PAUL STANLEY On KISS’s New Year’s Eve Concert: ‘We Were Determined To Make It As Good As We Could’
In a new interview with 519 Magazine, Paul Stanley reflected on KISS‘s New Year’s Eve performance in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): «It literally happened because of the pandemic. We were asked if we were interested in doing a show in Dubai. And as it evolved, [we said], ‘Okay, tell me more.’ ‘We wanna break some Guinness world records.’ ‘Okay, that’s pretty interesting. Tell me more.’ ‘And it’ll be a worldwide telecast, and all the shows that people usually watch on New Year’s Eve are not gonna be live, and they’re gonna be repeats.’ ‘Okay. That sounds really great.’ ‘And it’s gonna be this massive outdoor stage.’ It just kept going. And we went, ‘Yeah. Okay. It sounds like fun. But in the midst of the pandemic, how are we gonna keep everybody safe?’ So we made all kinds of arrangements. And the crew, which was about 500 people, they were tested daily. We were tested if not daily, every other day. When we rehearsed in Los Angeles, we were in a closed studio. So, all things being said, it was a really unique situation. And having not played in almost a year, it was daunting — it was a challenge. But we rehearsed. We were determined to make it as good as we could.»
As previously reported, KISS‘s Dubai concert broke Guinness world records for highest flame projection in a music concert and for most flame projections launched simultaneously in a music concert.
Stanley told The Rock N Roll Channel: «These flame throwers — it was like being next to a furnace. It was frightening, but it was glorious. And then at the end of the show, the pyrotechnics display that started was like a finale of any other pyrotechnics display. I mean, it was — I don’t know — 10 minutes of finale. It was insane. It was mind-boggling.»
Landmarks Live Presents produced the $10 million spectacular, which was filmed with more than 50 4K cameras and 360-degree views and was held on a massive 250-foot stage at The Royal Beach at Atlantis.
KISS partnered with event company Tixr to beam the «Kiss 2020 Goodbye» show around the world.
KISS reportedly cleaned up its act for to the Dubai concert, apparently out of respect for local customs and beliefs. Gene Simmons‘s blood-spitting stunt was missing during his bass solo, and the words «bitch» and «virgin soul» were removed from the lyrics of «100,000 Years» and «God of Thunder», respectively, the latter replaced by «sacred soul.» Other songs reportedly had minor lyrical changes as well.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
«End Of The Road» was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but is now expected to last well into 2022.
KISS‘s current lineup consists of original members Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).