The iconic rock band Kiss has completed its farewell tour The End of the Road with the final performance in New York’s Madison Square Garden. However, the band, known for its theatrical performances and unique style, surprised fans by showing their digital avatars during the encore. The move marks a new chapter for Kiss as they explore digital immortality after 50 years in the music industry, reports ABC News.
The avatars, created by Industrial Light & Magic in collaboration with Pophouse Entertainment Group (co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus), were demonstrated during the virtual Kiss band’s performance of God Gave Rock and Roll to You. This technology, previously used in the ABBA Voyage show in London, allows digital avatars to perform, offering a new form of concert experience.
Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, emphasized the potential of this technology, suggesting that Kiss could simultaneously hold concerts in several cities on different continents. To create these superhero-like digital avatars, Kiss performed in motion-capture suits, following a trend that is becoming increasingly common in the music industry.
The use of digital avatars in music is on the rise, with examples including K-pop star Mark Tuan’s Digital Mark and girl group Aespa, which performs alongside their digital doubles. Another band, Eternity, consists entirely of virtual characters.
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has expressed his excitement about immortalizing the band through this technology, and bassist Gene Simmons has noted the expanded possibilities, including performances that go beyond the physical capabilities of musicians. The band’s exploration of digital technology reflects a broader trend in the music industry, where virtual characters and the integration of artificial intelligence are changing the way artists interact with their audiences and perform.