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The Original Spaceman Returns To The Arcada Theatre
Ace Frehley Arcada Theatre St. Charles, IL November 4, 2022 Photo by David Haig

Between a hail of guitar pics whizzing past and water bottles tossed to various rabid fans, Ace Frehley still delivers the classic early KISS material as only he can do in his iconic true rock star New York swagger.

The band kicked off with "RIP IT OUT" and then right into "PARASITE" which of course had the old 70's era die hard KISS fans on their feet clinched fisted filled with visions of the arena rock kings of theatrics from our generation. It was really great to hear Ace as he credited the third song of the evening to "Mr Paul Stanley" then striking the tones of "STRUTTER". Ace rotated vocals with bassist Zach Throne and guitarist Ryan Cook whom both nailed their parts as well as providing a bone crushing solid punch for Ace to continue on with his trade for the older KISS Army still loyal to the original one and only Spaceman. '

Ace peppered us with a slew of vintage and original material including "ROCKET RIDE", "ROCK SOLDIERS" then giving another heart felt tip of the hat to Paul Stanley of KISS as well as the City of Detroit with "DETROIT ROCK CITY" which was a 1976 flashback of the Destroyer Tour. Ace had a moment of misplaced sun glasses and a pause for a bottled water leading him to remind us of his sixteen years of sobriety but how much playing live is his high these days before talking about his solo album Origins then forgot the name of the song he was about to play, classic Ace. He then goes into a tale of a guitarist asking him "What Key was that solo in" he tells the faithful in the audience "I said, Fuck You I've never had a guitar lesson in my life" to a roar of laugher and cheers.

The tail end of the evening he hammered the venue with "HARD TIMES" which included a brief story of the upbringing in the Bronx, NY., "STRANGE WAYS" and the classic "NEW YORK GOOVE". He painted a picture of the big stage sets of the 70's KISS shows and how he was electrocuted in Florida back then, lived despite it frying his brain but the event lead to the writing of the hit "SHOCK ME". There were a number of Chicagoland musicians of note in the crowd as well as DJ's to see a guitarist who inspired so many to follow in his time, the reverence was certainly felt by all on hand.

He closed the evening with "DEUCE" which is the first tune on KISS ALIVE which like so many was my first album I bought in 1976 and still own, with the infamous intro... "You wanted the Best and and you got the Best, the hottest band in the land KISS" the stage pyrotechnics booming as that tune starts on side one had me in complete awe in those days. Ace Frehley is still the epitome of a "Rock Star" when he takes the stage and tonight he proved it once again!

Ace Frehley
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Author & Photographer: David Haig
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