Sunday, October 8, 2023

KISS "The Final Curtain" Sydney 2023 Review - Going Out With A Bang


Not a lot of people can say you've been to the same band's final concert tour twice, but legendary American hard rock band KISS performed a special one off - certainly & probably final show in Sydney, Australia - the last tour for the country, supposedly. Although it didn't feel like it. On October 7 , 2023 - 83,000 nice people attended what would become KISS' "THE FINAL CURTAIN" tour for their beloved "second home" town of Sydney, Australia at Accor Stadium. KISS loves Australia and Aussie fans know this. Even the rest of the world knows this, they have toured Australia and visited Sydney 17 times in their career, which is more than most bands who come to Australia if they ever do these days. Most big labeled concert tours seem to visit Japan but skip Australia entirely and do a round trip somewhere else. But certainly not KISS who's hits include "Detroit Rock City", "Deuce", "Shout It Out Loud", "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and the anthemic "Rock & Roll All Nite".

Joining KISS for the evening were 3 support groups. The first act to appear on stage were a well established Australian band from Melbourne called The Delta Riggs. I had previously never heard of them before, but I quite liked their performance which was a mixture of rock & roll and blues, with harmonicas and saxophones interestingly enough, which featured a good range of heavy groove mixed with fun jam sections and good sounding raw vocals. I quite liked them.
Next up were local Aussie comedy rock weird-but-very-funny guys Regurgitator, originating from Brisbane, Australia. They performed a very solid set of a lot of famous and well known Regurgitator songs and, for some reason, a bit of Metallica's Enter Sandman. Things get quite wild at a Regurgitator concert, especially in a Stadium. I thought it was very funny seeing them perform the track "I Will Lick Your Asshole" in front of 83,000 people in a huge stadium. They performed a bunch of other stuff such as "I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff", "Track 1", "Polyester Girl" (a great one), "I Wanna Be A Nudist", and of course who could not miss my favourite "Kong Foo Sing" which sounds awesome live. They played 2 encores. They said "Who wants to hear 1 encore or 2?" We said 2. And 2 they did.

Later on during the evening, it got dark and the audience was filling up throughout the Regurgitator performance. Next up it was time for Weezer to hit the stage. Hailing from Los Angeles, the American Indie Rock band had a set of classics with a few new material. Playing songs such as "Beverly Hills", "Pork & Beans", "Undone - The Sweater Song" even including a cover of KISS' early track "STRUTTER". and the set ended with "Buddy Holly". I hadn't been too familiar with Weezer, maybe I heard a Weird Al version of Beverly Hills in one of the Polkas he did, but I was quite impressed with Weezer live. They seem to sound a lot heavier live than on their albums. 

KISS hit the stage at rougly 9PM, after the announcement "ALLLLL RIGHT SYDNEY - YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST!" the curtains fell down and out come the 4 rockers on these giant descending podiums playing the opening riff to Detroit Rock City. Explosions filled the background and they kicked in and the crowd went absolutely mental. Some times, the audience was louder than the band. I saw KISS last year as well on the same tour, back in 2022 on August 27 2022 at the Qudos Bank Arena right next door. That show was also good and had the same opening number. As per usual, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer seemed to be really enjoying themselves. 

