The American rock band KISS gave its last concert, held at the Madison Square Garden arena, as part of the farewell tour The End of the Road. After the performance, during the encore, the musicians presented a new line-up of the band, which will be able to live forever - their digital avatars.

Copies of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer appeared on stage and performed a song called God Gave Rock and Roll to You. According to the virtual version of Stanley, it was the people who believed and loved the band's work that made them "immortal."

"We've reached amazing heights, but it's not enough. The band deserves to live on, because KISS is more than we are. It's very exciting for us to take the next step and immortalize KISS," frontman Paul Stanley was quoted as saying by Deadline.

As reported by Variety, the tech-savvy versions of the musicians appeared in taller and heavier boots, with young, smooth faces, makeup, and eyes that emit flames and moonlight.

Gene Simmons noted that this technology will help them live forever, and Stanley will jump as high at a concert as he has never jumped.

"We will be able to stay forever young, forever iconic and achieve things we never dreamed of before. Thanks to technology, Paul will be able to jump higher than ever," the bassist said.

So, KISS will become the first band from the United States to completely switch to a virtual format and arrange their own avatar show.

KISS's farewell tour was announced in March 2023. The band began touring in October 2023 in Austin, Texas, and ended where it began: in New York. The rock band KISS was founded in this city in 1973.

The artists' digital avatars were created by director and producer George Lucas' company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus. Motion-capture Light & Magic technology was used to create digital copies: members of the Kiss band performed in special costumes to capture the movements of the cameras.

As Pophouse Entertainment CEO Per Sandin noted, the avatars will continue the creative heritage of the rock band. According to him, thanks to digital copies, artists will be able to delight fans with their songs in several places at the same time.

By the way, the two companies have previously collaborated together in the development of digital avatars for members of the Swedish pop group ABBA. With the help of the same technology, the musicians were recreated as they are remembered by fans in 1979. In order to make copies, the artists had to work hard — for more than 25 days, from morning to evening, they recorded their movements in special suits in front of 160 cameras. This was to make their digital versions look as realistic as possible.

"We were intrigued by the idea that we could be on stage and not be there," said Benny Andersson, one of the band's founders.

At the end of May 2022, an innovative show called Voyage premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, featuring virtual artists from the ABBA group. The concert lasted about 90 minutes, during which time the digital musicians performed 21 songs, including Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, Money, Money, Money and Take a Chance on Me. To implement the show, a complex lighting system with 20 lighting installations was invented. The performance was accompanied by all kinds of effects and decorations.

The first concert was watched by about 380 thousand spectators. The performances took place over seven days, and a total of about 1 million tickets were sold during this time. Some celebrities also came to watch the premiere of the show, in particular actress Keira Knightley, model Kate Moss and singer Kylie Minogue.

In March 2023, Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grange revealed that the virtual versions of the musicians would go on a world tour along with the Voyage show. Presumably, specially equipped arenas will be built for concerts in large cities. Thus, viewers from other countries will also be able to enjoy the work of idols performed by their digital young copies.