Kix played their final concert ever on Sunday night (September 17th) at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland — just down the road from the band’s home city of Baltimore.
The hard rock vets were joined by former guitarists Ronnie Younkins and Brad Divens for what proved to be a celebratory, career-spanning set.
All of Kix’s biggest hits from their MTV glam-metal glory days were included in the set, most notably cuts from 1985’s Midnite Dynamite (“Midnite Dynamite”; “Scarlet Fever”; “Cold Shower”) and 1988’s Blow My Fuse (“Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT”; “Don’t Close Your Eyes”; “Cold Blood”).
Early in the set, Younkins joined the band onstage for the first two songs (“Atomic Bombs” and “The Kid”) before Divens took part in renditions of early Kix material (“For Shame” and “Mighty Mouth”) hailing from his stint in the band (1982-1983). Younkins and Divens then formed a triple-guitar attack with longtime Kix axeman Brian Forsythe for the four-song finale.
We originally reported on Kix’s final concert back in May after frontman Steve Whiteman announced that the band was calling it quits, mainly due to health-related issues.
“We’ve decided that after 45 years of doing this, I think we’re gonna call it a career,” Whiteman told a crowd at the M3 Rock Festival. “… 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 later told Metal Edge that the decision to retire was made about a year prior, before Chalfant collapsed onstage during a Kix show 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 retiring.
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 on Atlantic 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.
Below you can watch audience footage of Kix’s final concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion and see the complete setlist.
Atomic Bombs (with Ronnie Younkins on guitar)
The Kid (with Ronnie Younkins on guitar)
No Ring Around Rosie
Red Hot (Black & Blue) / Body Talk / Ball Baby / Luv-A-Holic / Love At First Sight / Love Pollution (instrumental medley)
Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT
Don’t Close Your Eyes
Book To Hypnotize / Cool Kids / Cold Chills / Bang Bang (Balls Of Fire) (instrumental medley)
For Shame (with Brad Divens on guitar)
Mighty Mouth (with Brad Divens on guitar)
Cold Blood (with Ronnie Younkins guitar intro and drum solo outro)
Blow My Fuse (with Ronnie Younkins on guitar)
Tear Down The Walls / Walkin’ Away (with Ronnie Younkins and Brad Divens on guitar)
Yeah Yeah Yeah (with Ronnie Younkins and Brad Divens on guitar)