The Press Release:
It is with heavy hearts that KIX have announced their retirement from performing live. Lead singer, Steve Whiteman made the announcement from the stage at M3 Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 7. Metal Edge spoke to Steve Whiteman exclusively earlier that day.
“After much thought we have decided to call it a career,” says Whiteman. “It was obviously not an easy decision to make, but the right one at this time in our lives for our families and the band.”
KIX’s final performance ever is set for September 17 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. “KIX…Walkin’ Away, The Final Show” will see the original band members Steve Whiteman, Brian Forsythe, Ronnie Younkins, Jimmy Chalfant, and longtime bassist Mark Schenker take the stage for the very last time. The night will also include some very special guests. Tickets for the show will go on sale May 9 at 10:00am HERE.
“We wanted to do this show for our fans,” says Whiteman. “We owe a lot to them for their never-ending support over our long 45-year career. It was tempting to just fade away and stop booking gigs and ride off into the sunset, but we wanted our fans to be part of a local farewell show and give them a chance to see the band one last time.”
KIX formed in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1978 and have enjoyed a lasting 45-year career as one of hard rock’s most notable groups. The band’s retirement signifies the end of an era as KIX was one of the last touring bands from the 80’s rock scene who were still at the top of their game. Highly respected by fans, peers, and critics, KIX is deservingly very proud of their long legacy.
KIX released many albums throughout their career including, 1985’s breakout album Midnite Dynamite. From the slash-and-burn riffing of the album’s title track and the high-speed antics of “Layin’ Rubber,” to the Aerosmith-flavored groove of numbers like “Cold Shower,” and “Sex,” to the heart-break melancholia of the album’s sole ballad, “Walkin’ Away,” Midnite Dynamite was packed with material that delivered not only attitude in spades, but also pummeled the listener with hook after hook.
In 2014, KIX released Rock Your Face Off, their first studio effort since 1995’s Show Business. The album debuted at #1 on Amazon’s “Hard Rock and Metal “chart, in the Top 50 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, #5 on the “Independent Albums “chart, #11 on the “Top Internet “chart, #17 on the “Top Rock Albums” chart, #27 on the “Indie/Small Chain Core Stores” chart and #33 on the “Physical” chart. In 2016, KIX released Can’t Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX, a two-disc DVD/CD set that entered the Billboard Top Music Video Sales chart at #3, and rose to the #1 position, the band’s highest charting debut and first #1 ever in their history. The 71-minute film offered an in-depth look into KIX’s decision to record their first new album, 2014’s Rock Your Face Off, in almost 20 years. In 2018, KIX celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their biggest album, Blow My Fuse, with Blow My Fuse Re-Blown, a two-disc set with a remixed/remastered version of the album, along with the original demo recordings for all 10 songs. The reunion with long-time collaborator and the album’s original producer Beau Hill (Alice Cooper, Ratt, Warrant, KIX) for this remix sparked the initiative to revisit Midnite Dynamite and take a similar approach to updating KIX’s legacy. In 2020, on the 35th anniversary of the release of Midnite Dynamite, KIX once again partnered with Beau Hill to release Midnite Dynamite Re-Lit.
As for KIX’s final show, Brad Canfield, Vice President of Operations for Merriweather Post Pavilion says,
“When we started the M3 Rock Fest 14 years ago to pay homage to the legends of hard rock, KIX was the first call we made. They’re M3’s hometown heartbeat, and the only band to play every single edition. We’ll miss them greatly, but we’re honored and excited to host them on our historic stage one last time this September to give them the sendoff they truly deserve.”
Whiteman concludes, “I just want everyone to end up on their feet and celebrate all the good times we’ve had over the years. It’s a party and you are all invited!”
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: Though I’ve only managed to see KIX in concert about a handful of times over the years, I can honestly say that this is a loss for all fans of quality Hard Rock and Roll. The band delivers nothing less than an exhilarating show and always make their fans feel like they are members of the extended family. I don’t think I’ll be making the journey to their final performance but if I somehow hammer our the media details you can sound on the full scoop being presented here. I don’t have much else to add to the news but will thank KIX for keeping their fans screaming for so many years and so many shows. Fans can chime in down below with their own thoughts and if you have a second, please enjoy a clip I snagged way back in 2011 when they played the famed B.B. King Blues Club back in 2011. If memory serves me that was the first time they had ever played there and thinking back on it I can add that I still truly miss that venue. The review is HERE for the curious and the video on our Official YouTube Channel is below. Stay safe out there and I will see you again soon.