Hard rock veterans Kix have announced their retirement following one final concert on September 17th at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. It will be a hometown sendoff for the band, which formed in Maryland in 1977.
Frontman Steve Whiteman revealed the news while performing onstage at that very venue on Sunday (May 7th) at part of the M3 Rock Festival. Tickets for the final show go on sale Tuesday (May 9th) at 10 a.m. local time via Ticketmaster. If the concert sells out, fans can also look for tickets via StubHub, where your purchase is 100% guaranteed through StubHub’s Fan Protect program.
“We’ve decided that after 45 years of doing this, I think we’re gonna call it a career,” Whiteman told the audience [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “Not tonight. We’re gonna do a show here September 17th. It’s been a long, long, long road. And my health is failing. [Kix drummer] Jimmy [Chalfant’s] health is definitely failing. And we just decided we’re gonna finish up these dates through the summer. And we were gonna end in Hinckley, Minnesota. And we thought, ‘Who the fuck wants to end a career in Hickley, Minnesota?'”
Whiteman continued: “So we brainstormed, and we said, ‘We wanna do one big final rock and roll show in the area,’ because you guys deserve it. No offense, Hinckley, but fuck that. So September 17th will be our final show, and we’re lucky enough to be doing it here [at the Merriweather Post Pavilion], so we hope you all will come join us. Will you come join us for our final show? We’re countin’ on you. So, it’s sad, but it’s just time. You know when it’s time. It’s like an athlete. You know when it’s time. And I think it’s time. I’m tired. I can’t fucking do this anymore.”
Whiteman later told Metal Edge that the decision to retire was made about a year ago, before Chalfant collapsed onstage during a Kix show seven months ago after suffering cardiac arrest. Whiteman said Chalfant’s health scare “put a whole new perspective on things” and he also cited his own health ailments as a main reason for calling it quits.
“It might seem sudden, but this is a decision that I made around a year ago,” Whiteman said. “I gave it a lot of thought, decided, and announced it to the guys in the band and our booking agents. I knew at that point that I was probably going to be done by the of 2023. It’s been 45 years of nonstop rock ‘n’ roll, travel, and hanging out, and I don’t have the time to commit to it anymore. I’m 66. I’ve got neuropathy in my feet. I’m tired.”
Kix originally formed as a heavy power-pop band and were based in Baltimore for much of their career, garnering a dedicated regional following throughout the 1980s.
The band’s biggest brush with fame came via 1988’s Blow My Fuse. Produced by Beau Hill, the major-label release saw Kix embrace the hard rock/glam metal that was popular at the time, notching MTV staples with singles “Cold Blood” and “Don’t Close Your Eyes” — the latter becoming the band’s biggest hit.
Kix still have a handful of remaining tour dates running throughout the rest of the summer, followed by a stop at the Rocklahoma fest on September 1st. Pick up tickets to those dates here.
See footage of Whiteman announcing the band’s retirement and revisit the music video for “Don’t Close Your Eyes” below.