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KISS Enters Virtual Era, Will Continue On As Digital Avatars

On Saturday night, KISS closed out the final performance of their “The End Of The Road” farewell tour at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

During their encore, 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 performing “God Gave Rock And Roll To You.”

“The end of the road is the beginning of another road,” Stanley told the crowd before the last bows. “We’re not going anywhere. You’ll see us in all different things all the time. We’ll see you in your dreams.”

The cutting-edge technology was used to tease a new chapter of the rock band: after 50 years of KISS, the band is now interested in a kind of digital immortality.

The avatars were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse Entertainment Group.

Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, says this new technology allows KISS to continue their legacy for “eternity.” He says the band wasn’t on stage during virtual performance because “that’s the key thing,” of the future-seeking technology. “KISS could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents. That’s what you could do with this.”

Stanley said: “People say, ‘Well, what are you gonna do when you stop?’ Well, the band will never stop. Because we don’t own the band. The fans own the band. The world owns the band.

“I mean, we’ve spent 50 years building it to this point. And by working with ILM and working with Pophouse, we’re all sharing this vision of taking KISS to a completely different level beyond being just a music band. And we’ve always thought of ourselves as more than just a music band.

“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. It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see KISS immortalized.”

Simmons added: “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.”

The KISS avatars Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman are depicted as “superhero” versions of the band.

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