In a new interview with The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn, KISS's longtime manager Doc McGhee blamed COVID-related matters for the cancelation of the band's second Las Vegas residency.
Ticketmaster notified ticket holders of the 12-date residency's cancelation via e-mail earlier in the month. The Las Vegas Review-Journal's initial report cited "soft ticket sales" as the reason behind the scrapped concerts, although an amended version of the article no longer gave an explanation for the shows being called off.
Asked by The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn what the real reason was for the residency cancelation, Doc said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When we did it, I said we're gonna go until November 1st and see if we can get the people in from Europe. We have one chance for people to come to Vegas to see us because [KISS co-founders] Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] will not tour after ; they're gonna be done. So when we couldn't get the people in, and the restrictions were there, I said, 'We don't have to do it now.' We talked about it: 'Let's do it later down the road when everybody gets a chance to see a different section of KISS.' This isn't KISS, the stage show that we have today, this isn't KISS 2.0 or any of that stuff — this will be a whole different vibe that people wanna come [and see]. And we're gonna do 12 shows. Let people be able to come and see 'em for the last time in Vegas. It was hard enough on the [recently completed Kiss Kruise] — 174 people couldn't come [due to COVID travel restrictions]; 174 cabins, [which was] like 300 people."
As for when he expects the second KISS Vegas residency to finally happen, Doc said: "I think it's gonna be in, like, August [of 2022]. It'll be either August or October. We're checking it out now."
McGhee also talked about the rescheduled date and location of the final show of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour. The trek was originally set to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but has since been extended to at least the end of 2022. Asked when and where the last-ever concert will happen, Doc said: "Obviously, it's gotta be New York — somewhere in New York. If we're doing [it] after September [of 2022], then there's only a few places to play. So we're still kind of mapping it out, because we were supposed to end at [the] Citi Field [baseball park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York City] this past July. And with the pandemic, we couldn't do any of that. And because of the heavy touring commitments that everybody's put on in '22, 'cause everybody's been off for two years — everybody wants to go out — so it's hard to get dates and all that kind of stuff."
In August, Simmons spoke to Rolling Stone about KISS's then-upcoming residency, saying: "There are matters of the heart and then there are matters of the pocket and it’s nice when they both converge. So it's a very nice payday. They pay well and that's reason enough. But it's also easier for the band because you don't have the wear and tear of traveling."
KISS's residency cancelation came a day after Rolling Stone magazine published a story in which a group of KISS roadies suggested that the lack of COVID protocols enforced on "End Of The Road" led to the death of a longtime guitar tech, 53-year-old Francis Stueber. Stueber died of coronavirus in his Detroit hotel room on October 17, just two days after being quarantined. The crew members claimed the tour didn't take strict enough safety measures, including not testing everyone regularly. In addition, some crew members allegedly disguised their illness and/or faked vaccine cards.
The legendary rockers previously set up shop in Sin City in November 2014 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel And Casino. The nine-show run was captured for the "Kiss Rocks Vegas" DVD and Blu-ray set, which arrived in August 2016.
KISS's current lineup consists of original members Simmons and Paul Stanley (guitar, vocals), alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup.