Kiss bid farewell in their final concert with a performance at the renowned Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night. However, despite the final tour being called “The End of the Road”, fans knew something was just around the bend.
In a grand finale twist, the band’s current quartet – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer – vanished from the stage. They then reappeared as digital avatars. Behold, the virtual Kiss took center stage and belted out “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”
Cutting-edge technology was employed to hint at a new era for the legendary rock band. After half a century of flesh and blood Kiss, the group could go on forever using digital avatars. The band teased the concept on social media.
As revealed in a roundtable interview, the avatars came to life through a collaboration between George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, and Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. These companies recently joined forces for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London. Fans had the unique opportunity to witness a full concert performance by the legendary Swedish band, all performed by their digital avatars.
Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, states that this innovative technology ensures Kiss can preserve their legacy forever. He highlights the band’s absence from the virtual performance as a key aspect of this forward-thinking approach. “Kiss could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents,” Per Sundin explained. “That’s what you could do with this.”
To bring their digital avatars to life, the members of Kiss donned motion capture suits, transforming into a superhero-like version of the band.
Kiss Fans Shared Mixed Emotions Following the Digital Band’s Debut at Their Final Concert
Needless to say, fans had a mixed response to the concept on social media. “There’s literally nothing KISS can’t do. Love this,” an excited member of the Kiss Army proclaimed.
“Why not other musicians playing in real life with kiss makeup?”, one fan questioned on Instagram. “We have enough digital crap in our lives. We don’t need a digital AI version of our beloved band,” another fan opined.
However, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley believes the digital avatars are the way to go moving forward. “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,” Stanley said in the roundtable interview. “It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see Kiss immortalized.”
Of course, fellow founding Kiss member Gene Simmons agreed. “We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Simmons added. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
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