It's been a while since I was last at this venue. The last concert I saw at the Accor Stadium (formerly known as ANZ Stadium) was AC/DC during their 2010 leg of the Black Ice world tour. I consider that a special show as well because we saw them when Malcolm Young was still alive. The venue has certainly changed a lot since I was last here. Improved signage, sound, seats and even the flooring on the pit is different as well, which now looks like some kind of Ice Rink. But you don't notice the white floor when it's filled completely with people. The stadium also now has a roof, which certainly wasn't there last time. I think it really helped the sound so it didn't get drowned out or muffled throughout the performance. 
KISS love blowing up the stage. There was fire, firebreathing, indoor fireworks, and explosions from time to time. During the Tommy Thayer guitar solo, he'd strike a chord and fireworks would come out of it, hitting the ceiling, and sparks would come raining down. The set list focused on many classic fan favourites and a rare odd one or two. One surprise was "Makin' Love" which they didn't perform last time they were here. The set was somewhat switched around from last time, but most of the favourite and classic ones were there. Eric Singer is a great drummer.  I really enjoyed his Drum Solo as well. His drums would light up every time he would hit them. Then when he went crazy the whole stage erupted in rainbow strobe lights. I have to give kudos to the sound and lighting engineers for these shows. How do they pull it off so well to fit in time with the music! "It's called PASSION, not Perfectionism" said Paul Stanley one point during the show, and how right he is!
The stage went dark and lights went moody green, and a ghostly wail filled the room. It was time for Gene Simmon's Bass Solo where he turns into a demonic creature of the night. The bass solo is a staple part of KISS shows. In fact, everyone gets a solo at one point which is usually very fun. Gene started to move around like a puppet on a string and his head kept on moving in strange ways, all of a sudden lightning flashed and he started puking blood, when the audience screamed in terror. As he was strumming the bass, more blood came out until the solo finished, he just stopped as if nothing ever happened. Cue "God Of Thunder".
It was now time for the obligatory Paul Stanley moment of the show where he wanted to come out and see all of us in the middle of the crowd. So after a very positive reception he flew out during the opening riff of "Love Gun" and performed the rest of the song on Stage B. Us all in the audience enjoyed singing along to it again. Then, the main set closure was the classic 'Black Diamond', at this time Paul flew back to the main stage via flying fox grappling hook.
KISS came back for a couple of encores, starting with Beth which featured Eric Singer & a somewhat unruly stage invader at one point, who only jumped on the stage for about 5 seconds before being completely toppled over by security. During this entire time, the song continued without a hitch, which was very funny, as if nothing ever happened. 

Whenever KISS do come to Australia the shows are always special, and they do like to perform a special song or two during them. They then performed the track Shandi, from the 1980 album Unmasked. A song they often perform in Australia and no where else. That album performed greatly here and was the first time that put KISS on the map in Australia. After that was the smash hit track "I Was Made For Lovin' You" with an audience sing along, and ending the performance with the epic "Rock & Roll All Nite", where the entire audience erupted into a dance crazed frenzy and sing along. Massive amounts of confetti exploded in the middle of the front rows, as well as giant KISS balloons falling from the ceiling. Everyone sang along and the audiences were louder than the band. At the end was the big final extravaganza, when Paul Stanley smashed the guitar and all of the pyrotechnics started going off at once for the big finish end. "Thank you Sydney, we love you, bye bye!". 

I am so pleased that the main final KISS concert in Australia happened in Sydney instead of Melbourne or wherever else. KISS' connections with Australia and Sydney especially still remain. It was a fun ride and I am sad to see the show end. Say it ain't so, Gene! But if this truly is the last ever concert in Australia, and in Sydney, they truly went out with a bang. I do admit, at the end I shed a tear or two walking out. I did have a great time once again, it was wonderful. Thank you KISS. Thank you for coming back to Australia and playing in Sydney one last time. But make sure to come back a lot for holidays OK!


The Delta Riggs Setlist:

01 The Record's Flawed
02 Push & Pull
03 The Real Electric
04 Baddest MotherFucker In The Beehive
05 Talking In Your Sleep (The Romantics Cover)
06 Never Seen This Before
07 Bright As The Sun

Regurgitator Setlist

01 I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am
02 I Will Lick Your Asshole
03 Bongzilla
04 Track 1
05 Black Bugs
06 Enter Sandman (First Verse only, short snippet)
07 Polyester Girl
08 I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff
09 The World Of Sleaze
10 Bong In My Eye
11 Blubber Boy
12 I Wanna Be A Nudist
13 Kong Foo Sing
14 Fat Cop
15 ! (The Song Formerly Know As)
Weezer Setlist
01 My Name Is Jonas
02 Beverly Hills
03 Return To Ithaka
04 Pork & Beans 
05 In The Garage
06 Strutter (KISS Cover)
07 Undone - The Sweater Song
08 Only In Dreams
09 Island In The Sun
10 Say It Ain't So
11 Hash Pipe
12 Thank You And Good Night
13 Buddy Holly
KISS Setlist

01 Detroit Rock City
02 Shout It Out Loud
03 Deuce 
04 War Machine
05 Heaven's On Fire
06 I Love It Loud
07 Say Yeah
08 Cold Gin
09 Tommy Thayer Guitar Solo
10 Lick It Up
11 Calling Dr Love
12 Makin' Love (With Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer Guitar Dueling)
13 Psycho Circuis
14 Eric Singer Drum Solo
15 100,000 Years
16 Bass Solo
17 God Of Thunder
18 Love Gun
19 Black Diamond
20 Beth
21 Shandi
22 I Was Made For Lovin' You
23 Rock & Roll All Nite


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive