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KISS' Legacy & 50-Year Career: Musician's Tributes, Retrospective Photos & Footage Of Last Show

An exceptional end to a massive career.


Kiss wrapped up a 50-year career with a live show at the iconic Madison Square Garden this past Saturday, the final live performance of their "End Of The Road" tour. Such a final live trek consisted of 13 legs and spanned over 1767 days, and started at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, on January 31, 2019.

It's undeniable that Kiss influenced hundreds of thousands of musicians, and tributes to their storied career have poured in. We have collected some of them below, plus some retrospective photos from their final tour and footage from that final show.

"Thanks to KISS for those early tours, you were always great to us and we learned a lot. Congrats and have a great final show at MSG tonight!" – Rush

"Congratulations to KISS on their final show. I want to thank Paul and Gene for the opportunity to be the lead guitarist of the band for the non-make-up era. It was a dream of a lifetime! Most important are the KISS fans. Their support and love touches my life every day. It’s a blessing to be a part of this legendary group, and I celebrate with all of you on this final curtain call at Madison Square Garden!" – Bruce Kulick

"We wanted the best, we got the best! As tonight at Madison Square Garden in NYC (where I saw them live for the 1st time in Dec 1977) marks Kiss’ very final show ever (apparently ????), this calls for an all-inclusive Special #MPPhotoOfTheDay Kiss-Goodbye Edition ???????? paying tribute to one of my favorite bands of all time! As you’ll see here, I have pics through the years with 8 of out the 10 official members (only missing Mark St John RIP and Vinnie Vincent…) Thank you to all members past and present for 50 years of music!" – Mike Portnoy

"Well… if this really is the end -all I can say is “ Thank You”. I watched those 2 up there @genesimmons and @paulstanleylive and applauded them For always giving 100%. I mean think about this- all these years, they’ve put on the makeup, the costumes, the 7-inch leather heels etc. Could you do it?? They are not just #rockstars they are the epitome. I saw them when I was a kid and it left such a lasting impression, it’s what I wanted to be. I wonder if anyone reading this will know that when you said “Meet me at the Ace poster at the Garden “ what we were talking about? Such a landmark. From 1973-1979, what they did in those 6 years… that still resonates with me now. Thank you #genepaulpeterandace , you inspired so many and the best part is you were all from #newyork whoooooo hoooooo!" – Charlie Benante

"@kissonline was the band that made me love rock n' roll. As tonight is their last concert ever I’d like to just say THANK YOU. We wanted the best, we got the best, the hottest band in the land…KISS!!" – Tom Morello

"I have had the most magical 38 hours I’ve had in a long time my wife @rlowery completely surprised me on Friday and said you better get dressed you’re going to New York. Your Uber is coming in 45 minutes. She got me a plane ticket a hotel and surprise me by going to the last KISS show on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. It was a magical night, congratulations to KISS for their incredible 50-year career. It was emotional it was exciting something I will never forget. Thank you. @kissonline and thank you too Robert Long, Ashley, Andy, Scotty everybody on the KISS Road crew for making it an incredible night. I do want to ad I talked to Gene after the show and this picture was taken right before he walked into the dressing room started to take his makeup off so this could be the last picture that was taken with his make up on pretty incredible night." – John 5

"And here we are, at the end of the road. I was 1st introduced to KISS in 1977 when I was 7 years old. My neighbor Dean Kruger knocked on my door, and in a panic, handed over his stack of KISS records. Apparently, his mother thought they worshiped the devil, and insisted that the records be thrown in the garbage. Dean, being the smart kid that he was, decided to give them to me instead. For days I stared at these records, Destroyer, Rock ‘n Roll over and Alive 1. The only record I owned at the time was Shaun Cassidy (Born Late) I had no idea what Rock ’n Roll was. The 1st thing I heard from Destroyer, was the opening of Detroit Rock City including the sound of the keys turning over the Van, and that timeless riff. The power of the music, matched with the imagery, soon took over my entire existence. I was never the same after that. Soon I bought Love Gun and Alive 2 and just about everything else they released. I have been to hundreds of KISS concerts. The 1st being the Asylum tour in 1986 (Maple Leaf Gardens). Unfortunately, I missed them in ’79 (Dynasty tour) due to a poorly timed family houseboat trip. To this day I make jokes that “I’m in the KISS storage business”. With two pinball machines and just about one of everything they ever created, I am forever grateful for the inspiration and pure joy that I have felt from their music, and from them as people. The final show at MSG NYC was nothing short of amazing . Thank you guys. It was an incredible ride." – Jason Hook

"@paulstanleylive … tonight is bittersweet I’m sure my friend. Thank you so much for the years of music and inspiration! You’re the real deal PS and we love you boss! Deen and Deedee ????♾️ @kissonline" – Deen Castronovo

“I feel uptight on a Saturday Night” No shortage of Kiss tribute posts today, this Saturday Night of their last show (for real, it seems). I get asked “Why weren’t you Ace?” Three reasons -1) Starchild makeup is easier and no silver on hand 2) Minutes to showtime 3) I should probably be one the two Jewish guys (rim shot ????). Fittingly, i was Paul on Halloween as a ten year old (somewhere there’s a negative or proof shoot, to be shared when it turns up), the first year I played guitar.

Kiss gets picked a lot in the pantheon of rock bands. I’ve never heard a Kiss fan argue they’re “better” musicians than say, Led Zeppelin, Queen or Van Halen (whom Gene Simmons gets credit for nurturing early on). But the fact is they have had an effect on seemingly everyone, from Rage Against the Machine, to Rush, Lenny Kravitz, Garth Brooks, Pantera and too many artists in & out of rock music to name.

So whatever you think about the lineup changes, drama, polarizing statements or any other Kiss Kontroversy, there’s no denying their impact. Not to make this about me but – as I’ve pointed out many times – they were the “straw that broke the camels back- as far as me picking up a guitar as a kid.

They’re also retiring on a date that is later than Slayer, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and many others who’ve come and gone since KISS’s 70s heyday. Like Ozzy, Sabbath, Motley, and even Phish, the original final show was anything but, however, this time is different. They’ll be taking the stage soon (wish I was there) so I’ll sign off by paraphrasing another iconic band: For those about to rock (for the last time), we salute you" – Alex Skolnick

"These guys are the main reason I started playing drums.. they were superheroes to me growing up. Tonight is their last show (?) at the Garden.. I just wanna say a huge THANK YOU for the many decades of rock & entertainment you’ve given to us all!" – Ray Luzier

"Good thing I’ve got to see @kissonline for real a few times. My first time was on September 12. 1980. The opening act was @ironmaiden. I was 12 years old and it was a life-changing experience. The last time was in the summer of 2023 in Berlin. They still had it and it was great! Don’t know about avatars, but if that makes them immortal, so be it. The fact is, that they’ve inspired millions of teenagers to pick up a guitar and start their own band. I will always love them for that. And for the music. And for the make up." – Mille Petrozza

"Congratulations @kissonline on their final show! You have been such an inspiration to my path in music! Much respect!!" – Mike McCready

"Dear KISS, thank you. Thank you for a lifetime of great memories. Thank you for the music. Thank you for your kindness. Just: THANK YOU. Truly the hottest band in the world. Forever and always my favorite band. Have an amazing final show. We are with you. We are one." – Todd Kerns

"That’s all folks!! KISS ……The End ???? Madison Square Garden NYC December 2 2023"- Rob Caggiano

"My first concert was @kiss and they were also my first fave band. At 14 @genesimmons was my idol. I’ve seen them over 100 times including a couple of weeks ago in Palm Desert. If this is it for live shows, thank you! Although I do wish for a Vegas residency, just saying….. #kiss#KISSARMY" – Brian Slagel

"You will be missed! I love you guys! ❤️???????????? ???????? Doro" – Doro Pesch

"Congratulations to KISS! Such an inspirational story of having a vision, being true to it and making it a reality. They finished the way they started, in New York and on their own terms." – Matt Starr

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