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Halloween Comes Early To Fort Worth
Alice Cooper / Ace Frehley Will Rogers Auditorium October 20, 2021 Photos by Andy Laudano

It was a night of rock icons gracing the stage of Fort Worth's Will Rogers Auditorium. Legendary original Kiss guitarist, Ace Frehley started the show with a rousing rendition of the Kiss classic "Rocket Ride." The set was almost entirely Kiss songs, not that anyone in the audience seemed to mind. Only "Rip It Out," "New York Groove" and a couple of songs from his recent covers album, Mountain's "Never In My Life" and Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times" were played from his solo catalog. Ace was backed by guitarists Ryan Cook and Jeremy Asbock, bassist Philip Shouse (who also plays guitar in Accept) and drummer Matt Starr, collectively known as The Talismen who have toured previously with both Ace and fellow original Kiss member Gene Simmons. They had great chemistry with Ace and really played to the audience, especially the females. As the Kiss favorites continued, Ace broke out two of his classic guitars, the light up guitar and the smoking Les Paul to the delight of the fans. Other highlights included "Strutter," "Shock Me," "Cold Gin" and the closing number "Deuce."

An Alice Cooper concert is always something special, but seeing him in October, so close to Halloween, takes it to another level. With a giant Nightmare Castle behind them, the band opened things up with "Feed My Frankenstein." From there the set was a nice mix of classics, deep cuts and even a couple of new songs from his latest offering, Detroit Stories. Some of the highlights included "No More Mr. Nice Guy." "Bed of Nails," "Hey Stoopid," "I'm Eighteen" and "Poison."

If you ever wondered where Alice gets the energy to perform the way he does after all these years, look no further than his incredible band. Ryan Roxie guitar), "Hurricane" Nita Strauss (guitar), Tommy Henriksen (guitar), Chuck Garric (bass) and Glen Sobel (drums) are full of so much energy and enthusiasm that it's contagious! I dare you to find another band that appears to have as much fun playing together as they do!

But the music is only part of the fun at an Alice Cooper show! During "He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)," which was the theme song for Friday The 13th Part VI, Jason made an appearance, killing a "tourist" at the castle. But when he began to stalk guitarist "Hurricane" Nita Strauss, Alice chased him off. A giant baby lumbered across the stage during "Billion Dollar Babies." And then there was the Nightmare Suite, where Alice escapes from a straight jacket only to have his head chopped off by a guillotine. His real life wife, Cheryl, dressed as some demonic bride proceeds to dance and make out with Alice's severed head as the band sings "I Love The Dead." Following his return from the dead, the set ends just as it began, with another song about Frankenstein! Only this time, as they play "Teenage Frankenstein," They are joined by a giant Frankenstein Monster!

As if three amazing guitarists wasn't enough, Ace Frehley joined the band for the final song of the night, "School's Out." This was a fantastic show, easily one of the year's best. It was great to see two true rock legends share the stage together.

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Author & Photographer: Andy Laudano
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