KISS Begins New Era-As Avatars

It may have been the End of the Road for KISS Saturday night (Dec. 2) as they played their last show ever at Madison Square Garden, but the next Era promises the band will rock and roll and night and forever: as avatars.

After playing the final song, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the band introduced the crowd, and the public watching at home via pay-per-view, to their new alter-egos.

“The end of the road is the beginning of another road,” guitarist Paul Stanley said. “We’re not going anywhere. You’ll see us in all different things all the time. We’ll see you in your dreams.”

The band’s current lineup — founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — left the stage to reveal digital avatars of themselves, with Stanley’s avatar announcing the band is now “immortal. . The virtual Kiss launched into a performance of “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”

The avatars –which Simmons says will keep the band “forever young and iconic”-were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse Entertainment Group, the latter of which was co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. The two companies recently teamed up for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London, in which fans could attend a full concert by the Swedish band — as performed by their digital avatars.

“Kiss could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents. That’s what you could do with this,” said Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment.

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