Last week, I saw KISS in concert.

A pickleball pal had free tickets, and I’d never seen KISS live, so I figured “why not?” Besides, this is billed as their final tour (although we’ve heard that from them before).

The show was at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, a venue that’s seen better days. The same could be said for KISS. I think the last time I was in that arena, it about a decade ago, when I took my sons to see pro wrasslin’.

KISS has a lot in common with the WWE – both are heavy on showmanship. The concert featured (in no particular order): Flames. Fireworks. 40-foot inflatables of the band members. Smoke machines. Confetti cannons. Fake blood. Floating platforms. Paul Stanley gliding on a wire across the arena — Peter-Pan-like — to get to a smaller stage. Gene Simmons in a crane bucket that swung out over the crowd.

I went with my buddy Joe, and as he said after the show, it was completely over-the-top… and that’s exactly what we expected from Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and friends (Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer served as decent subs for Ace Frehley and Peter Criss from the original lineup).

Here’s the thing though: Gene Simmons is 74. Paul Stanley is 71. They’ve been in this band for fifty years! And they’re still out there playing a two-hour set… wearing those giant super-soled boots… and getting in platforms that take them 40 feet above the stage, and, in Paul’s case, zooming through the air while hanging onto a trapeze contraption. While most folks their age are wearing sensible shoes and ordering the early-bird special at Denny’s, they’re rocking and rolling all night (but probably taking a nap every day). More power (and pyro) to ’em!