KISS made a major geographical faux pas in Vienna on Sunday night (June 26), paying tribute to the audience with a message in the colours of the Australian flag.
As you can see below, the theatrical rock legends displayed thank you to fans at the close of the show at Wiener Stadthalle, which, in a schoolboy error, cast their famous logo in the colours of a country 14,203 km away. The potential for a mix-up between Austria and Australia given their similar spellings is obvious, although this has not spared the band an avalanche of online ridicule.
One Twitter user, @CodexRex, rechristened Austria “the land down under Germany”, while @doctormcdougall urged the band’s most recognisable member, bassist Gene Simmons, to “throw another schnitzel on the barbie.”
Nearly 48 hours on from the mishap, the band have not publicly commented on it, although Simmons took his last such Spinal Tap moment in his stride; last October, at a show at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida, the band were descending from the rafters on individual platforms when Simmons malfunctioned and became uneven, leaving him to steady himself before making an ungainly hop down on to the stage.
To his credit, he shared footage of the moment on his Twitter page, saying: “we are committed to you and to putting on the greatest on Earth…even though it’s not always as safe as we want it to be. This happened 2 shows ago…” Ironically, only a day prior, he had shared a photograph of himself breathing fire on stage, commenting: “Yes, kiddies. The big bad man still risks safety to do what no-one onstage has ever done. Every show… For your honor!”
KISS’ End of the World tour rolls on, as they circle the globe for what they have promised will be the final time. Their Friday night headline show at Download Festival earlier this month, at which they played a hit-packed set that included ‘Detroit Rock City’, ‘God of Thunder’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’, is likely to represent their last ever UK appearance.
“The last thing you wanna be is to be a world-champion boxer and stay in the ring too long,” said Simmons last month during an interview on KLOS’ ‘Whiplash’. “It’s only a matter of time until your legs are not gonna be able to hold you up, and you’re gonna lose.”