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LIVE: KISS – August 25, 2021

| 28 August 2021 | Reply

Venue: Huntington Center

City: Toledo, OH

Date: August 25, 2021

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (

Hmmm… KISS is playing in Toledo, a little over 2 hours from me.  Should I hit that show or wait a week and  see them hit a venue about an hour away in MI?  I cannot think of a better way to break up a week during a busy tax season than by jumping in the car, putting on the bands latest, Off The Soundbboard – Tokyo 2001, and then witnessing a show from the “Hottest Band In The World.”  After an interesting opening act of painter David Garibaldi, we all settled in staring at the huge black KISS kabuki that draped the stage in anticipation of what was to come.  The lights went out, the stage was cloaked in red lights, and we heard those all too familiar words… “You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world… KISS” and we were off and running as the black shroud dropped amidst lights, bombs, flames, and the opening strands of “Detroit Rock City.”  The band was all smiles and waves, as they welcomed us to the show and to one more night on the recently restarted End Of The Road Tour.  As that song rolled through solos and everyone gazing at each other, both in the crowd and on stage, realizing we were witnessing not only live music, but magic.  Next up on the setlist was the “Shout It Out Loud” that showcased the band and the show perfectly.  From the tandem vocals of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley to the drum fills from Eric Singer and solos along with a third vocal on the outro from Tommy Thayer, the song swirled perfectly.  Next we got a one-two punch of Demon when Simmons fronted both “Deuce” and “War Machine” giving us a double dose of heavier and more guttural rock.  Taking a spin at some of the band’s 80’s (and originally make-up free) rock and roll, we get Stanley back on vocals for a rousing version of “Heaven’s On Fire” which saw him flexing his vocal muscles as well as the rest of the band firing on every cylinder as the music rolled through the venues more than capable sound system.  After a live rendition of “I Love It Loud” that featured Gene’s fire breathing, more 80’s were teed up for the crowd as Stanley and Thayer led the band on “Lick It Up” which featured a section of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” during the bridge.  The remainder of the set jumped around from release to release and decade to decade, initially rolling back to 1976’s “Calling Dr. Love” from Destroyer getting followed up by 2009’s “Say Yeah” from Sonic Boom, the bands first album of material to feature the current lineup.  Digging back to 1974 from the bands debut and self-titled release, “Cold Gin” came to life with a familiar intro from Paul and those vocal lines from Gene that take you back to the first time you heard the track.  After runing through one of my guilty pleasures, “Tears Are Falling” from Asylum, the evening got MORE exciting, if you can imagine that.  “Psycho Circus” kicked off the next section, but as the song was heading for the bridge, it dropped out and we were treated to a killer drum solo from Eric Singer that highlighted not only his skills, but his showmanship.  Once he had his moment in the spotlight, the rest of the guys joined him on stage and we got slammed with the second half of “100,000 Years.”  One of the other visual highlights of any KISS show is Simmons’ blood spewing and bass solo which is typically the precursor to “God of Thunder” and his performing from atop the stage, and tonight was no different.  Once he was safe back on stage, Stanley – not to be outdone – took to the sky and landed on a secondary stage near the soundboard and ripped through two of the bands seminal hits “Love Gun” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” allowing those of us in the back to be more part of the show if only for a few moments.  Another classic from the bands first release popped up with Eric Singer on vocals as Paul introduced “Black Diamond.”  The encore was a sandwich of two classics with another seminal hit in the middle.  Singer performed “Beth” from behind the keyboard of a piano on stage, wowing the crowd with his vocals.  A slight break in the bands normal routine saw the band and fans crooning to Gene “Happy Birthday” as he spent the evening with all of us. The band shifted gears from ballads and birthdays to rock and cranked through “Do You Love Me” before the final tune of the night, and one of the reasons we were all here tonight… “Rock and Roll All Nite.”  With lyrics we could all recite in our sleep and the band pulling out ALL the stops on stage, from flames, to bombs, to confetti, to lights, to smashed guitars, this is the pinnacle of any KISS show and what most bands strive to be and do.  As the final note was played and the confetti continued to settle on the ground, we all made our way into the night smiling like Cheshire cats with a song in our head and a memory etched into our brains.  Thank you KISS for treating Toledo to an amazing night of rock and roll as you globetrot the world saying Farewell one more time.

Setlist: Detroit Rock City – Shout It Out Loud – Deuce – War Machine – Heaven’s on Fire – I Love It Loud – Lick It Up – Calling Dr. Love – Say Yeah – Cold Gin – Tears Are Falling – Psycho Circus / 100,000 Years – God of Thunder – Love Gun – I Was Made for Lovin’ You – Black Diamond – Beth – Do You Love Me – Rock and Roll All Nite









Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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