Concluding the “End Of The Road” farewell tour on Saturday night (December 2) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, KISS surprised fans by revealing their plans to persist in the digital realm as avatars
In a notable encore moment, the recent lineup of KISS, featuring founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons alongside guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, exited the stage, making way for the virtual KISS avatars. These digital representations then proceeded to captivate the audience with a rendition of “God Gave Rock And Roll To You.”
Crafted by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the KISS avatars were brought to life through the support of Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment, known for their success with the “ABBA Voyage” show in London.
Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, told the Associated Press this new technology allows KISS to continue their legacy for “eternity.” He explained: “KISS could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents. That’s what you could do with this.”
Stanley said: “”People say, ‘Well, what are you gonna do when you stop?’ Well, the band will never stop. Because we don’t own the band. The fans own the band. The world owns the band.
“I mean, we’ve spent 50 years building it to this point. And by working with ILM and working with Pophouse, we’re all sharing this vision of taking KISS to a completely different level beyond being just a music band. And we’ve always thought of ourselves as more than just a music band.
“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.”
Simmons added: “We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before. The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
The KISS avatars Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman are depicted as “superhero” versions of the band.
In addition to the avatar shows, KISS will continue through other ventures, including a KISS museum in Las Vegas, KISS cruises, an upcoming movie coming out and a cartoon show.
Established in 2014 by ABBA‘s Björn Ulvaeus, Pophouse emerged with the primary goal of crafting distinctive live events that embody and enhance the ABBA brand. Over time, it has evolved to encompass diverse ventures spanning venues, events, and media.
The specialized venue and the cutting-edge technology facilitating the “ABBA Voyage” concerts in London were said to incur an estimated cost of around $175 million prior to the show’s debut in May 2022.
In a remarkable feat, within just 15 months of its launch, the show achieved exceptional success, raking in over $150 million in sales and selling upwards of 1.5 million tickets, as reported by Bloomberg.