Kiss’ final live performance at Madison Square Garden in New York last night marked not only the end of an era but also the inception of a new chapter featuring the band’s successors—four digital avatars set to carry on in lieu of the original members’ retirement from physical shows. The grand finale of Kiss’ “The End of the Road” tour concluded with the introduction of the virtual band, who then performed “God Gave Rock And Roll To You.”
These avatars aren’t mere replicas of the existing band members—Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer—but rather imaginative interpretations presented as “fantasy-based superheroes,” according to Pophouse Entertainment. Collaborating with George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic for their creation, the avatars signify just one of the diverse ways in which Kiss intends to persist as digital performers through their avatars in the future. Industrial Light & Magic also crafted the digital avatars of ABBA (dubbed ABBAtars) for the ongoing ABBA Voyage show in London.
While specific plans for the virtual band are yet to be disclosed, the prospect of similar Kiss experiences emerging in the near future seems likely. Gene Simmons, the co-founder of Kiss alongside Paul Stanley, sees this move as a means to keep the band “forever young and forever iconic.” Meanwhile, Stanley views it as a method to “see Kiss immortalized” and elevate the group “to a completely different level beyond being just a music band.”