At the end of what was meant to be KISS’s final show, digital avatars of Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley and Eric Singer appeared on stage to perform the encore and to announce that the band will continue touring through their avatars.
At their final show of their “The End of the Road” farewell tour at Madison Square Garden, KISS was called out for an encore, but what returned to stage was not exactly the beloved 4 face painted man. Digital avatars of each member of KISS entered the spotlight to perform “God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You.” The performance also served as an announcement that although the KISS farewell tour may be over, the new KISS digital avatars will be able to continue touring.
The band has partnered with George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, a special effects company, and Pophouse Entertainment Group, a Swedish entertainment company, to create the digital avatars. To create the avatars, each member of KISS performed in a studio while wearing motion capture suits.
With the band retiring from touring, their digital avatars will be able to continue to bring the band to life for future audiences. Gene Simmons made a statement about the new technology saying: “We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before. The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
Paul Stanley also commented on the digital avatars, saying: “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.”
Although the technology is very new and unfamiliar, it could very well be the future of touring for iconic bands to continue to live on. It may not be likely for every band to commit to the process of creating digital avatars, but for more popular artists it may allow them to continue performing beyond physical abilities or limitations. Only time will tell how adopted this technology will become in the music industry.