Aged rockers Kiss to let digital avatars tour

The rock band Kiss is in concert.
Kiss during previous concert in Finland. Fileri/Creative Commons

Performing their final in-person concert Saturday night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Kiss used the encore to reveal the digital avatars of themselves that would allow the legendary glam-rock band to survive.

The avatars worked God Gave You Rock and Rollopening up the possibility that future generations of Kiss fans will be able to enjoy the American rocker’s music in the concert arena.

Kiss bandmates Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer have a combined age of 273 — with bassist Simmons the oldest being 74 — so letting an avatar take the reins seemed like a smart move.

This feat was made possible through a partnership with George Lucas’ special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, and Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus.

The two companies teamed up to create the ABBA Voyage show, an ongoing residency in London featuring holograms of the iconic Swedish pop group performing their classic songs from the 70s.

In comments reported by Associated Press, Pophouse CEO Per Sundin said the technology meant Kiss “could play concerts in three cities on the same night on three different continents. That’s what you can do with this.”

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley was also optimistic about the avatar replacement, saying: “What we’ve achieved is incredible, but it’s not enough. This band deserves to continue to exist because this band is bigger than us. It’s exciting for us to take 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.”

While some music fans love technology that has the potential to let them enjoy a band or singer in a concert-like setting, others feel that the technology doesn’t live up to the real experience, and in the case of deceased artists, it can feel downright scary. .

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