Time is relative. This is something that KISS, after five decades in the business, seems to repeat to themselves like a mantra. The legendary glam rock band has indeed been quite busy these last four years with End of the Road, their final farewell from the stages. During their last concert, held this past Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York, KISS introduced a somewhat special novelty: their digital avatars.
At the end of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the band vanished from the stage amidst bursts of fire, smoke, and rain, making way for their new virtual avatars. Attendees could witness them in all their glory through the screen located behind the stage, all while Paul Stanley shouted, “The new era of Kiss starts now!“
At the end of their “live” performance, KISS’s avatars were immortalized on screen alongside the band’s logo and a slogan: “A new era begins.”
The company behind this spectacle, Pophouse Entertainment, is also responsible for the cheerful digital versions of ABBA for the ABBA Voyage show. KISS is a band that thrives on commercializing their image, so it’s not surprising to see them taking this “virtual” direction. In a statement, the company announced they will offer concerts “immersive and powered by avatars,” created by Industrial Light & Magic.
This entire situation opens up the debate: Do people want to attend a “live” concert without live performers? Fair or not, the numbers provide a clear answer, and that’s a resounding yes. For instance, the virtual ABBA shows are reportedly generating $2 million weekly, according to Bloomberg. Given this scenario, KISS might very well thrive in this digital second life.