New York —
The famous American musical group, Kiss, Saturday night (2/12) performed for the last time on their farewell tour “The End of the Road” at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York City.
However, as their diehard fans know, Kiss will not really stop performing or disband. During the encore of Saturday night’s show, the band’s current members – founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer – left the stage to reveal their digital avatars.
Following the transformation, Kiss launched the virtual show “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”
This cutting-edge technology is used to signal a new chapter for this rock band, namely that after having been on stage for 50 years, Kiss is now using a kind of digital immortality.
The avatars were created by George Lucas’ special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in collaboration with Pophouse Entertainment Group. The company was founded by Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA. The two companies recently teamed up for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London, where fans were able to attend the Swedish band’s full concert, hosted by their digital avatars.
Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, said the new technology allows Kiss to continue their legacy for “eternity”. He added that the band is not on stage when performing virtually because “that’s the key,” of this future-looking technology. “Kiss can play concerts in three cities on the same night, or on three different continents. That’s what you can do with this.”
To create their digital avatars, described as a kind of superhero version of the band, Kiss wore “capture suits” that could record their movements.
Kiss fans celebrate the rock group’s final concert in New York City Saturday night (2/12).
Many Musicians Create Their Digital Avatars
Experimentation with this kind of technology has become increasingly common in parts of the music industry. K-pop star Mark Tuan, last October, partnered with Soul Machines to create an automated “digital twin” called “Digital Mark.” Tuan became the first celebrity to attach their likeness to OpenAI’s GPT integration, an artificial intelligence technology that allows fans to engage in one-on-one conversations with Tuan’s avatar.
Another K-pop music group, Aespa, often appears with their digital avatars. This performance of the quartet, with its digital twin, is intended to be seen as an octet. There is also another female band, Eternity, which consists entirely of virtual characters, not necessarily humans.
“What we have achieved is extraordinary, but it is not enough. This band deserves to continue to live because this band is bigger than us,” said Kiss vocalist, Paul Stanley, in an interview. “It’s exciting for us to take it one step further and see Kiss immortalized.”
Bass player Gene Simmons added “we can be forever young and forever iconic, taking us to places we never dreamed possible. This technology will allow Paul to jump higher than he has ever jumped before.”
And for those who couldn’t catch the show at Madison Square Garden – don’t go anywhere, because Kiss’ avatar concert may be coming soon. (em/lt)