KISS Premieres Digital Avatar Era At Final Concert

The band ended their last live concert at Madison Square Garden by previewing their virtual future.

By Andy Kahn Dec 4, 2023 11:51 am PST

KISS performed the final show of their farewell End Of The Road World Tour on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. While the concert was the end of the legendary glam rockers’ live touring era, the band ended the final show by previewing their next performance era as digital avatars.

KISS partnered with Pophouse Entertainment Group and George Lucas’ visual effects company (and Lucasfilm division) Industrial Light & Magic to create the digital avatars. The two companies recently developed a virtual concert experience in London featuring the Swedish band ABBA.

The virtual KISS – co-founding guitarist Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons, along with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer – made its debut during Saturday’s encore, performing “God Gave Rock and Roll to You II” while shown on screens above the stage.

“What we’ve accomplished has been amazing, but it’s not enough,” Stanley said. “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. 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.”

According to a press release, the MSG preview “feature[d] KISS as fantasy-based superheroes, and [provided] a glimpse of just one of the many and varied ways in which KISS will live on as digital performers through their avatars in the future.”

“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Simmons added. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.” 

KISS has not confirmed any performances by their virtual avatars. Stanley and Simmons were among the participants in a discussion about the process of creating their virtual counterparts, which included Thierry Coup (Creative Director, JOCOUP Creative), Grady Cofer (VFX Supervisor, ILM) and Per Sundin (Pophouse CEO).

“KISS could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents,” Sundin told the Associated Press. “That’s what you could do with this.”

Watch the roundtable discussion here and behind-the-scenes look at the making of KISS’ digital avatars in the clips below:

The last song KISS played in-person at MSG on Saturday night was their classic “Rock and Roll All Nite.” View video footage captured from the audience of the final in-person song performed by KISS followed by the debut of their virtual era:


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Josh Valentine
KISS (See 20 videos)

Setlist

KISS at Madison Square Garden

  • Rock and Roll  
  • Detroit Rock City
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • Deuce
  • War Machine
  • Heaven's on Fire
  • I Love It Loud  
  • Say Yeah
  • Cold Gin
  • Guitar Solo  
  • Lick It Up  
  • Calling Dr. Love
  • Makin' Love  
  • Psycho Circus  
  • Drum Solo
  • 100,000 Years  
  • Bass Solo  
  • God of Thunder
  • Love Gun  
  • I Was Made for Lovin' You  
  • Black Diamond  
Encore
  • Beth  
  • Do You Love Me
  • Rock and Roll All Nite
  • God Gave Rock and Roll to You II  

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