The first major Milwaukee concert has been postponed because of positive cases of COVID-19.
KISS frontman Paul Stanley tested positive Thursday, forcing the band to postpone a string of shows over subsequent days, beginning with a planned Pennsylvania concert that was shelved at the last minute.
On Tuesday, the band announced that bassist Gene Simmons, too, has tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, the band is postponing four more shows, including a Milwaukee date at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater Sept. 5. The band’s members will isolate at home for 10 days, with plans to resume the tour Sept. 9 in California.
New dates for the postponed shows have yet to be announced. While the KISS show was scheduled to take place at the Summerfest venue during the Big Gig’s run, it was not officially a Summerfest show. The announcement came just one day before a pre-festival kickoff concert at the amphitheater.
“I had been sick with flu-like symptoms and was tested repeatedly and was negative,” Stanley wrote on Twitter Thursday night. “As of late this afternoon I tested positive.”
In another tweet, Stanley assured fans that he was fine following rumors he was hospitalized.
“Everyone on the tour, both band and crew, are fully vaccinated,” the band said in a statement Thursday. “The band and their crew have operated in a bubble independently to safeguard everyone as much as possible at each show and in between shows. The tour also has a COVID safety protocol officer on staff full-time that is ensuring everyone is closely following all CDC guidelines.”
The live music industry abruptly shut down in March 2020 at the dawn of the pandemic, with scores of Milwaukee shows postponed or canceled. The KISS tour, part of their “End of the Road” farewell run, was initially supposed to swing through Milwaukee last year.
Artists started announcing summer and fall shows again this spring, when COVID cases were dropping across the country due to growing vaccination rates.
But cases began climbing in July — in Wisconsin, daily case counts have reached levels last seen in January — and some artists have had to cancel shows due to positive cases among musicians or crew members, including Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy and Korn.
Other artists have scrapped their touring plans for the year because of COVID, including Garth Brooks, Stevie Nicks, Nine Inch Nails, Florida Georgia Line, and Summerfest headliners Pixies and Modern English.
But the vast majority of shows, in Milwaukee and across the country, are still on — albeit with a growing number of artists and venues adding extra safety protocols.
That includes Summerfest — running Sept. 2 to 4, 9 to 11 and 16 to 18 (with bonus amphitheater shows Sept. 1, 8 and 15). The festival was one of the first in the country to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, taken within 72 hours of attendance, for entry.
Other venues in town are requiring similar protocols for all events, including the Pabst Theater Group venues, the Cactus Club, the Cooperage, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, and X-Ray Arcade. Fiserv Forum, the Rave and Shank Hall are all hosting shows with proof of vaccination or negative test requirements, while Harry Styles last week announced masks will also be required for his tour, including a Fiserv Forum show Nov. 3.
Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook at facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.
Piet also talks concerts, local music and more on “TAP’d In” with Evan Rytlewski. Hear it at 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9), or wherever you get your podcasts.