Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CT
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Pain in The Neck
Into The Void
Speeding Back To My Baby
Love Her All I Can
Talk To Me
Back In The NY Groove
Rip It Out
Ace guitar solo
Shout It Out Loud
It’s been quite some time since Ace has played solo in New England. In fact, unless my KISS peeps prove me wrong the last time Ace set foot (outside of KISS) around these parts was the 1995 Bad Boys tour with Peter Criss. Granted he hasn’t done a lot of touring during this period but he has been on the road over the past 2 years, most recently in Australia the early part of 2010. Ace has also been sober the better part of the past few years so it would also be a departure for most of his fans to watch him perform with all of his facilities intact. He did not disappoint in fact he exceeded my expectations by a mile!
The show opened with back to back KISS classics “Rocket Ride” and ‘Parasite” and the crowd was already witnessing what was to be a classic Ace performance. No big costumes, no fire or bombs, no big stage production, no massive lighting, and without any make-up this show was all about the songs. Ace has a better grasp on delivering what the fans want than KISS does these days, more songs and less chatter. A great touring band consisting of Anthony Esposito (ex-Lynch Mob) on bass guitar, Todd Youth (ex-Danzig) on rhythm guitar and Scott Coogan (ex-Brides of Destruction) on drums really held their own all night long supplying great vocal harmonies and occasional lead vocals as well.
I was surprised that the band only did 2 songs off Anamoly (Ace‘s latest solo effort released Sept 2009) “Sister” and “Pain In The Neck” (which Ace promptly dedicated to his ex-wife Jeanette) but with 4 other solo efforts it’s tough to pick a set to please
everyone. Only one song from the first Frehley’s Comet album “Rock Soldiers” and none from Second Sighting the 2nd Frehley’s Comet release. Also nothing from Trouble Walking (1990) but with a lot more KISS songs to come who could question it?
Ace did perform quite a bit from his first solo effort from 1978 including “Snowblind”(which he claims was based on his experimentation with Cocaine that he dabbled with in his 20’s), “Speeding Back to My Baby”, “Rip it Out” and the classic and only Billboard top ten single “ Back In the NY Groove”. Most diehard KISS fans agree that this is his best solo effort so why not play more from it than the others?
The rest of set consisted of seldom played KISS tunes like “Lover Her All I Can” from Dressed to Kill “Hard Times” from Dynasty and “Talk to Me” from Unmasked to KISS classics like “Love Gun” “2000 Man” (Rolling Stones cover) and “Strange Ways” with Anthony Esposito on lead vocals.
The encore was a solid 3 song joint jumping “Deuce” (Which Ace claimed on stage as his favorite KISS song of all time) “Love Gun” in which he thanked Paul Stanley for writing such a great song and “Cold Gin” which Ace proclaimed he wrote on the subways of NY City as a teenager traveling to and from the Bronx.
It was amazing to see Ace’s smoking guitar make an appearance; not only was that one of the highlights of the show, as a long-time rock concert enthusiast it’s still to this day one of the coolest things I have ever seen done live on a stage!
If you guys get a chance to see Ace live please do so..it’s all about the songs folks. This show does not disappoint!