US rock band Kiss will live on as superhero-style digital avatars after playing their final live gig in New York.
Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, performed on Saturday night in the city’s Madison Square Garden, before leaving the stage to reveal their new digital alter egos.
Named Demon, the Starchild, Catman, and Spaceman, the holographic stars have been created with motion capture technology by Hollywood special effects company Industrial Light & Magic.
It was founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas in 1975 and has worked on films including Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and The Avengers.
Swedish firm Pophouse Entertainment, which worked on the avatars used in the Abba Voyage shows in London was also involved.
Kiss frontman Stanley said the avatars – complete with the band’s iconic makeup – would “see Kiss immortalised”.
“What we’ve accomplished has been amazing,” he said.
“But it’s not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are.”
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Virtual Kiss’s first performance upon their unveiling was God Gave Rock And Roll To You.
The avatars will now be available for live shows around the world and in digital online settings, which some people collectively refer to as the metaverse.
Ariana Grande is among the pop stars to have performed in the hit video game Fortnite, and Lil Nas X has done the same inside the similarly popular Roblox.
Kiss bassist Simmons said the band will go to “places we’ve never dreamed of before”.
In the 50 years since they were formed in 1973, they have been on more than 30 tours, sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.