Three years ago, Kiss said goodbye to their German fans. But during their “End Of The Road” tour, the corona was extended. Now they played one last time in Dortmund.

Gene Simmons has mixed feelings about the last tour with Kiss. “It makes me happy and sad in equal measure,” says the bassist and singer of the legendary US hard rock band of the German Press Agency, shortly before the first concert of the European tour in Dortmund begins.

“You have to know when to step off the stage. And we have too much respect for ourselves and the fans to stay on stage too long.”

It is shortly after 9 p.m. when the batteries in the loudspeakers in the sold-out Westfalenhalle 1 begin to pound. “Alright, Dortmund!” To the cheers of 11,500 fans, many in Kiss shirts, the famous words that rang out from the speakers before every Kiss concert resounded: “You wanted the best, you got the best,” roars a fanatic with a bearish voice, «the hottest band in the world: Kiss!»

fireworks and flames

A loud bang, the curtain falls with the band logo – then Simmons, co-frontman and guitarist Paul Stanley and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer land on stage. Under a shower of fireworks, they are lowered onto platforms while playing their smash hit Detroit Rock City. Drummer Eric Singer drums on a lifting platform. Jets of flame shoot up. The excessive use of pyrotechnics and fire is standard at Kiss concerts.

The band is clearly having fun in Dortmund, where they first appeared in 1980 and are now playing for the sixth time, as Stanley aka “Starchild” reports. The 70-year-old has a surprisingly good voice. “We’re having a great time,” he enthused in the dpa interview. “And it’s not a funeral, it’s a celebration.” Nevertheless, the singer is aware that after almost 50 years it will soon be over. “I’m sure it will be a lot more real as we get closer to the end.”

Schedule revised due to Corona

Kiss had already said goodbye to the German fans on their “End Of The Road” tour in 2019. When the world tour had to be interrupted for a year and a half due to the pandemic, the schedule was revised and more concerts in Europe were added. In the coming weeks, Kiss will be performing in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

According to Simmons, promoters, friends and fans had complained. “They said: ‘You didn’t play in Dortmund, you have to come here!'” says the 72-year-old, who is famous for his long tongue and spits fire and (artificial) blood during the concert. “We can’t play in every city in the world, it takes too long. But maybe another year of touring and then we’ll stop. We’ll only do it while we’re still good.”

Rockers in top form

At the start of the nearly two-month European tour, the New Yorkers, who will be celebrating their 50th band anniversary next year, are in top form. In addition to the opening song, classics like “Shout It Out Loud”, “Lick It Up” or “Calling Dr. Love » especially loudly roared along. To “Love Gun” Stanley slides over the audience on a tightrope. On a platform in the middle of the interior he also sings his band’s big disco hit, “I Was Made For Loving You”.

What will Kiss miss when the tour is over? “Of course the audience and the camaraderie between us and our fans,” says Stanley. “There is nothing that compares.” According to Simmons, the audience will also be missing. “When you’re on stage, you can almost understand why someone would want to be the pope,” jokes the 72-year-old. “There is no comparable feeling.”

At the end the anthem «Rock And Roll All Nite»

After three encores and a total of 23 songs, the concert in Dortmund ends as usual with the anthem “Rock And Roll All Nite”. Confetti rains into thousands of beer mugs while the fans sing along enthusiastically. “Kiss loves you, Dortmund” is written on the big screens.

If nothing changes in the schedule, Kiss will play their very last concert in Sacramento, California in October. That will even touch the cool Gene Simmons, also known as “The Demon”. “It will be very emotional on the last day,” admits the rocker. “I’m going to cry like a twelve-year-old girl.”