Kiss Announces ‘New Era’ as Virtual Band
Kiss made a stunning revelation at the close of their final concert: The human version of the band is done, but a virtual Kiss will continue on.
The face-painted legends – made up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer – gave a rousing performance at Madison Square Garden to close their End of the Road tour. “This is the end of the road,” Stanley declared early in the set. “It seems sad, but tonight’s a night for joy. Tonight’s a night to celebrate what we did together.”
Over two hours, Kiss did just that, delivering hits from throughout their incredible career. Still, it’s the way things ended that will have fans talking.
After Kiss played "Rock and Roll All Nite," their final (human) song of night, Stanley told the crowd, "The end of this road is the beginning of another road." Moments later, the group exited that stage amid a flurry of fire. Then, as their tune “God Gave Rock n’ Roll to You” began to play, avatars of the Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman characters appeared. Fast Company notes that the effects were created using “a combination of LED screen projection, lasers, and heavy metal smoke and pyrotechnics” helping the images appear “three dimensional and much larger than life.” Meanwhile, video screens displayed the message: "A new era begins."
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George Lucas’ visual-effects company Industrial Light & Magic was tasked with creating the new virtual Kiss. Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment, which was behind the popular ABBA Voyage hologram show, will handle how, where and when the avatar version of Kiss will roll out.
“Is it a Kiss concert in the future? Is it a rock opera? Is it a musical? A story, an adventure?" Pophouse executive Per Sundin pondered. "These four individuals already have superpowers. We want to be as open as possible.”
“People say, ‘Well, what are you going to do when you stop?’" Stanley noted in a promotional video released after the concert ended. "Well, the band will never stop. Because we don’t own the band. The fans own the band. The world owns the band.”
Kiss Hinted That the Band Could Continue in a Different Form
In the months leading up to their final concert, members of Kiss suggested that the band may continue in a different form.
"Kiss is like an army or a sports team," Stanley told UCR in 2022. "When the MVP is no longer playing or retired, the team doesn't call it quits. On a battlefield, an army, when they lose soldiers, doesn't wave the white flag. Somebody else picks up the weapon and runs forward. So in one form or another, I believe there will always be a Kiss."
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"The Blue Man Group and Phantom of the Opera tour around the world with different personnel," Simmons explained in a separate interview. "There could and should be a Kiss show, kind of live onstage with effects and everything else, but also a semi-autobiographical thing about four knuckleheads off the streets of New York that ends with the last third as a full-blown celebration, a full-on performance."
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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff