Concert Review: Ace Frehley @ Nokia Theater (Times Square, NY)

Ace is back & he told you so! After the release of the great Ace Frehley album last year, I was looking very forward to seeing him live. The Spaceman did not disappoint. There was no make up, & no massive stage set ups. Just a laid back Ace Frehley wailing away on the guitar & casually singing his songs.

Backed by a great tour band with resumes' of their own; bass-Anthony Esposito (Lynch Mob), guitar-Todd Youth (Danzig) & drums- Scott Coogan (Brides of Destruction). They played,harmonized & shared some lead vocals, sounding much like Mr. Stanley & Mr. Simmons.

First the negatives: which are really my own issues. I don’t like general admission, where we have to stand. The $32 ticket was worth every bit the price of admission, but I’d rather pay more to be closer in a private seat. It was predominantly a male crowd of true Kiss/Ace fans over 35 & definatley into the music. There were a few obnoxious drunks who stumbled into us as they played air guitar, while feeling a need to bond with their buddies by giving constant high fives. There was one large Neanderthal man who felt a need to conduct the whole show with his arms & hands in the air, stumbling & hugging new friends he tried to make.

There were two opening acts Acey Slade whom we never saw & the Dark Party whom I thought were pretty good. They were pretty much a 70’s hard rock/punk style band, who’s best song of the night was a cover of The Cult’s -Sanctuary. The show started later than most of us wanted it to (Ace came on at 9:30), and ended late for a Sunday (1130).

Ace opened up with bang, as he knocked our socks off with Rocket Ride from 1977’s Kiss Alive II, by far the best of Side Fours (new studio songs). He then went right into the early Kiss classic Parasite which he did not sing. Next he welcomed the hometown crowd, Ace being one of us Bronx born guys, and introduced the next song. “This is a song about cocaine, I used to do a little” he cracked, as he went into Snow Blind from his 1978 solo Kiss album, the best of the four solo albums by far. Ace played four songs from that album, including the classic Back in the New York Groove, with a full crowd sing along section. I also thought Rip It Out from that album was one of the best songs on the night, I love how he cracks “I hope you suffer!!” right before the fantastic guitar lead!!! His one liners were classic Ace, right out of Kiss meets the Phantom, with his classic cackling laugh.

Surprisingly he only did two songs from the latest Anomaly album, Sister & Pain in the Neck “dedicated to you know who” (his ex wife Jeanette of course). It was the first time this song was played live. We got a pleasant surprise from what I thought was another of the night’s best songs, Into the Void, from 1998’s Physco Circus.

Then it was pretty much a ride down memory lane as he dusted off some great old Kiss songs like; Love Her All I Can (Dressed to Kill) Strange Ways (Hotter than Hell) Talk To Me (Unmasked) Hard Times (Dynasty) & the Stones cover that the Unplugged Reunion show made famous; 2000 Man, (also one of the best songs of the night) from Dynasty. Ace’s into to the song was telling the crowd he wanted to cover a Stones song, as he began to play both Gimmie Shelter & Satisfaction. There was only one song from his 1980’s Frehley’s Comet days, the great Rock Soldiers, Ace is Back & he told ya so!!

The final five songs were all Kiss classics, he started out by saying the line of the night “I got electrocuted in 1976, it was the best thing that ever happened to me!” As a result he wrote Shock Me which blew the house down in Times Square 34 years later. He followed that with a fantastic guitar solo complete with smoke bombs!! As he finished the solo with the outro from Let Me Know, he led into the finale’ Shout It Out Loud.

The encores consisted of three more Kiss classics, Deuce, Love Gun, (where he thanked Paul Stanley for writing a great song) & the classic he wrote on the subways of the Bronx; Cold Gin, one of my all time favorites.

Quite a show, it was like seeing one of your pals playing in a club and having a good old time.
set list 3/21/10 New York City
Rocket Ride
Snow Blind
Pain in the Neck
Into The Void
Speedin' Back To My Baby
Rock Soldiers
Love Her All I Can
Talk To Me
2000 Man
Strange Ways
New York Groove
Rip it Out
Hard Times
Shock Me
Guitar Solo (Let Me Know -outro)
Shout It Out Loud
Encores: Deuce
Love Gun
Cold Gin


Darren said…
I dont like standing either but sounds like a great show!!
Unknown said…
Sounds like a show I would've seen...standing being the only way...but then again...I'm always checking out the guitar/playing/fretwork, etc.
My passion isn't just's what it's created by and with :)

Thanks for sharing

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