KISS reveals they’ll continue to perform as virtual avatars Leave a comment


Glam rock icons KISS have unveiled new digital avatars that will continue to rock and roll in the band’s stead.

KISS held its final live performance in Madison Square Garden on Saturday, drawing an end to both its four-year End of the Road World Tour and its 50-year career. The group officially disbanded after the show, with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer putting away their face paint for good.

However, while the rock band won’t perform together again, it apparently still isn’t the end for KISS. After playing their final song “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the group introduced their new digital avatars, with Stanley stating that “the new KISS era starts now.”

These animated representations of the band then proceeded to perform “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”

Created by Industrial Light & Magic using face and body performance capture technology, KISS’ avatars aren’t exact replicas of the band’s final lineup. Rather, they’re KISS as “fantasy-based superheroes,” intended to “ensure their immortalization.”

These avatars will continue to perform shows as substitutes for the real thing, while the real thing presumably takes a bit of a break.

“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” said Simmons. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”

Unfortunately, while there was some excitement for the future of KISS, many fans have been left cold by the group’s grand reveal. The majority of responses on social media have been negative, with fans convinced that these digital recreations will never live up to the real thing. Some also expressed disappointment that former members Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Vinnie Vincent, and Bruce Kulick weren’t acknowledged during their final performance, nor were there any tributes to past KISS members Mark St. John and Eric Carr. 

None of this is likely to stop KISS from pushing on, though.

“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,” said Stanley. “We’ve always thought of ourselves as more than just a music band.”

This isn’t the first famous musical group that has chosen to abdicate to computer-generated avatars. Last year Swedish pop group ABBA began touring their virtual “ABBAtars,” delivering holographic concerts to enthusiastic audiences. 

KISS is apparently hoping to replicate some of that success. However, unlike ABBA, KISS’ virtual incarnation doesn’t have the same lineup as it did during the height of its popularity, nor do the avatars appear to have been de-aged to their heyday.





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