IDAHO FALLS – It took illness, a broken arm and over two years of unexpected delays, but Leo Wyatt’s dream of seeing KISS in concert finally came true on Wednesday – the same day he turned 56.
Wyatt and his sister Toni Wood traveled to the USANA Amphitheater in Salt Lake City, met the group, and attended a show they will never forget.
âIt was the moment of his life! Wood texted EastIdahoNews.com after the show.
Wyatt has been in love with KISS since the band’s beginnings in the 1970s. Even though he listened to every record produced by the world famous heavy metal band, he had never attended a concert in person.
Wyatt was born with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition that presents with medical problems, developmental delays, and learning difficulties. One interesting feature is that people with this disorder generally enjoy music, which is the case with Wyatt.
In February 2019, EastIdahoNews.com surprised him for Feel Good Friday while working at Arctic Circle in Idaho Falls. We showed him a video message from Gene Simmons asking Wyatt to come to an upcoming gig with an invitation to meet the band backstage.
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Wyatt was thrilled, but the day before the scheduled show it was canceled due to a medical emergency for Simmons. Wyatt and his family were unaware of the cancellation and traveled to Salt Lake City, where Wyatt broke his arm and ended up in hospital.
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The concert has been rescheduled for 2020 but again postponed due to COVID-19. Finally, a new date was announced – September 22, 2021 – Wyatt’s birthday.
âThe concert is my birthday present,â Wyatt told EastIdahoNews.com.
Wood took Wyatt to Cheesecake Factory for dinner and splurged in a limo so his brother could make it to the trending show. For the past two years, Wyatt’s family have been in contact with the KISS Tour Director, and Wyatt and Wood have been invited to meet the group (through plexiglass due to COVID-19).
âWhen we went for a photo with the group, Gene pointed to Leo and nodded,â Wood said. “Leo is so excited about this.”
Wyatt spent the evening singing “God of Thunder”, “Shout It Out Loud”, “Detroit Rock City” and other favorites. Wood says it was “overwhelming” to watch his brother dance, laugh and enjoy the music.
âIt was exactly what I had hoped for and more,â she says. âHe kept saying, ‘Thank you.’ It was all such a fun dream come true.
Wyatt’s story has caught the attention of KISS fans and others around the world. Many sent him old records, photos of the band, and donations. Some of that money was used for hotel accommodation in Salt Lake City, and Wood says the rest will be donated to the Williams Syndrome Foundation.
âIt’s the best birthday,â Wyatt said Wednesday. “KISS – they never leave their fans behind.”
And this 56-year-old fan working at Arctic Circle has never left them either.