KISS Fans Disappointed And Comments at Band’s Shift To Being Virtual

KISS Fans Disappointed And Comments at Band’s Shift To Being Virtual | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via KISS / Youtube

In their concluding performance at Madison Square Garden on December 2, the KISS band’s digital avatars graced the stage, introducing a so-called new era of digital immortality. Or something like that.

In a dramatic encore, the band’s existing lineup, featuring founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, alongside guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, exited the stage, giving way to the emergence of their avatars.

In a visually striking transformation, the virtual counterparts of Kiss took center stage and delivered a spirited rendition of “God Gave Rock and Roll to You”.

But some fans clearly didn’t like this new money-making scheme veiled as a legacy-extending tool. As one fan aptly put out via a Facebook comment: “Some bands don’t seem to know when they’ve overstayed their welcome.”

“It stopped being about the music a long time ago”

A lot of fans had mixed reactions regarding KISS’ use of this new cutting-edge technology. And some of them didn’t mince their words and left scathing remarks on social media platforms.

A different commenter echoed the sentiments expressed earlier, aligning with the criticism of the band and stating: “Knowing when to walk away is an art form. They are old men. Thank you for all you gave to music and entertainment, but it’s over; go home and enjoy the rest of your life.”

Another fan directed their dissatisfaction specifically at Simmons, emphasizing: “It stopped being about the music a long time ago. Simmons is the CEO of KISS and has squeezed every penny out of that band. He’s a better CEO than the bass player.”

Yet another comment took aim at the audience, suggesting: “If people actually pay to go watch virtual KISS, well, they deserve what they get. lol”

“The band deserves to live on”

The virtual representations of KISS were crafted by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), while the funding and production aspects were overseen by Pophouse Entertainment, a company based in Sweden.

During a recent roundtable discussion, Stanley expressed his thoughts on the digital avatars, affirming that what KISS “deserves to live on”. 

“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. It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see KISS immortalized. I mean, we’ve spent 50 years building it to this point,” Stanley expressed.

Following Stanley’s remarks, Simmons chimed in: “We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before. The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”

A new era begins

Per Sundin, the CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, also emphasized that the newly created KISS avatars are strategically crafted to secure the band’s enduring legacy.

Diverging from the approach of ABBA, KISS doesn’t intend to perform live alongside their virtual counterparts. Sundin pointed out the potential for simultaneous concerts taking place in various cities across different continents.

In a conversation with 519 Magazine in November, Simmons alluded to KISS undergoing a virtual metamorphosis. The bassist stressed that while the ongoing tour signifies the band’s farewell from live performances, the KISS brand will endure.

Simmons envisions KISS expanding its reach beyond the realm of music, encompassing movies, merchandise, and potentially even Broadway, ensuring that the immersive KISS experience remains eternal even as the band’s live performances come to a close.