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KISS Tease Debut of Avatar Show in 2027

The band debuted the new 'avatars' at the close of its final concert earlier this month.

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The band's human members may have finally hung up their greasepaint, platforms and blood capsules, but KISS’ next incarnation as digital avatars is on the way…just not until 2027. Announced via a short YouTube promo posted by the band’s official account on Dec. 22, the video tease concludes with a simple “2027: a show is coming.”

The holographic KISS avatars, created in collaboration between cinematic effects company Industrial Light and Magic and the Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment Group, were first unveiled at the close of KISS’ final performance at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3. As the physical band departed the stage, the avatars emerged to “perform” “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”

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Speaking via a subsequent press release, KISS frontman Paul Stanley explained: “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… 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.”

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

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Source: MEGA

KISS frontman Paul Stanley said 'this band deserves to live on because this band is bigger than we are' in a press release announcing the avatars.

KISS has long embraced a particularly proactive (some might say shameless) approach toward marketing and merchandising, and the group has never been shy about experimenting with new technology. The opening night of its Psycho Circus World Tour at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium in 1998, for example, saw the band toying with 3D, distributing special glasses for concertgoers to watch 3D interstitial video footage between songs. (This writer, then a teenager, was present at that show, and was not surprised to see the 3D concert gimmick fail to subsequently take off.)

The use of digital avatars in live performances had its most infamous breakthrough at Coachella in 2012, when the holographic likeness of the long-deceased Tupac Shakur appeared to perform and interact with a flesh-and-blood Snoop Dogg during the latter’s headlining performance with Dr. Dre. Since then, however, the predicted flood of digital likeness tours has yet to fully materialize; one notable exception being the ABBA Voyage “virtual concert residency” featuring the holographic images of the famed Swedish pop group. (Launched in 2022, that show was also developed by Pophouse.)

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Source: MEGA

KISS' final tour encompassed 250 shows from 2019-2023.

Whether fans will take to the new KISS incarnation remains to be seen, though the band has certainly proved naysayers wrong before. Often critical punching bags and rarely chart-toppers, the group maintained a consistently lucrative touring presence for five full decades, both in and out of makeup, and its influence on subsequent generations of hard rock and metal bands in undeniable. The group’s final End of the Road World Tour, which just concluded this month, featured a jaw-dropping 250 dates stretching from 2019 to 2023.

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