A KIX Goodbye
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow rock aficionados, and die-hard KIX fans, the moment we’ve been both eagerly anticipating and dreading has finally arrived. Our beloved KIX are bidding us a fond farewell with their grand finale performance! As a fervent admirer of these rockers, it’s time to unleash the excitement and bid adieu to an era that has defined the very essence of rock in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region.
Now, instead of diving into an exhaustive history lesson, let’s rev up the time machine and give you the KIX quickie. Picture this — KIX explodes onto the scene in the late 70’s, six killer albums drop, and they become the heart and soul of the Mid-Atlantic music scene. They finally toured the nation before hanging up their boots around ’96.
Fast forward to 2003 — KIX reunites, sans the formidable bassist and primary songwriter, Donnie Purnell. Why, you ask? Well, it seems Donnie had a bit of a creative dictatorship thing going on. But hey, in his defense, guitarist Brian Forsythe admitted they tried their hand at composing, but Donnie‘s tunes were like the holy grail. Perhaps that’s when his master plan was hatched — Donnie decided to use his musical genius to steer the ship. Upon their return, Mark Schenker came on board as the new bassist, and the KIX revival was in full swing.
Since then, these guys have been rocking our faces off (I apologize for including that pun) at festivals, the legendary M3, and even gracing the high seas with the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Oh, and they tossed in another full-length album just for kicks (that pun was an accident). But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Ronnie Younkins‘ battle with addiction prompted a rehab stint, and KIX had to say, “Enough is enough!” They needed someone who could play with unwavering reliability, so they tapped local guitarist Bob Paré.
But wait, the climax is yet to come! It was during their electrifying set at the M3 Rock Festival that KIX dropped the bombshell. “After much thought, we have decided to call it a career,” they declared. It was a tough decision, no doubt, but they wanted to bow out at the peak of their game, not when they felt they couldn’t meet their own sky-high standards.
And here’s the cherry on top — KIX isn’t fading away silently into the night. No, way! “We wanted to do this show for our fans,” declared Steve Whiteman. “We owe a lot to them for their never-ending support over our long 45-year career.” They could have quietly retired, but they want us to join them in one last epic hurrah. This show won’t just be a nostalgic rollercoaster; it will be a rock ‘n’ roll spectacle of epic proportions! Joining KIX on this night as support will be Baltimore, Maryland’s own Child’s Play. Brace yourselves, folks, because Ronnie Younkins will be gracing the stage again for a few numbers, and even Brad Divens, from Wrathchild America (who played on one of KIX‘s albums), will be joining as a special guest. As for Donnie Purnell, well, let’s just say the chances of him showing up are as slim as a guitar string.
The lineup for this historic night include:
Ronnie “10/10” Younkins
Brian “Damage” Forsythe
Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant
KIX aren’t just a band; it’s a way of life for their fans. For the past five decades, they’ve been the heartbeats of the Virginia, Maryland, and DC music scene. We’ve all enjoyed them at legendary venues like Jaxx/Zaxx, the Bayou, and Hammerjacks. And the magical thing is, we adore KIX today just as much as we did back in the ’80s. When you attend a KIX show, you’re guaranteed a few laughs from Steve Whiteman‘s stories, an unforgettable night of rock ‘n’ roll, and a smile etched on your face that won’t fade. They’re the ultimate “good time” band, and their farewell is going to leave a gaping hole in our rock-loving hearts.
So, mark your calendars and prepare for one more KIX party! KIX‘s farewell performance is set to detonate the stage this Sunday, September 17th, 2023 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The pavilion seats might’ve disappeared in a flash, but fear not! Lawn seats are still up for grabs, and you wouldn’t want to miss this epic send-off.
Visit this link to secure your spot at the hottest party of the year. Let’s make sure KIX rides into the sunset with a thunderous applause and a sea of swaying fans! It’s going to be a ‘KIX‘ goodbye we’ll cherish forever. I’ll see you there.
All photos by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography.