Kiss Credit: dr_zoidberg/FlickR

The makeup, the pyrotechnics, the guitars that shoot fireworks, the blood spitting, the levitating band members, the fire breathing, the glitz, the glamour, the rock ’n’ rolling every night and the partying every day . . . after 46 years, it’s all coming to an end, apparently, as Kiss—one of the most ridiculous rock spectacles ever to exist—embark on their farewell tour. This won’t be the first time Kiss have claimed to be hanging up their seven-inch platform-heel boots—they originally said their 2000 reunion tour would be their last. But if there’s any more money to milk out of the band, you can believe that bassist Gene Simmons will be squeezing with all his might to get at every last dime (after all, this is the man who’s stamped the band’s name on a $4,000 coffin). There seems to be a constant circus surrounding Kiss, whether it’s reports of an intra-band feud, lawsuits between current and former band members, viral videos of Paul Stanley’s hilarious stage banter, or outrageous and questionable political statements. And with all that crap out there, it becomes hard to remember that at one point many, many years ago, Kiss were actually an amazing band (though their last front-to-back great album, Love Gun, came out 42 years ago). The first bunch of Kiss records were ham-fisted, hard-rocking, glam joyrides that heavily tipped a mirrored top hat to Slade and Sweet. Unlike their influences, Kiss had no finesse, but that was fine because they had plenty of irresistible hooks—and when you have the high-gain guitar acrobatics of Ace Frehley up front in the mix, it’s easy to ignore the limp drumming of Peter Criss. Though the farewell tour focuses on that classic era, mixed reviews are already rolling in—the most common criticism being the suspected use of prerecorded vocal tracks. But no matter what else happens, the band will undoubtedly blow up a bunch of shit onstage—and with Kiss, that’s most of the fun.   v