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But as dedicated fans surely know — they were never going to call it quits. Not really.
During their encore, the band’s current lineup — founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — left the stage to reveal digital avatars of themselves. After the transformation, the virtual Kiss launched into a performance of “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”
The cutting-edge technology was used to tease a new chapter of the rock band: after 50 years of Kiss, the band is now interested in a kind of digital immortality.
Experimentation with this kind of technology has become increasingly common in certain sections of the music industry. In October K-pop star Mark Tuan partnered with Soul Machines to create an autonomously automated “digital twin” called “Digital Mark.” In doing so, Tuan became the first celebrity to attach their likeness to OpenAI’s GPT integration, artificial intelligence technology that allows fans to engage in one-on-one conversations with Tuan’s avatar.
Aespa, the K-pop girl group, frequently perform alongside their digital avatars — the quartet is meant to be viewed as an octet with digital twins. Another girl group, Eternity, is made up entirely of virtual characters — no humans necessary.
“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,” Kiss frontman Paul Stanley said in a roundtable interview. “It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see Kiss immortalized.”
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Kiss bassist Gene Simmons added. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
And for those who couldn’t make the Madison Square Garden show — stay tuned, because a Kiss avatar concert may very well be on the way.