Kiss have postponed four North American concerts after bassist Gene Simmons tested positive for Covid-19.
The news comes a week after the band’s singer, Paul Stanley, was also diagnosed with the virus, forcing the group to pull out of two shows.
Kiss aim to resume the US run of their End of the Road world tour on Thursday, September 9, in Irvine, California.
The band and crew are currently isolating with new dates for the cancelled gigs to be announced soon.
“While Paul Stanley recently tweeted that he has recovered from Covid, Gene Simmons has now tested positive and is experiencing mild symptoms,” the band posted on their Instagram account.
“The band and crew will remain at home and isolate for the next 10 days and doctors have indicated the tour should be able to resume on September 9 at FivePoint Amphitheatre. All previously purchased tickets will be honoured for the new dates once announced.”
Tough safety measures for the tour
The cancelled shows underscore the insidious nature of the virus, occurring despite the band implementing rigorous safety measures for the large-scale tour.
Not only are the band and crew fully vaccinated, but the musicians and supporting staff operate in separate bubbles overseen by a full-time safety protocol officer who ensures all measures are in line with government regulations.
As for their popular meet and greet packages, the group found a novel way to take photos with fans by standing behind a Plexiglas screen.
It began in Dubai
Many of these stringent measures were first road-tested in Dubai, where the band played an explosive New Year’s Eve concert at Atlantis, The Palm.
Performing to a small audience on the ground and streamed to millions online, the concert was Kiss’s first show in more than six months and they took no chances when it came to preparing safely.
“We had ongoing Covid-19 tests and our rehearsal space is locked, sterilised and sanitised every day,” Stanley told The National at the time.
“Everybody is monitored constantly and will be until the time we arrive in Dubai. We basically want to celebrate without being a threat.”
Simmons also told The National the group flew to Dubai in virtual isolation as an additional safety measure.
“Each of us are going to be inside our own cubicle. Nobody can get into it,” he said.
"In fact, the food is going to be put in through a portal, so we won’t even see the hand. It's just going to kind of magically come through. So no one has to breathe the same air and all that.”
On the ground, the band and crew underwent a battery of regular health checks including PCR swabs and, in some cases, blood tests in the lead-up to the Dubai show.
However, Covid-19 still found a way to temporarily silence one of the world’s most spectacular music tours.
That said, demand is high with more than 70 shows remaining, encompassing the US, Australia, South America and Europe before winding down in Amsterdam, Netherlands, next July.
Speaking before the Dubai gig that kicked off the tour, Stanley said he was aware the entertainment industry was looking at the band as an example to conduct safe and high-quality mass performances during the pandemic.
“If everybody is willing to do this within the parameters of what is safe, not only for the entertainers but for the audience, then we can move forward,” he said.
“It’s about how much are you willing to do to provide safety for everyone?”