Review Scene: Kiss, Rod Laver Arena, 20th August 2022

Kiss, Rod Laver Arena, 20th August 2022 by Mary Boukouvalas

 KISS End of the Road Australian tour debuts in Melbourne.

It’s been hailed as the biggest and best KISS show ever, and it didn’t disappoint at the spectacular Melbourne kick off concert in the Rod Laver Arena last night. KISS is undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular and supremely iconic rock bands to come out of the 70’s, forming in 1973.  KISS music, imagery and stage theatrics are legendary and not only have its music and performances become engrained in popular culture, but the band has also had an enviable musical career that has spanned decades.  

Kiss, Rod Laver Arena, 20th August 2022 by Mary Boukouvalas. Click for the full gallery.

On its twentieth visit to Melbourne, KISS continue to inspire with a performance that remains faithful to everything you’d expect and more at a KISS concert: A spectacular stage design, pyrotechnics, elaborate costumes and make up, and of course those platform boots.  Huge projections of the band performing and spectacular lighting brought the show up close to the whole audience, along with a show of classic imagery from past performances.  

KISS opened with the popular and high energy “Detroit Rock City” with an explosion of fireworks and pyrotechnics, delighting the 14,000 strong audience of devoted fans that filled the Rod Laver Arena. Original members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, together with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer (who replaced Ace Frehley and Peter Criss) made their entry as they floated down to the stage like Gods.

KISS are seasoned performers with Stanley energizing the crowd with his introduction before every song.  KISS gets up close with the entire audience, with a second stage at the other end of the arena that Stanley zip lines across to and performs “Love Gun’ along with the start of the KISS anthem “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” for which he engages the audience (who needed little encouragement) in a sing along.

Impressive solos are performed by lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and Drummer Eric Singer. With Eric and his drum kit floating into the air during the solo.  As always, Gene Simmons steals the show with his trademark extended tongue and blood spitting while playing his bass guitar and performing vocals on God of Thunder.  At 72 years of age he retains that wild spirit that has made him famous and it wouldn’t be a KISS concert without it.

It was a privilege to witness such a rich showcase of KISS music performed with unwavering devotion and equally adored by the audience.  All of the KISS rock and roll classics were performed, including the best from many of their albums throughout the years. 

Eric Singer also played a touching rendition of the ballad Beth on the piano and the audience responded with a sea of swaying arms and lit up mobile phones.  Finishing on a high, the band closed with another much loved KISS anthem Rock and Roll All Nite and that they did.

Kiss, Rod Laver Arena, 20th August 2022 by Mary Boukouvalas. Click for full gallery.

KISS Setlist Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena 20 August 2022

Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud

Heaven’s on Fire
I Love It Loud
Say Yeah
Cold Gin
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
Do You Love Me

Psycho / 100,000 Years  
God of Thunder  
Love Gun
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Black Diamond

Rock and Roll All Nite

In September 2018, Kiss announced that, after 45 years of recording and performing, it would embark on its final tour, the End of the Road World Tour, which started in January 2019 and is currently set to conclude in 2023.

KISS will perform for two more nights in Melbourne, with limited tickets still available for Tuesday night.  Get tickets here.

Tonight, 21st August, is SOLD OUT!