KISS cancels Las Vegas residency after guitar tech COVID death

The 12-date residency was scheduled to begin this December
Photo credit Getty Images

Just a few weeks after the death of their longtime guitar tech Francis Stueber, KISS has canceled a 12-date Las Vegas residency that was set to begin this December.

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According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ticketmaster notified ticket holders of the residency’s cancelation in an email. Additionally, the venue informed followers on Twitter that KISS had canceled their residency.

KISS is currently in the midst of their Kiss Kruise and has yet to comment on the cancelation of the residency.

Francis Stueber, the longtime guitar tech for Paul Stanley, passed away from COVID-19 in Mid-October. Stanley shared the news on his Twitter account, saying, “Both on and offstage I depended on him for so much. My family loved him as did I. He was so proud of his wife and 3 boys as they were of him. I’m numb.”

“We are profoundly heartbroken at the loss of Francis, he was a friend and colleague of 20 years, there is no way to replace him,” KISS told Rolling Stone in a statement. “Millions of people have lost someone special to this horrific virus and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Please protect yourself and your loved ones.”

However, several KISS crew members spoke with Rolling Stone about their belief that the tour had lax COVID-19 safety protocols. “Every day during the shows, we weren’t tested. And there are so many unknowns,” one crew member said. “Did we superspread this, did we spread this thing from city to city? It’s horrible that Fran passed, and it’s horrible if this is our protocol just for us to tour. Is this going to be the normal, to stick someone in a hotel and if somebody dies, ‘Oh, well, off to the next guy?’”

KISS issued a statement in response to the claims, saying, “Our End of the Road World Tour absolutely had COVID safety protocols in place that met, but most often exceeded, federal, state, and local guidelines. But ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk.”

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