During the final Kiss show of their farewell tour last night at Madison Square Garden, the band made a big reveal during the encore. From here on out, Kiss will perform as digital avatars. Super-powered digital versions of the band appeared on the screen to perform their version of “God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You” (from the Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack). Watch it happen below.
The avatars were created through a partnership with the Swedish entertainment company Pophouse Entertainment Group and created by the George Lucas–founded company Industrial Light & Magic. In a short video below, you can see the members of Kiss hooked up to the motion capture technology that helped inform their avatars. Pophouse also worked with ABBA on their recent live shows.
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Gene Simmons said in the press release announcing the new project. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
Paul Stanley added: “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.”
There are some unanswered questions. Will founding members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley live on as avatars, or just the Catman and Starchild characters? Arguably more crucially, will the digital Paul Stanley still engage the crowd with questions like, “We got any people here tonight that are high?” Will he scream the name of the city multiple times? Will he encourage the crowd to scream the words “Hotter Than Hell” and “Cold Gin?” Pitchfork has reached out to Pophouse for comment.