On Saturday evening, Kiss concluded their final show of the “The End of the Road” farewell tour at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City.
However, as loyal supporters are well aware, they were always going to continue. It was never truly going to end.
During their final performance, the current members of the band – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer – stepped off the stage to reveal digital versions of themselves. The virtual Kiss then played “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”
Utilizing advanced technology, the rock band has unveiled a new era for Kiss. With 50 years under their belt, the band is now pursuing a form of digital immortality.
George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, collaborated with Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, to create the avatars. The two companies recently joined forces for the “ABBA Voyage” event in London, where fans could experience a live concert by the Swedish band through their virtual avatars.
According to Pophouse Entertainment’s CEO, Per Sundin, this innovative technology ensures that Kiss’ legacy will last for an infinite amount of time. Sundin explains that the band was not physically present on stage for their virtual performance because this feature is the essential aspect of their forward-thinking technology. He also mentions that Kiss has the capability to perform concerts in three different cities on three different continents in one night using this technology.
Kiss used motion capture suits to create their digital avatars, which portray them as superhero versions of the band.
The use of this type of technology has become more prevalent in specific areas of the music business. In October, K-pop artist Mark Tuan collaborated with Soul Machines to develop a self-operating “digital twin” named “Digital Mark.” This made Tuan the first celebrity to connect their image to OpenAI’s GPT integration, which is an AI technology that enables fans to interact with Tuan’s avatar in personal conversations.
The K-pop girl group Aespa often shares the stage with their digital counterparts. The four members are intended to be perceived as an eight-member group, with digital doppelgangers. Meanwhile, the girl group Eternity consists entirely of virtual beings, eliminating the need for human members.
In a roundtable interview, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley expressed that while they have achieved great things, it is not sufficient. He believes that the band should continue to exist because it holds more significance than just its members. The band’s upcoming immortalization is a thrilling prospect for them.
Gene Simmons, bassist of Kiss, stated that by venturing to new and unexpected places, we can maintain our youth and iconic status indefinitely. He also mentioned that the advancements in technology will enable fellow band member Paul to reach new heights.
For those unable to attend the Madison Square Garden show, keep an eye out because a virtual Kiss concert could be coming soon.