I have probably seen KISS for the last time now. I attended the 8/31/19 show in Noblesville (or Indianapolis as some call it). It was the 1st time I had seen KISS since The Tour with Motley Crue. I skipped the tour with Def Leppard, but more about that in a bit. And let me tell you…..I am VERY glad that I ended up going.
When the End Of The Road tour was announced, unlike some fans, I was very uncaring about it. I went a saw KISS on “The Tour” with Motley and I thought it was sad. In my eyes, Motley blew them out of the water. It was almost like KISS was just going through the motions. I was sitting 3 rows from the stage, and towards the end of it, I felt bored. So, when the tour with Def Leppard came around, I passed. Don’t need to see a 3rd “Double Headliner” show (Aerosmith, Motley & Def Leppard). Of course, my 1st thought about the End Of The Road Tour was here it is. The one last money grab from the band I love and have followed for over 35 years. Even though I felt uncaring about the tour, I kept an eye on it. Because, its KISS you know? So, when they announced the 1st leg of the US tour, Indianapolis was not on it. I had a sigh of relief for Indy not being on the list, because I did not have the fight with myself about do, I go or not go. So, when the 2nd leg of US tour was announced, sure enough…. Indy was on there. Now started the debating. Do I go…do I not go. What to do? I went back and forth about it until about 3 weeks before the show. I broke down and bought a ticket. Didn’t pay full price but got a decent seat. Now the stage is set, off to see KISS one last time.
I got to the venue way later than I would have in the past. My wife and I took the kids to the bounce house play land before the show. When we were done there, the wife and kids went home, and I went to the show. Parked WAY out in field of the venue. So, on my way up, after having been to MANY shows before, you start looking for certain people. Face painted, check. Dressed in full costume, check. The guy that is drunk way too early in the evening, check. The one chick who still thinks it’s the 80’s and her hair is way too high, check. The chick that used to be hot and still thinks she is, check. So, I finally make my way into the gates and head over to the merch stand. Now this is where I sound old. But I just can’t bring myself to pay $50 for shirt. Some shirts were as much as $75. Too me, that’s just crazy! So, after telling myself no at the merch stand, I went and bought an overpriced soft drink ($8 but hey…it’s refillable!) and found my seat. So, for the $175 I spent for a ticket…not bad. In the upper section of the pavilion. Now to sit and wait for the opening act.
David Gaibaldi – The Opening Act
So, like most people who heard there was a painter opening for KISS on this tour, I thought are you kidding me! A painter? Couldn’t they get a decent opening band? I had stayed away from any news or info about him, because I really thought this was bad idea. I saw a juggler / mine open for John Mellencamp one year and it was horrendous. So, this bald guy takes the stage and says a couple of things and then Sweet Child O’ Mine by GNR starts and he starts painting. He’s jumping around, dancing, and looks like he is just making crazy lines all over the canvas. Then all sudden I see it. It’s a painting of Slash! Ok…I get what he does now, and this is cool! He did a 2nd painting of Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, which he painted the portrait upside down. And then he ends by painting a portrait of KISS. After seeing all this all I can is…. wow. That was amazing. Nowhere near who or what I thought the opening act should be, but it was totally cool!
So here we go. The start to my last KISS show ever. Lights go out, crowd goes nuts, and then I hear something I have not heard in a long time. “ALL RIGHT INDIANAPOLIS!! YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST! THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD……KISS!!!’ And I swear in that moment, all was right with the world. And as I watched my band descend from the rafters, all I could think about was when I 1st saw the band back in 1987. Here it is 2019 and the start of the show still makes me feel like a kid again! So, they rip through the 1st 3 songs and it’s wonderful. And as the night and show go on it, I noticed how much energy and effort was going into the show. Sure, they don’t move around the stage like they did in the 70’s but they look like (at least this night) they were putting their heart and soul into the show. And as the show was winding down, I thought for sure that I would be a little sad knowing this was the last show for me. But to my surprise, I wasn’t. I was happy. Happy that I got to see KISS one last time put on one hell of a show. If you haven’t gone and seen the show yet……GO!!!