KISS Came Full Circle in Edmonton

Rogers Place, November 10

With Crown Lands

Photo: Dana Zuk

BY Dana ZukPublished Nov 13, 2023

KISS graced Edmonton's Rogers Place with one last performance, and it was hotter than hell. Fans young and old crowded into the downtown arena on Friday night, adorned in their best KISS chic — faces painted and tongues bared for what was about to ensue. 

Taking the stage to kick things off, Oshawa's Crown Lands brought their Rush-inspired stomp to a crowd clearly hungry for some old fashioned rock revivalism. The duo enthusiastically crashed their way through a performance that set the tone for a night of glitzy rock spectacle. 

At last, the house went dark and the screens sparked to life, showing an aerial display of Rogers Place and the final march that the Star Child, Demon, Spaceman and Cat would be making to an Edmonton stage. 

With a bang, KISS descended to the stage on platforms suspended from the ceiling, playing the all too familiar intro to "Detroit Rock City." Pyro, fireworks and spotlights shot up behind the quartet, illuminating their bedazzled stage attire and bringing life to their painted faces before booming into "Shout It Out Loud" and "Deuce". 

The crowd's response was something to behold, hollering along to every word — KISS fans are known to go all out when their favourite band is in town, but this Friday night's energy was truly something else. Reminiscing about playing their first performance outside of New York at a college cafeteria in Edmonton, the band made it clear that this Canadian city holds a soft spot in their hearts. 

KISS is notorious for playing what their fans want to hear, including a few surprise deep cuts like "Making Love," and Friday night's show was stuffed with hits and the anticipated theatrics. Gene Simmons took his turn in the spotlight for his quintessential fire-spitting in "I Love It Loud" and his blood-dripping, soaring bass solo leading into "God of Thunder," while Tommy Thayer shot rockets from his guitar before shredding his way into "Cold Gin."

KISS began their triple threat encore with drummer Eric Singer alone at a piano for "Beth" while Stanley, Simmons and Thayer re-joined him for yet another 1976 classic in "Do You Love Me" before hitting the show's climax with "Wanna Rock and Roll All Nite" igniting the room with fireworks, confetti, balloons and enough pyro to rival hell itself. 

Although there are murmurs of skepticism whether this was truly KISS's final performance in Alberta, Edmonton rocked out like it was their last night on Earth, giving KISS a warm send off to end what may very well be their final show in the province, back where it all started.  

Their make-up may be fading, their voices may not be as strong as they once were, but as a band that's been at the top of the food chain for over 50 years, it's clear that KISS's legacy will live on, even when they officially call it quits.

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