Kiss + Skindred + The Wild Things @ Resorts World Arena – 5th June 2023


On what is sure to be a bittersweet evening, hard rock legends Kiss simultaneously celebrate their 50th anniversary whilst counting down their last ever 50 shows. As befits such an occasion, the Kiss Army are out in force and display their rabid fandom via painted faces and outlandish costumes whilst teetering around the Resorts World Arena on impossibly high platform boots. It’s an evening of mixed emotions, and as such you can feel a tangible excitement electrifying the air…even before the masses are admitted into the Arena.

The Wild Things – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham -5th June 2023

Giving us a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come, huge statues of Gene, Paul, Eric and Tommy flank the stage, but up first it’s UK band, the aptly-titled The Wild Things. They’re no strangers to big stages, having supported The Who and Pearl Jam, but they grab this opportunity supporting Kiss with both hands, and they hit the stage like a force of nature. Due to the other band’s kit, The Wild Things only have limited space, but they make every inch count and cover the stage like a rash. Early doors means they play to a patchy crowd, yet the energy displayed during ‘Only Attraction’ acts as a magnet and soon pulls the stragglers in from the bar. New single ‘Paradise’ rocks particularly hard, whilst ‘Heaven Knows’ is a nice slice of Americana, before ‘Drunk Again’ brings their spirited performance to fractious conclusion. Having worked with Pete Townshend on sophomore album Afterglow, it seems the sky’s the limit for this bunch.

Skindred – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham – 5th June 2023

Any festival goer will be familiar with the name Skindred. Making friends and fans wherever they play, they’ve torn up stages from Rock am Ring to Wacken, and Download to Sonisphere, and as those who’ve witness their explosive show will testify, this is an experience not for the faint-hearted. Kiss are a band secure in their own prowess and always give their supports a decent sound and light show, and Skindred put it to good use. Pulling various strands of aggressive music into one red hot laser beam, Skindred go straight for the jugular and don’t let up over the next 40-minutes. The sheer effervescence that vocalist Benji Webbe displays is highly addictive, and he has plenty of fun with the crowd, constantly riling them up to greater insanity. A few bars of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ makes some present loose their cool, as does House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’, but it’s all in the right spirit, and the good vibes generated echo around the venue. Those who’ve witnessed Skindred won’t forget them in a hurry, and next time they return to the Resorts World, it’ll be as headliners, me thinks.

KISS – Birmingham Resorts World Arena – 5th June 2023

There’s probably only one band that could follow the scorched-earth policy of Skindred, and that’s Kiss. Having written some of metal’s biggest anthems and influenced countless artists, their place in rock n’ roll Valhalla is undoubtedly assured. Maybe I’m becoming jaded, but I rarely believe bands when they announce retirement (stand up Mötley Crüe!) but in the case of Kiss, who have little else to prove, you really think it could be the End Of The Road, for this incarnation at least. This finality adds extra spice to tonight’s show, and when the announcer screams “You wanted the best, you got the best!”, never in the annuls of music have truer words been spoken. As the band descend from the heavens on plinths and the opening chords of ‘Detroit Rock City’ ring out, the band are welcomed with a deafening cheer as the excitement that’s been building all evening suddenly has an outlet. Flames lick the stage, fireworks explode and Catherine wheels throws sparks in every direction and smoke hangs in the air, creating a sensory overload that’s a feast for the eyes and ears…and it’s only the first song!

Those expecting respite are sorely deluded as ‘Shout It Out Loud’ is accompanied by streamers that cover the first few rows, and Kiss magically turn a mournful Monday into a sparkly Saturday night. Dancing in his heels, Paul Stanley still has all the right moves, he creeps across the stage like a cat and his performance on ‘Cold Gin’ proves his voice is still in fine fettle. Every song is a show in itself, so much is happening that you really need another set of eyes to take it all in. When Tommy Thayer performs a solo, sparks fly from his guitar (literally!) and makes the perfect introduction to the raunchy ‘Lick It Up’ and ‘Makin’ Love’. During ‘God Of Thunder’ Gene Simmons is lifted high on a riser and becomes the ultimate kabuki monster, spitting blood and delivering an earth-quaking bass solo. Like a heavy metal Peter Pan, Paul flies over the crowd to sing ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ from a far corner of the stadium, and its disco-flavoured groove gets all but the infirm on their feet.

KISS – Birmingham Resorts World Arena – 5th June 2023

Black Diamond’ brings the show to a conclusion, but of course the band return for three well-deserved encores. The first of which finds Eric Singer rising from beneath the stage with a grand piano to play ‘Beth’, before the whole band return for ‘Do You Love Me’, with huge balloons bouncing around the venue, It is ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ that brings the curtain down in style, with ticker tape showering the crowd, and you can almost feel the love for Kiss filling the venue. A full-on, two-hour show proves that there’s still plenty of life in the band, and if these really are their final shows, then the world is going to be a far darker place.

  • Photography by Rich Ward.
  • Words by Peter Dennis.

Kiss Set List:

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Shout It Out Loud
  3. Deuce
  4. War Machine
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. I Love It Loud
  7. Say Yeah
  8. Gold Gin
  9. Guitar Solo (Tommy Thayer)
  10. Lick It Up
  11. Makin’ Love
  12. Calling Dr. Love
  13. Psycho Circus
  14. Drum Solo
  15. 100,000 Years
  16. Bass Solo
  17. God Of Thunder
  18. Love Gun
  19. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  20. Black Diamond


  1. Beth
  2. Do You Love Me
  3. Rock And Roll All Nite