KISS Censors Lyrics, Blood in NYE Livestream to Dodge Strict Dubai Obscenity Laws

Michele Amabile Angermiller
·2 min read

The book has closed on “KISS 2020 Goodbye,” the band’s livestream event broadcast from the Palm in Dubai — but not without changing a couple verses to adhere to local customs in the United Arab Emirates city.

The band replaced the phrase “virgin soul,” from the Gene Simmons-sung “God of Thunder,” to “sacred soul,” and also removed the word “bitch” from “100,000 Years.” Also nixed: the band’s famed blood-spitting theatrics.

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Although a playground for the rich and famous, Dubai is conservative about epithets that might not raise an eyebrow in America. Anything seen as a profanity or other bad language can be labeled as an obscene act, and offenders can be fined as much as Dhs 10,000 ($2,700) or jailed. Saying the word “fuck” is a crime in Dubai, as it “disgraces the honor or the modesty” of a person, according to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code.

KISS (with founding bassist Simmons and guitarist Paul Stanley now joined by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer) played a super-sized set of its “End of The Road” tour setlist, 22 songs in all, on a 250-foot stage. The massive production, produced by Landmarks Live Presents and directed by Daniel Catullo, was filmed in 4K, with more than 50 cameras and 360-degree views, and can be seen anytime (tickets for the replay are available through tixr.com).

KISS also set two high-water (or high-pyro) marks destined for the Guinness Book of World Records. One was the most flame projections launched simultaneously in a music concert. “I can reveal that you achieved a grand total of 73,” said a rep for the Guiness Book, on-camera. “You are officially amazing.”

KISS also set the record for the highest flame projections in a music concert, with the new benchmark being “35 meters.”

The band is still waiting on certification that it smashed the highest grossing pay-per-view livestream record for a rock concert. The minimum requirement, the rep said, is $10.4 million. The results are not yet certified, and the group has considerable competition tonight with a Justin Bieber livestream also scheduled for New Year’s Eve. “We still need to review the evidence,” the rep said from the stage. “Good luck, guys.”

Setlist:

“Detroit Rock City”
“Shout It Out Loud”
“Deuce”
“Say Yeah”
“I Love It Loud”
“Heaven’s on Fire”
“Tears are Falling”
“War Machine”
“Lick It Up”
“Calling Dr. Love”
“100,000 Years”
“Cold Gin”
“God of Thunder”
“Psycho Circus”
“Parasite”
“Love Gun”
“I Was Made for Lovin’ You”
“Black Diamond”

Encore:

“Beth”
“Strutter”
“Do You Love Me”
“Rock and Roll All Nite”

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