KISS says farewell IRL, but the rockers will 'live on eternally' through avatars


If there’s one thing that KISS is going to do, it’s sell out.

Sell out concerts on back-to-back nights at Madison Square Garden 50 years after debuting. Sell out out merch at every show for the last few decades. Sell out by trying to jump on the disco bandwagon in the late 1970s. Or sell out by emblazoning its members’ faces on the most benign everyday items, including lunchboxes, action figures and makeup brands.

And now, in its latest pursuit of eternal marketability, the “Rock and Roll All Nite” musicians have found a way to continue cashing in on their likenesses: avatars.

Over the weekend, the human, physical, real-life members of the face-painted rock group performed the so-called “final” shows of their four-year End of the Road farewell tour at MSG.

Then, seconds after the Saturday night show ended, a video message from digital, super-powered embodiments of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers appeared on the screens inside the stadium to address the audience.

“KISS Army, your love, your power has made us immortal! A new KISS era starts now,” lead singer Paul Stanley’s avatar proudly exclaimed in the video before the digital group performed its single “God Gave Rock ’N’ Roll to You II.”

The “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” singers also released a behind-the-scenes video documenting how the digital avatars of its members came to be, acknowledging the reasoning for the existence of their cybernetic manifestations.

“We can live on eternally,” Stanley said in the video. “The band will never stop because the fans own the band. … The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are.”

Through the avatars, KISS will be able to perform “in-person” concerts from now until the end of days thanks to George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, and Pophouse Entertainment Group — the business behind ABBA’s virtual concert shows, which have been raking in more than $2 million a week in London, according to Bloomberg. The Swedish supergroup’s “Voyage” show cost about $175 million to produce, but has surpassed that figure in ticket sales — and shows are consistently near full capacity.

“The future is so exciting,” singer and bass player Gene Simmons said in the video. “It’s gonna be the best concert you’ve ever seen.”

In a statement, Simmons added, “We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before.”

So the most loyal officers in the KISS Army can grab their KISS platinum credit cards, spray on some KISS perfume and get ready to watch the band perform “live” from now until they are laid to rest in their officially licensed KISS Kasket.



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