KISS may have just wrapped up their “The End of the Road” farewell tour, but it won’t be the band’s last hurrah. The band played their final show of the tour at New York’s Madison Square Garden and during the encore, virtual avatars of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer appeared onstage to play “God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You.”
The avatars’ rendition served as an announcement of KISS’ next steps: the rock band will perform concerts in the future as digital avatars. For the hyperrealistic technology, the band partnered with George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, along with the Swedish entertainment company Pophouse Entertainment Group.
KISS performed in a studio in motion capture suits to create the avatars, lending engineers a model for future performances. While the experience of watching the digital KISS may not quite match up to the real deal, it’ll allow fans to still experience a version of the band’s concerts, even now that they’ve retired from touring.
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Simmons said in a statement. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
“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,” Stanley added.