KISS performed what they billed as their “final show ever” on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Following the show, the band announced that their “New Era” will see KISS continue as digital avatars.
The KISS avatars were created by Industrial Light & Magic and were financed and produced by the Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment, the same compnay behind the successful “ABBA Voyage” show in London.
Prior to Saturday night’s show, former members Ace Frehley, Peter Criss and Bruce Kulick all shared their feelings on the band’s legacy and “final” show.
Criss spoke to Premiere Radio Networks about the finale. “It’s hard to believe it’s over. I’m truly touched by it,” he said.
“There were so many glorious years and the four of us created some really fun tunes and have the most incredible fanbase a band could ever have. We are truly fortunate to have our fans all these years. Thank you KISS Army for the life that you gave me and the life that you gave all of us in KISS.”
Criss went on to say that he was “disappointed” that he and Frehley “weren’t asked to come out and do a few songs for their fans.” But he also added that he is “in a good place in his life and very happy and very proud of what the four founding fathers of KISS created.”
“It’s truly a blessing,” he said. “There’s not much more a musician or artist could ask for then what God has blessed us with. And now the end is here. To quote our dear late manager Bill Aucoin, ‘onward and upward.'”
Frehley remains skeptical that KISS are in fact done.
“Well, to be honest, I don’t really believe they’re ending their touring career,” Frehley told SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk. “How many times have they said they were gonna retire? How many times have half a dozen groups said they were gonna retire and still come back? Personally, I don’t know what their plans are.”
The original KISS guitarist also went on to say that he’s happy he’s not going to be there.
“I’m so happy I’m not involved. Last night I watched video of KISS’s Indianapolis show from front to back on YouTube. They had 10 comments and maybe a couple of thousand views, but compared to what I’m doing right now, you can’t hold a candle to it.”
“It’s probably better they retire, and hopefully I won’t have to listen to them put me down anymore.”
Kulick remained far more upbeat about his former band.
“Congratulations to KISS on their final show!” he wrote on social media. “I want to thank Paul and Gene for the opportunity to be the lead guitarist of the band for the non make up era. It was a dream of a lifetime. Most important are the KISS fans. Their support and love touches my life everyday. It’s a blessing to be a part of this legendary group, and I celebrate with all of you on this final curtain call at Madison Square Garden!”
Not many fans are convinced that it will be the band’s final show, as bassist/singer Gene Simmons previously said that KISS will continue in a variety of ways. He also previously said tonight’s show marks the end of the band touring, but he stopped short of saying they would never play again.
“It’s the end of touring. KISS will continue,” Simmons told 519 Magazine. “There’s a KISS museum in Las Vegas at the Rio called KISS World, and oh my goodness, we have KISS cruises, a movie coming out, and we’re working on a cartoon show, a lot of stuff. And of course, all the fun toys and games that will continue.”
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