Kiss’ final concert heralds a new Avatar era

The “The End of the Road” farewell tour has come to an end at Madison Square Garden in New York – Kiss officially gave their last concert there on Saturday (December 2nd). But it won’t be the last time that fans can see the musicians live. During the encore, the band’s current lineup — founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — exited the stage to reveal digital avatars of themselves. After the transformation, the virtual Kiss began with a performance of “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”

This heralded a new chapter in the band’s career – just like ABBA did. The avatars were developed by George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light & Magic in collaboration with Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. Both companies have already put on the “ABBA Voyage” show in London, where fans can experience a full concert by the Swedish (Avatar) band.

Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, said this would allow Kiss to continue their legacy for “eternity,” according to APnews. “Kiss could do a concert in three cities on the same night on three different continents.” To bring their digital avatars to life, Kiss performed in motion capture suits. “What we have achieved has been amazing, but it is not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than us,” said Paul Stanley in a roundtable interview. “It’s exciting for us to take the next step and immortalize Kiss.”

“We can be forever young and forever iconic by going places we’ve never dreamed of before,” added Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. “The technology will make Paul jump higher than he has ever done before.”

Kiss in New York’s Madison Square Garden – the set list

There was no final reunion with Ace Frehley, who was replaced by Tommy Thayer in 2002, at the final concert. But the setlist left little to be desired:

Rock and Roll (Intro)
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Was Machine
Heaven’s on Fire
I Love It Loud
Say yeah
Cold gin
Lick It Up (featuring The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”)
Calling Dr. Love
Makin’ Love
Psycho Circus
100,000 years
God of Thunder
Love Gun
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Black Diamond
Do you love me?
Rock and Roll All Nite
God Gave Rock and Roll to You II (Outro)