be better served by staying at home for the time being, too. Both of them indicated a strong desire to be back out on the road as quickly as possible, but they also confirmed that they wouldn’t be doing so until medical experts agreed that it would be safe for them to do so, and the current restrictions had been lifted. Given the fact that the tour goes all over the world, and that some countries will lift those restrictions before others do, that might be quite a long time.
What does this mean for the tour overall, then? Is it finished? In its current incarnation, quite possibly. The entire middle leg is now out of the window, and nobody knows whether the dates planned for later in the year will happen or not. That means that the KISS 'End of the Road' tour may already have reached the end of the road, and so, in theory, the band are free to enjoy their retirement. We don't believe for one second that this is how they're going to let things end, though. They might be a little older, and it might involve them sticking around for longer than they intended to, but KISS will want to go out on their own terms. If that means delaying their retirement for one more year, that's probably what they're going to do.
KISS was scheduled to play for the last-ever time in 2021. Will that now become 2022 because of the coronavirus? We wouldn't be surprised in the slightest.