Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, from Kiss (Photos: Gustavo Gavotti)
The same costumes, the same tricks and almost the same set list. In the game of differences between the last Kiss show in Buenos Aires and the previous one, seven cannot be counted: only the setting -the Masters of Rock festival, which closed after performances by Scorpions and Deep Purple-; the setting -the ruins of the City Park instead of the Polo Field-; the giant statues of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer that matched the Space Tower and the remains of a long-standing roller coaster; and “Makin’ Love” instead of “Tears Are Falling” were the only variations between what happened in April of last year and last Friday, one year and five days later.
The excuse remains the same: the End Of The Road World Tour with which the band is saying goodbye to its audience after 50 hectic years in rock & roll, a job they handle with complete mastery. Nobody does it like them, who even have their solos and jams scripted, who know which camera to blow a kiss to knowing that their audience is watching them on the screens, who have marked where to step with their bulky boots so as not to being hit by the sudden flares and how they have to move the masts of their instruments to detonate the fireworks. There is no risk, nothing is improvised, everything is exactly in place so that there is only enjoyment between them and their faithful Kiss Army.
Their comic-rock cartoons are as repeated as they are iconic: from the aerial platforms with which they go down on stage to attack with “Detroit Rock City”, the first on the list; Simmons’ sword with which he spit flames to cap “I Love it Loud” and his reptilian tongue bleeding as a prologue to “God of Thunder”; to Stanley’s trip over the heads of his people in “Love Gun.” There was hardly a moment out of the script and somewhat outdated according to the canon of the time: when Gene called an imaginary rival of Doctor Love who he embodies in, precisely, “Calling Doctor Love” a “fucking and faggot”. Seconds later, he swallowed the tip of the microphone as if he were performing oral sex on her and generated a sigh: the intensity of these superheroes does not let up at any time and they are not interested in varying between the different nuances that may be in their music. Rock, rock and more rock.
Although they started from music, over the years Kiss became such a big brand that it also sells merchandising of all kinds -from dolls to coffins- and even the dream vacation for any orthodox aboard an impressive cruise ship. And their animated fantasies continue to infect all those who have been born since they existed.
This was reflected, once again, in its transgenerational audience, made up of families who attended with painted faces like them. “Ooohhh, I’m a kissero, it’s a feeling, I can’t stop”, a crowd that was divided proudly returned: while those in the VIP field had the stage within reach, for those in the back -located 100 meters from the action- there was no not even a screen. They could only see the faces of those in charge of security posted between the fence so that no one dared to cross it. Of course, the audio had good volume and was clear at all times.
A brief rest gave the group air to close the task. Singer traded drums for piano to blast “Beth” as his teammates surrounded him. In “Do You Love Me” there was a release of balloons with the group’s logo and there were those who fought against the night wind to try to take a souvenir. And with “Rock and Roll all Nite” they burned the last cartridges and said goodbye… forever? Despite the fact that they have been announcing their retirement for a long time, you never know with these old foxes and it would not be strange to have them back here in a short time.
With an audience close to 35 thousand people, the Masters of Rock had started during the day and under a hot sun, unusual for this time of year. In those first hours there was space for the shows of the local Horcas, the symphonic bands Avantasia, the power metal of Helloween and the validity of Deep Purple, with the drummer Ian Paice as the only original member but with the historic Ian Gillan and Roger Glover in the training. The three were part of the recording of Machine Head (1972), perhaps the group’s most classic album and which sounded almost complete at this show: “Highway Star”, “Pictures of Home”, “Lazy”, “Space Truckin’”. and “Smoke on the Water” were part of the list.
Before Kiss it had been the turn of the German Scorpions. The solos of the explosive drummer Mikkey Dee and the guitar pyrotechnics of the tandem made up of Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Schenker, sustained the show above Klaus Meine, a singer who with each passing second was losing his scarce charisma and flow of nasal voice. Among some of his most celebrated songs, such as “Send me an Angel” and the closing with “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, his megahit “Wind of Change” sounded with his indelible whistle. The theme, which had been inspired by the fall of the Berlin Wall, this time was dedicated to Ukraine with an explicit plea for peace in the face of war, which was printed as a blue and yellow symbol on the screens while focusing on the crowd.
Jane’s Addiction and music as a fountain of youth: “We like being older men”Dante Spinetta under the influence of funk, fantasy, sex and his parents: “Many artists are after the ticket, and it shows”Björk speaks exclusively how nature and love inspire her: “I live a very normal life”