Gene Simmons on Kiss's NYE show in Dubai: 'We have about $1 million worth of pyrotechnics'
Kiss are taking no chances when it comes to safety and will fly to the emirate on a custom jet
It is not only going to be the biggest show on Earth, but also the safest.
This is what Kiss promises for their anticipated New Year’s Eve concert in Dubai.
On Thursday, December 31, the legendary rock band will perform on the hotel grounds of Atlantis, The Palm in front of a limited live audience.
Most fans will catch the mammoth gig on the small screen, with the concert streamed live.
The band will arrive in Dubai with 400 crew and the show will feature attempts to break the world record for the "largest-ever pyro display".
And they are serious about achieving it.
Bassist Gene Simmons told The National that the band would come to the UAE with so much firepower their previous performances will look tame in comparison.
“We have about $1 million worth of pyrotechnics,” Simmons says.
“And the great people in Dubai are going to help us do that by making sure it's very safe for everybody involved.
"We have doctors on call every hour, everybody will get tested and it's going to be something spectacular.
“I would recommend that low-flying planes not fly over the concert site. This is going to be big, as in Godzilla big.”
A safer way to fly
That same intensive effort to prepare for what happens on stage will also apply to safety measures in the lead-up to the show.
From their arrival in an aircraft to the band quarantining separately in hotel rooms before the show, nothing has been left to chance.
“We will come on this huge jet that’s going to be basically converted to private apartments,” Simmons says.
“So each of us are going to be inside our own cubicle. Nobody can get into it.
"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 will go through a battery of regular health checks including PCR swabs and, in some cases, blood tests.
This comes on top of the band’s previous rehearsals in the US, which were all conducted in a tightly secured and sterilised space where band members and staff were also tested regularly.
Pointing the way forward for the music industry
Singer Paul Stanley says this is the new normal for now.
More importantly, the band’s diligence is meant to show their peers and the wider music industry a way to conduct high-quality, mass performances during the pandemic.
Speaking an hour before his next PCR test, Stanley tells The National he is aware the entertainment world is looking at the Dubai concert as a possible path forward for the battered music industry.
“If everybody is willing to do this within the parameters of what is safe, not only for the entertainers but for the audience, more importantly, then we can move forward,” he says.
“It’s about how much are you willing to do to provide safety for everyone?”
But when all of the safety checklists are ticked and the band plugs in, Stanley says expect a “Kiss show on steroids".
He says that with all of the hits, blinding explosions and state-of-the-art stage design, delivering a show full of unabashed glee to a global audience is the only way to kiss goodbye to a challenging year.
“Hopefully, most of us have survived the year and we'll dust ourselves off and move forward,” Stanley says.
“So this is a time for camaraderie and to know we are not alone or isolated.
"And I am particularly very aware of that. I will make sure that each person knows that and this is for them.”
And if that sentiment doesn’t move you, then the startling fireworks display will.
There is a reason why Kiss loves its pyro effects, Simmons says. They have an enduring way of capturing the moment.
“When you see a fireworks show, the last thing you want to do is think about what does it all mean,” he says.
“It's not about that. It's about enjoying and celebrating life. And that's what we intend to do.
"Forget about 2020, it's been a pain in the butt; 2021 is going to be a much better time for planet Earth for everybody.”
Kiss performs at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai on Thursday, December 31 at 9pm. Standard livestream tickets are available for $39.99 from kiss2020goodbye.com. Physical tickets are available for hotel guests with packages available from atlantis.com/kiss2020
Updated: December 17, 2020 01:57 PM