Kiss’ final live performance at Madison Square Garden in New York last night also turned out to be the first for the band’s successors — four digital avatars that will play on in the real members’ retirement from physical shows. Kiss concluded the last show of its “The End of the Road” tour by introducing the new virtual band, which then performed “God Gave Rock And Roll To You.”
The avatars weren’t just straight replicas of the current band members — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer — but interpretations of them “as fantasy-based superheroes,” said Pophouse Entertainment, which partnered with George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic for their creation. And, it says that’s just “one of the many and varied ways in which Kiss will live on as digital performers through their avatars in the future.” Industrial Light & Magic also created the digital avatars of ABBA (or ABBAtars) for the ongoing ABBA Voyage show in London.
No specific plans for the virtual band have been announced just yet, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see similar Kiss experiences pop up in the near future. Gene Simmons, who founded Kiss alongside Paul Stanley, said the move will keep the band “forever young and forever iconic,” while Stanley called it a way to “see Kiss immortalized” and take the group “to a completely different level beyond being just a music band.”