KISS made a huge announcement of their ‘new era’ as a virtual band at the close of their final performance of their “The End of the Road” farewell tour at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
After KISS finished playing their last song “Rock and Roll All Night,” the group left the stage in a hail of fire and smoke. After the band’s exit, virtual avatars were revealed performing “God Gave Rock n’ Roll to You” featuring Demon, Starchild, Catman, and Spaceman as the new KISS.
The virtual band ended the performance and left the crowd with a picture of the four avatars under the stylized KISS logo, superimposed with the phrase “A NEW ERA BEGINS.”
The band wrote on their social media “Today, A New Era Begins. #KISSARMY, the end is only the beginning!
KISS have been immortalized and reborn as avatars to rock forever. #KISSNEWERA”
Today, A New Era Begins. #KISSARMY, the end is only the beginning!
KISS have been immortalized and reborn as avatars to rock forever. #KISSNEWERA
— KISS (@kiss) December 3, 2023
It was reported that the avatars were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse Entertainment Group, which was co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. Recently, the two companies worked together for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London which also featured digital avatars of the band.
Fast Company described that the effects were created using “a combination of LED screen projection, lasers, and heavy metal smoke and pyrotechnics” helping the images appear “three-dimensional and much larger than life.”
CEO of Pophouse Entertainment Per Sundin said that the new avatars will allow KISS to continue for “eternity.” He also said that the band wasn’t on stage during the virtual performance because “that’s the key thing.”
“Kiss could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents,” he said. “That’s what you could do with this.”
In a roundtable interview, frontman Paul Stanley said “What we’ve accomplished has been amazing, but it’s not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are. It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see Kiss immortalized.”
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” KISS Bassist Gene Simmons added. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
“People say, ‘Well, what are you going to do when you stop?’” Stanley said in a promotional video released after the concert ended. “Well, the band will never stop. Because we don’t own the band. The fans own the band. The world owns the band.”
After 50 years of giving rock and roll to fans, KISS members may retire but the band will not be gone.
In his recent interview with 519 Magazine this November, Simmons hinted the band’s virtual transformation. “This tour is the end of the road for the band, not the brand.”
“KISS is a universe of its own – movies, merchandise, maybe even Broadway,” he continued. “The band will end, but the KISS experience… it’s immortal.”
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