Based on their performance at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore this past Saturday, June 10, 2023, there seems to be no winding down as KIX makes their way through the last few shows before their recently announced retirement.
In fact, KIX was as explosive as ever. One might even say, they were responsible for blowing everyone’s fuse that was in attendance. As a band local to the area, Baltimore is one of the cities that KIX regularly frequented back in the 80’s, and last night was their final bow on the stage at Rams Head Live, a newer venue which opened its doors in 2004. Located in the heart of Baltimore Maryland, the venue is a general admission standing room only room that caters to all-ages while it’s attached “Rock Star Bar” serves food as well as drink with the added benefit of a somewhat early entry.
There were certainly benefits to arriving early, as the evening began with local openers So Low. KIX fans may recognize their frontman Dean Cramer from his time with the band Funny Money, which also featured a few members of KIX over the years. The evening’s line-up included Dean Cramer on vocals and guitar, Justin Parks (subbing for Harley Kuhn) on guitar, Dylan Howes on bass, and Murray “Mur-Dawg” Gornall on drums. They were even joined by former Funny Money drummer Geoffrey Burrell-Sahl for “Funny Money.”
Dean has been performing with Pete Evick from the Bret Michaels Band and Chad Stewart from Faster Pussycat. In fact, we recently caught that fun trio at the official M3 Pre-Part on May 5. And, while we’ve only witnessed it on social media to date, Dean has recently been taking the stage with the Bret Michaels Band as well, including the sold-out Carolina Country Music Festival which drew 40,000 attendees!
While closer to 1500 people at Ram’s Head Live, this performance was also very much sold-out! It was one of just 10 remaining shows for the KIX band which features Steve Whiteman on vocals, Brian Forsythe and Bob Pare on guitars, Mark Schenker on bass, and Jimmy Chalfant on drums.
Other stops are slated to include nearby Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, as well as festival performances at Rocklahoma in Pryor on September 2nd and Rocktember in Hinkley, MN on September 8th before the final show at Merriweather Post Pavilion (the home of M3 Rock Festival where they made their retirement announcement back on May 7th) on September 17th.
After openers So Low exited the stage, KIX roared to life with their opening song “Hot Wire” before rolling into the crowd favorite “Midnight Dynamite.” Their set continued with high-energy favorites “Sex”, “Red Light”, “Scarlet Fever” and “Get Hot” before they mixed up the set list a bit, and slowed things down with “For Shame” from the 1983 Kool Kids album.
The second half of the show consisted primarily of songs fans would typically hear at a KIX concert, “Girl Money,” highlighted by frontman Steve Whiteman’s green dollar sign sunglasses; “The Itch,” which offered up some the opportunity for some audience participation; and the song that made them famous, “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”
With another jolt of energy, the band played on with “Wheels in Motion”, another song we’ve not heard in a while, before closing out the evening with a rousing rendition of “Cold Blood” and the finale of “Blow My Fuse”.
As the evening came to a close, the audience at this sold out show could be heard singing along with all their might right up until the last note, from the front row to the two upper balconies. I for one, will feel a large void when the KIX retirement day comes, but plan to be at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on September 17th to celebrate their final show along with everyone else!
Follow us @ThePureRockShop for more for Monsters of Rock Cruise and M3 Rock Festival recaps. Lots happening this past month as well with upcoming captures, recaps, news, and interviews from of local and regional concerts and festivals including Faster Pussycat, Chris Jericho’s Kuarantine, and more this summer so check back often.
Recap and Live Photos by contributor Carol Fisher for The Pure Rock Shop. Posted on 6/12/2023.