Recently, members of the American rock band Kiss closed out their final performance. The group’s “The End of the Road” concert series ended in New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden.
But as it turns out, fans will still be able to enjoy Kiss performances for years to come.
The band formed in 1973. It is currently made up of founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, as well as Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Towards the end of Saturday’s show, the band members left the stage and revealed computerized likenesses of themselves. The computerized avatars launched into a performance of the song “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”
After 50 years of Kiss, the band now hopes to be remembered forever.
The avatars were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic. The company also worked with Pophouse Entertainment Group. Björn Ulvaeus, a member of the Swedish musical group ABBA, is its founder.
The two companies recently came together for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London. Fans there could enjoy a full concert by the Swedish band as performed by the computerized avatars.
Per Sundin is chief executive officer of Pophouse Entertainment. He said the new technology lets Kiss continue its history for “eternity.”
He said the band was not on stage during the computerized performance. He added, “Kiss could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents. That’s what you could do with this.”
In order to create their computerized avatars, Kiss performed in equipment that followed their movement. This equipment is called motion capture suits.
Experimentation with this kind of technology has become increasingly common in the music industry. In October, K-pop star Mark Tuan partnered with Soul Machines to create a computerized version of himself called “Digital Mark.” The technology lets fans have one-on-one talks with Digital Mark. Tuan is the first famous person to attach their likeness to OpenAI’s GPT artificial intelligence technology.
Aespa is a K-pop girl group. The group often performs alongside their computerized avatars. In fact, the four-member band is meant to be seen as a group of eight.
Another girl group, Eternity, is made up entirely of computerized performers. No humans are necessary.
Kiss performer Paul Stanley told reporters that what they have done “… has been amazing, but it’s not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are.”
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” Kiss performer Gene Simmons added. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
I’m Gregory Stachel.
Maria Sherman reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
concert – n. a public performance of music
revealed – v. to make (something) known
avatar – n. a small picture that represents a computer user in a game or on the Internet
eternity – n. time without an end
amazing – adj. causing great surprise or wonder
deserve – v. used to say that someone or something should or should not have or be given something
iconic – adj. being a famous person or thing that people admire and see as a symbol of a particular idea or way of life