[9/1/21]: As KISS aims to continue its End of the Road farewell tour with strict safety protocols in place, COVID-19 cases within the band continue to disrupt the itinerary.
After postponing an upcoming concert in Burgettstown, PA last week due to singer Paul Stanley testing positive for COVID-19, KISS announced on Tuesday that the next four dates of trek have also been postponed—this time, because bassist Gene Simmons has tested positive and is experiencing mild symptoms.
According to a statement posted to Facebook, “The band and crew will remain at home and isolate for the next ten days and doctors have indicated the tour should be able to resume on September 9th at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.”
Both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are fully vaccinated and have been outspoken proponents of COVID vaccines and mask mandates. In addition to requiring all concert attendees to be vaccinated, KISS has implemented strict protocols to help prevent COVID exposure within the outfit. The band and crew are all fully vaccinated and have been operating in a “bubble,” and a COVID safety protocol officer has been on staff full-time to ensure that everyone closely follows all CDC guidelines.
Gene Simmons said in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock that the band would stop offering meet-and-greets backstage before shows, but photos posted to social media show that the band continued to interact with fans, albeit from behind a plexiglass shield, drawing criticism from disappointed VIP ticket holders who paid thousands of dollars for the opportunity to take photos with KISS.
KISS covid era Meet & Greets are now done behind plexiglass… pic.twitter.com/9S5emYSIQb
— Mitch Lafon (@mitchlafon) August 20, 2021
KISS first embarked on the extensive End of the Road Tour back in early 2019. Comprised of 174 shows in more than 25 countries, the trek marks the band’s second farewell tour, with the 2000 “retirement” run marking the final shows with the band’s original lineup. Simmons and Stanley picked back up touring as KISS with other supporting players not long after.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to postpone most of their tour dates in 2020, including the tenth and final KISS Kruise. After 17 months off the road, the KISS End of the Road Tour on August 18th in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Just eight days later, the Burgettstown show was postponed at the last minute, prompting speculation and a rumor that Paul Stanley had suffered a heart attack.
The singer took to Twitter to reassure fans that the rumor was untrue, adding that his heart allows him to bike 26 miles a day. The band then announced that Stanley had tested positive for COVID-19 despite their strict precautions and protocols. After five days, Paul Stanley tweeted that COVID “kicked his ass,” but he had recovered.
My COVID symptoms were MILD compared to many others and let me tell you… It kicked my ass. It’s over now. pic.twitter.com/8HDMjKZT37
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) August 31, 2021
Hours later, the band announced that the next four shows of the tour would be postponed because Gene Simmons had tested positive, and the whole band and crew would need to isolate for ten days.
Because the shows were postponed rather than cancelled, ticket-holders are not eligible for a refund until their show is rescheduled or 60 days have passed, after which time they will have a 30-day window to request a refund.
KISS has also postponed the entire Australian leg of the tour, initially set to run from from November–December 2021 to March–April 2022, due to restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel. A show at Xfinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut was also postponed twice due to inclement weather caused by Hurricane Henri. A new date for that show has yet to be announced.
As of now, KISS’s End of the Road Tour is set to start back up in Irvine, California on September 9th, and although the cruise industry is only just starting to operate at limited capacity after being particularly impacted by the pandemic, Kiss Kruise X is still scheduled to set sail from Miami on October 29th.
[UPDATE 9/7/21]: The band has announced rescheduled dates for the shows that were postponed due to the positive COVID-19 tests within the band. KISS will now perform in Atlanta, GA on October 10th; Burgettstown, PA on October 13th; Clarkston, MI on October 15th; Tinley Park, IL on October 16th; and Dayton, OH on October 17th. The postponed shows in Hartford, CT; Milwaukee, WI; and Raleigh, NC have been pushed to 2022.
For more information on KISS’s upcoming tour dates, head here.