In a new interview with The Rock N Roll Channel on TalkShopLive, Paul Stanley reflected on KISS‘s New Year’s Eve performance in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“It was surreal, because, like everybody, we’ve been in basic quarantine for a year,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And when this idea came up to do a New Year’s Eve show in Dubai, it was interesting, but it became more interesting. It was, ‘And we’ll build this massive stage.’ It took 500 people to build that stage. ‘And we’ll have the largest fireworks display ever.’ I forget how many millions of dollars was spent on pyro. Everything was just top grade.
“We flew in on Emirates [airline], and everybody — all the staff and all the crew, and they were awesome people; I can’t say enough about Emirates; it was a fabulous experience — but everybody was dressed in PPE [personal protective equipment]; they were all dressed in protective gear,” he continued. “And there was a hospital filtration system on the plane. And we wore masks for the flight. When we landed, we were basically quarantined at the hotel. So we didn’t get out and see things. It had a very surreal quality to it. But Dubai was amazing. And we had spent weeks here in the States rehearsing, but, again, under very strict COVID precautions. And we were tested almost daily. The crew was tested daily.
“It was a huge undertaking — kind of like going from zero to 60 in one second, because one minute you’re in quarantine, and the next minute, you’re on stage playing a worldwide telecast,” Stanley added. “Beyond that, I have to say the pyrotechnics… First of all, the flames — our flames are always hot, and people tell us in the arenas that they can feel ’em in the back of the arena. 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. And that will be coming out. It was mind-boggling.
“And then, [we] went back to the hotel, cleaned up and got back on the plane and flew home. So it really had a surreal quality. ‘Did we really do that?’ But it was amazing. And it was great to be with the band.”
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.
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).
Written by: Jake