Amir Said interviews Gene Simmons at Minhas Distillery. (Submitted by Amir Said)
Legendary rock band Kiss is bringing their End of the Road World Tour to the Prairies, a place that is near and dear to lead singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gene Simmons.
Simmons was in Regina on Dec. 11, 2022 to promote MoneyBag Vodka, his newly-launched line of spirits, in collaboration with Regina-based Minhas Distillery.
“If I did this in somewhere like Paris, nobody would question that,” said Simmons. “Since I did it here, people ask why. My wife is from Saskatchewan and it’s a beautiful place, beautiful people, and I’m happy to do business here.”
Simmons’ wife Shannon Tweed was raised in Saskatoon, where the street Tweed Lane was named after her in 2011.
“It’s good to be back (in Saskatchewan),” said Simmons, who made promotional appearances in Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton as well.
With Simmons’ personal and professional connections to Saskatchewan, Kiss announcing tour dates throughout the Prairies comes as no surprise to diehard fans.
As a self-proclaimed “Kiss superfan” for over a decade, Regina resident Sepehr Rahmati is ecstatic.
“I can’t wait to see them live for the first time,” said Rahmati. “I’ve lived all over the world and never got to see them live. It’s a bucket list thing for me.”
“I got to meet [Gene Simmons] at the vodka event here and it was such a surprise, it was so crazy,” said Rahmati. “It felt unreal. That’s so crazy. Well, now I’ve just got to meet the rest!”
The End of the Road World Tour, which has been ongoing since 2019, is slated to be the band’s final tour, marking the end of half a century of international concerts. This November, fans can look forward to seeing the band in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon as part of the thirteenth and final leg of the tour scheduled for late 2023.
The band performed in the Prairies as early as 1974. Their inaugural tour, aptly titled the Kiss Tour, kicked off at the University of Alberta on February 5 with 46 tickets sold.
“You know, people forget this but our first tour started in Edmonton at a university,” said Simmons. “We’ve come a long way.”
Since that first tour in 1974, which included a stop in Saskatoon on May 18, Kiss has consistently made appearances throughout Canada on their numerous international tours. The band’s last appearance in the Prairies was in Calgary on July 13, 2016, which was preceded by a show in Edmonton the day before.
The band’s most recent performances in Saskatchewan were part of the Monster World Tour in 2013, with Kiss stopping in Saskatoon on July 14 and Regina on July 16.
“I do wish they came to Regina,” said Rahmati. “I understand why not though, Saskatoon’s definitely bigger for a concert. That’s where I’ll see them.”
The Prairies dates announced for the tour:
November 10 – Rogers Place, Edmonton
November 12 – Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
November 13 – SaskTel Centre, Saskatoon
November 15 – Canada Life Centre, Winnipeg