The band revealed their avatar performance during their farewell show at Madison Square Garden.
Kiss, for obvious reasons, may be the most recognizable band on the planet. Despite playing their (final) farewell concert at Madison Square Garden over the weekend, the band shared its plan to become "immortal."
As Kiss walked off the stage in New York, they were replaced by avatars projected above the stage. Those digital avatars broke into "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You" from the Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack, a tease of how technology will give paychecks to them.
"We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before," Gene Simmons said in a statement. "The technology is going to make Paul [Stanley] jump higher than he’s ever done before."
The technology used for the performance was originally developed for the Abba Voyage show, which put '70s-era Abba back on the stage in London, pulling in an estimated £2 million per week, per the BBC. Kiss persevered itself using motion capture technology, seen in the video below, to build the foundation for a similar show. Though, instead of building a familiar live show, Kiss' avatars have superpowers. Members of the band float through the air, blow fire, and shoot electricity from their hands.
"What we've accomplished has been amazing," said guitarist Stanley, "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."
The illusory facepaint, shoulder pads, and leather vests were designed by the Geoge Lucas-founded Industrial Light and Magic. Pophouse Entertainment, co-founded by Abba's Björn Ulvaeus, financed the project.
The band may have revealed the existence of their digital avatars at the farewell concert, but it's not yet clear how they will be employed. "We're going to figure it out after the tour," Pophouse CEO Per Sundin told the BBC. "Is it a Kiss concert in the future? Is it a rock opera? Is it a musical? A story, an adventure?"
The reveal of Kiss' plans for immortality makes it appear that this farewell show may be its genuine goodbye to fans. The band first did a farewell tour in 2001 but has continued to perform since. Though, those shows have not always featured the original lineup. Simmons and Stanley were part of this weekend's MSG show, but original guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss were not. They were replaced by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, donning the Starchild and Catman makeup, respectively.
The BBC reports that Criss and Frehley are not expected to be part of any avatar performances, whenever they materialize. Though that is part of the magic of Kiss, one might argue. Through facepaint and costumes, they've made themselves something other than the people under the makeup. Its members could be replaced, and an audience member singing along to "Rock and Roll All Nite" from the balcony could never tell the difference.
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