Watch Footage From Peter Criss’ Final U.S. Stage Performance
Peter Criss says he's retiring from live performance this year, and on June 17, he delivered what was billed as his final U.S. concert.
The show, which took place at the Cutting Room in New York City, found Criss running through a varied set list of Kiss songs, solo material and covers with his band, and culminated a brief run of farewell dates that included appearances at the Kiss Konvention in Australia last month. Fan-shot footage from the show, which you can watch above, captures the night's rendition of Criss' signature Kiss hit, "Beth."
As Criss told Billboard before the show, he used his last few dates to say goodbye on his own terms — and find a measure of peace with the way his years with Kiss ended in acrimony. "I didn't get to end my career the way I wanted to end it," he admitted. "So now I'm doing it my way, kind of like Sinatra."
Discussing his retirement plans earlier this year, Criss said that at age 71, he's ready to call it quits — and despite some lingering sadness over the bad blood that tainted his years with Kiss, he insisted he had no regrets. "I’ve had an amazing career in music; I was around in the '60s and '70s, which was about the best time to be a musician," he recalled. "I’ve seen the greatest of the greats perform; I grew up at a time when music was so cool. ... I’m in the best health I’ve been in for a while and I thought if I’m gonna do it, I gotta do it now."
Fans in other countries can still look forward to the possibility that Criss may visit to say farewell in person. Telling Billboard that he's entertaining the idea of traveling for a few more final dates, he outlined a handful of upcoming projects that include a children's book, a pair of new albums and the screenplay for a comedy he's developing with Ben Stiller in mind.
"I want to leave the stage happy," he explained. "I got onto the stage not thinking about making a buck. It was just pure: Play drums, have a good time, meet girls, travel and get out of Brooklyn."
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