The tapestry of emotions woven into the fabric of KISS’s supposed final live show (End of the Road World Tour) at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore Wednesday night was as intricate as the iconic makeup designs adorning their faces.
The unexpected revelation of Paul Stanley’s son, Evan, leading Amber Wilde, added an emotional layer to the evening, creating a familial bridge between past and future. Evan’s stage presence, a mirrored reflection of his father’s iconic charisma, introduced a dynamic element to the opening act, surprising fans who were unaware of this familial connection.
Amber Wilde, a rising force in alternative rock, presented an irresistible blend of musical prowess and youthful exuberance. Evan Stanley, alongside Marshall and Jake Massanari, displayed a magnetic synergy that spoke volumes about the band’s potential trajectory. Their performance became not just an introduction but a proclamation of a new era in rock music.
As the curtains lifted for the main act, KISS’s entrance on flying saucers, accompanied by the pulsating beats of “Detroit Rock City,” transported the audience into a realm where the line between fantasy and reality blurred. Paul Stanley’s poignant expressions of gratitude resonated, not just as words but as a heartfelt acknowledgment of a shared journey spanning decades.
The twenty song set that followed was a melodic odyssey, a chronological exploration of KISS’s unparalleled career since their inception in 1973. Classics like “Beth,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” and the anthemic “Rock and Roll All Nite” became not just musical performances but nostalgic portals, transporting the audience to different epochs of their lives.
However, the crescendo of the night climaxed with the grand finale, a multifaceted spectacle that unfolded like a carefully orchestrated symphony. Cranes lifting musicians to reach fans in the upper levels, a double confetti cannon extravaganza, and pyrotechnics that engulfed the venue in a smoky haze – each element contributed to a mesmerizing conclusion.
KISS’s legendary stage presence, cultivated over the course of their storied career, cast a spell on the arena. As the final chords reverberated and the band bid their farewell, the collective consciousness of the crowd held not just the memory of a concert but a solemn acknowledgment of the end of an era. The echoes of their farewell lingered in the air, creating a poignant tapestry of memories that will forever resonate in the hearts of those fortunate enough to witness the grand finale in Baltimore. In these cherished moments, KISS did not just close a chapter; they etched their legacy into the very fabric of rock and roll history.
FINAL GRADE: A+++