Kiss Tour In Michigan

KISSing Michigan Goodbye

After years of entertaining Michiganders with colorful costumes, one-of-a-kind stage shows, and plenty of rock and roll classics over the years, KISS performed in Michigan for perhaps the final time on Friday, October 20, 2024, at Little Caesars Arena in Downtown Detroit.

The veteran rockers made sure to show Detroit plenty of love Friday on the latest stop on its End of the Road World Tour, during a set loaded with KISS hits, including, “Deuce,” “Beth,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and “Love Gun.”

The tour, which kicked off in January 2019, has included four Michigan stops, including Little Caesars Arena and Van Andel Arena in March 2019, and Pine Knob (formerly DTE Energy Music Theatre) in October 2021 before last weekend’s performance.

We wonder if they’ll find themselves missing Michigan?

Kiss Tour In Michigan
Photo Credit: Tony Norkus / Shutterstock.com

KISS in Michigan

In a career spanning five decades, the platinum-selling stadium rockers have shared a special kinship with the Mitten State.

  • In 1975, the quartet visited Cadillac and performed at Cadillac High School during its homecoming after they learned KISS music was played in the locker room to inspire the Cadillac High football team.
  • Parts of their breakthrough 1975 live album Alive! were recorded at Coba Arena in Detroit.
  • KISS famously paid homage to Detroit in its 1976 hit “Detroit Rock City” which has been often used as a concert opener on KISS tours, including KISS’ most recent Detroit show.
  • The band kicked off its 1996 reunion at Tiger Stadium in Michigan.

In all their years of touring, KISS made frequent stops in Michigan. KISS made frequent stops in its early days at the Michigan Palace, Olympia Stadium, and Cobo Arena in Detroit, but also played in Port Huron, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills, Marquette, Lansing, Muskegon, and Saginaw.

Kiss Tour In Michigan
Photo Credit: Tony Norkus / Shutterstock.com

A History of Great Live Music in Detroit

Through the years, Detroit and the surrounding metro Detroit area have been the site of some beloved live music venues, including several where KISS graced the stage.

Cobo Area

Cobo Arena, now known as Huntington Place on Washington Boulevard, was a 12,000-seat arena built in 1960.

As a music venue, Cobo Arena was a featured stop anytime a big-time band came through Detroit, hosting everyone from Led Zeppelin to the Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix to Ted Nugent to Madonna.

Due to its popularity, many bands recorded performances at Cobo Arena for live albums. In addition to Kiss’ Alive!, Bob Seger’s “Live Bullet” and “Nine Tonight” albums were recorded partially or entirely at Cobo Arena as well as parts of Journey’s “Captured” and songs from “Yesshows,” a live album by Yes.

The Palace of Auburn Hills

The Palace of Auburn Hills, known to Michiganders as simply The Palace, was formerly the home arena of the Pistons, but it was also known as a great concert venue and was used as a template for the construction of future arenas.

Sting was the first musician to perform there in 1988, and the venue hosted acts such as Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Van Halen, U2, the Spice Girls, and many more.

Detroit Olympia Stadium

Detroit Olympia, better known as Olympia Stadium or The Old Red Barn, was once the home to the Detroit Red Wings but was also a major venue for championship boxing fights.

As a music venue, Olympia hosted some of the biggest musical acts of its time, including performances by The Beatles in 1964 and 1966, along with performances from Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, KISS (who performed there in 1978), and many others.

Michigan Building

The Michigan Building, also known as the Michigan Theater Building and The Michigan Palace, opened in 1926 and was once one of the biggest theater/movie houses in the state. In its earliest days, the theater hosted performances by the likes of Benny Goodman and John Philip Sousa.

In later years, the Michigan Palace hosted performances by David Bowie and performances by KISS in 1974 and 1975 in support of its debut album.

Michigan Theater Building, Aka Michigan Palace
Michigan Theater Building in 1926 | Photo Credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

See Awesome Performances at Michigan’s Best Live Music Venues

Michiganders know that the best way to enjoy music is to see it live and there are plenty of live music venues around Michigan to see the very best in live performance.

Of course, bigger venues such as Comerica Park, Little Caesars, and Van Andel area get plenty of attention during the height of concert season, but there are also lots of smaller, intimate venues to enjoy a live performance.

Royal Oak Music Theater has been a popular Metro Detroit venue since the 1920s and has hosted some of the best acts in pop culture, including Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, NSYNC, and comedians like Robin Williams.

The Ark in Ann Arbor is a non-profit organization that was created as a spot for students to come and have fun, away from the pressures of the world. It also helps bring the Ann Arbor Folk Festival to town each year.

Leilapalooza is an annual music festival held at the Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek. The festival packs more than two dozen acts into the festival grounds and all the proceeds go to the Kingman Museum.

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