It's time to kiss Kiss goodbye — sort of.
The legendary rock band wrapped up the final show of their four-year-long farewell tour over the weekend, but although it is "The End of the Road" for the group, as the tour was accurately called, it appears they aren't fully calling it quits.
After the band left the stage Saturday at Madison Square Garden, a message shined on the stadium video screens, saying, "A new KISS era starts now." Then, digital avatars of the band projected on stage, where a virtual Kiss group then launched into "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You" for an encore — a tease as to how the band is stepping away — but only in physical form — from touring.
That's right: After 50 years, Kiss is going fully digital, with fully virtual stage shows to come, marking a first for any American band.
The avatars were created by Industrial Light and Magic and Pophouse, which have already been presenting '70s-era ABBA as digital avatars in London.
As for Kiss, the band used motion capture to preserve itself in superhero form, with each member's avatar having powers such as flying through the air, or having electricity come straight from their fingertips.
Pophouse says the band's transformation into avatars "will ensure their immortalization" and continue their legacy for fans old and new, a thought apparently aligned with the band members.
"We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we've never dreamed of before," Kiss co-founder and bassist Gene Simmons said. "The technology is going to make Paul [Stanley] jump higher than he's ever done before."
"What we've accomplished has been amazing, but it's not enough," Stanley, co-founder and lead vocalist, said. "The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are."
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