KISS at The Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY 13-FEB-2020

Kiss brings their End of The Road Tour to Lexington with David Lee Roth.

Plain and simple, there are Rock n’ Roll shows and then there are Kiss shows, and while there are no sure things in life, one thing that is pretty much a given is that Kiss will put on an unforgettable show for their fans each and every night.

Let’s roll back time a bit, to September of 2018 where following their performance of “Detroit Rock City” on America’s Got Talent, Kiss announced that they would be retiring from touring. The band’s plans were for one last, enormous, worldwide tour beginning in January of 2019 and culminating with a performance in July of 2021 in New York City. Kiss’s love affair with Lexington and Rupp Arena goes way back, in fact, all the way back to 1977. For Kiss who formed in 1973 and Rupp Arena whose doors opened in 1976, it would be the beginning of a special relationship as tonight’s show marked their 9th performance at the venerable location, something that was not lost on Paul Stanley nor the city of Lexington.

Adding to the fun and spectacle of a Kiss show is the passion and devotion of the sprawling fanbase AKA the “Kiss Army”. Entering the venue, the sea of fans proudly sporting Kiss shirts and jackets from every era of the band’s history and the 100’s of fans decked out in Kiss face paint of their favorite member added to the overall experience.

As for tonight’s show, you could feel the excitement and intensity in the air as the Rupp arena house lights dropped and all eyes focused on the stage length curtain emblazoned with a huge golden Kiss logo” as a video showed the guys walking through the back halls of the venue, getting ready to take the stage.

“Lexington! You Wanted The Best, You Got the Best. The hottest band in the world, KISS!” blares over the Rupp arena loudspeakers. On cue the familiar bass notes of Kiss’s traditional opening song, “Detroit Rock City” roar from the stage, the curtain falls, a staggering array of fireworks explode before our eyes along with copious amounts of flames shooting from seemingly everywhere. Gene, Paul, and Tommy instantly appear high above the stage, on an octagon shaped platforms while slowly descending to the stage as the Kiss show gets off to an explosive start.

Over the next, almost 2 hours Kiss give devoted Lexington fans everything they could ask for … and more. The setlist covered all of the bases with songs from every era of the band’s career, from early songs “Cold Gin”, the bass-heavy “100,000 Years” and from the Hotter Than Hell album “Parasite” all the way through “Lick It Up,” “I Was Made for Loving you” and “Psycho Circus”.   In typical Kiss fashion, the stage could barely contain the dazzling display of pyrotechnics and flames ignited during almost every song.  Further adding to the spectacle of the evening was Gene’s legendary breathing fire at the end of “War Machine”  and spitting blood at the end of “God Of Thunder” and Paul flying high above the crowd to perform a couple of songs on the stage at the back of the venue.

Kiss closed out their last performance ever in the great city of Lexington with a three-song encore beginning with “Beth,” with drummer Eric Singer taking the vocals while playing the piano, followed by “Crazy Crazy Nights” and ending with a legendary performance of “Rock and Roll All Nite” while confetti rained down on the crowd below and a fireworks finale to rival any 4th of July celebration ultimately bringing the house lights up.   With the End of the Road Tour now more than mid-way through its run there are plenty of opportunities to catch Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric and the Hottest Band In the World strut their stuff – You don’t want to be the fan who regrets not going to see Kiss, just one more time.

Opening the evening was showman extraordinaire David Lee Roth.  Dressed in green and black checkered leather pants along with an electric blue shirt Diamond Dave bounced on to the Rupp Arena stage simply beaming. While David’s voice isn’t quite what it once was his overall charisma, stage presence and energy immediately took center stage as he rolled through a very familiar set heavily anchored by Van Halen favorites including “Unchained,” “Jamie’s Cryin’” and “Runnin With The Devil” along with mainstays from his solo career “Tobacco Road,” “Just Like Paradise,” and “Just a Gigolo.”

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David Lee Roth
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Rupp Arena
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