11/14: ACE FREHLEY TOUR KICK OFF REPORT
Hosted the kickoff of the Ace Frehley Space Invader tour in NJ last night. If you followed on Twitter I did song for song coverage and posted a ton of photos. Also posted a few on my FB. Like most tour kickoffs there were a few technical issues during the show but it wasn’t really a huge deal and Ace had fun with it. He is also working in a new band and I think after a couple shows under their belt things should be very tight. This band really is great! Richie Scarlett back in the fold is a huge addition. I always loved Richie’s playing, performance, voice and attitude on stage and he is a perfect wing man for Ace. Their two Les Paul’s sounded amazing all night and there was some cool dual guitar stuff as well. Scot Coogan also is a great re-addition to the band. He is a killer drummer and has a phenomenal voice which enables Ace to play many Kiss/Paul Stanley vocal era songs that he was a part of like “Love Gun”, “King Of The Nightime World” and others. Hearing Scot belt these out was really pretty awesome, especially when you consider how well he plays at the same time! Ace is only doing Kiss material he played on and was a part of and it sounded great with Scot singing. New bassist Chris Wyse sang lead on Strange Ways and he is a great player and rounds out what is a killer band with all able to sing lead. Because of the technical issues the nearly 2 hour set was trimmed and Deuce and Detroit Rock City were not played, but Ace told me he will toy with the set as he goes. 3 songs from Trouble Walkin were in the set including opener Lost In Limbo and two from the post Kiss debut (Rock Soldiers and Breakout which was dedicated to Eric Carr who co-wrote it). Nothing from Second Sighting or Anomaly. Cold Gin was the set closer. I posted a photo of the set list on my FB. I know there has been an outcry from some fans for deeper obscure Ace / Kiss tunes liked Dark Light, etc. He may very well work some of that up as he goes. But the simple truth is with any band playing deep tracks live it makes about 10% of the crowd happy and loses everyone else, so there must be balance. Trust me, I LOVE deep tracks from bands and I’m burned on the usual hits. But the huge majority are not. One example is when Ace played Too Young To Die, a great track I love from Trouble Walkin. About 80% of the crowd had no clue. It is a balance every band has to deal with. The major amount of people buying tickets just don’t know the deep stuff. So that’s why you get Kiss hits scattered in with the solo hits and deep tracks. Four songs from the new album were in the set, the title track, Toys, Gimme A Feelin and Change, although Change was scrapped due to a tuning issue (like I said, first night mess ups). As I walked with Ace to the stage to intro him he said “oh shit, I forgot to put Rip It Out in”! So no doubt that will be added very soon. The plan is for Ace to do the announced dates, then break for the holidays, then do more US shows and European festivals next year. I hope this band sticks together and enough people come out to support this tour and have it make sense and grow. It really was a fun, raw, loud rock show that was loud and punchy and loaded with a great variety of Ace/Kiss classics. All confirmed dates at www.acefrehley.com I’ll be at the second night at BB Kings in NYC. Win tickets to those shows in ET’s Box Office on this site.