JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

December 1, 2014
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Mike Diquinzio
Photos by Fabien Castro

Ace Frehley

Smoking Ace

Relatively speaking, Ace Frehley has managed to keep a pretty low profile over the years. But with the recent induction of KISS into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame and all of its controversy, Ace's name has been on people's lips more than usual, and they packed Deep Ellum's Trees wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling to see their guitar hero up close and personal on his latest tour.

Taking the stage shortly after 11:00, Ace and his band delivered a two-hour set full of kick-ass songs that span his entire career, from the first KISS album to this year's Space Invader. Opening with "Rip it Out" from the infamous 1978 solo album, Ace had the packed house in the palm of his hand from the first note. The new songs scattered throughout the set, including the dirty-as-hell riff of "Toys," helped set the stage for the classics that the crowd was hungry for, such as early highlights "Parasite" and "Love Gun," the latter of which was sung excellently by drummer Scott Coogan.

Coogan also took the lead on "Strutter," after which Ace reminded us of the current state of his relationship with KISS by remarking how he sang it "as well as Paul used to." In fact, each member of Ace's band got their turn at playing frontman during the show; guitarist Richie Scarlett sang "Breakout" and "2 Young 2 Die," which was dedicated to Eric Carr, and Chris Wyse, after playing an impressive bass solo, was equally as impressive singing "Strange Ways."

>The night was all about Ace Frehley, though, as the near-capacity crowd hung on every note he played for the entire two hours that he was on stage. Whether playing songs from this year's Space Invader or 1987's Frehley's Comet, each song was performed with equal enthusiasm. But Ace knows what the people wanna hear, and he packed the setlist with no less than nine KISS songs, including "Shock Me," which led into a smoking guitar solo - literally. Alive II's "Rocket Ride" closed out the main set, but the band returned with "Cold Gin" and "Deuce" for their encore before giving the ecstatic crowd a very heartfelt thank you and good night.

Fans of Ace don't care about headlines, controversy, or the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame- they care about music, and they turn up in droves to hear it. Ace will probably never rejoin KISS, but who cares? Ace's legend is larger than life and as long as that shadow is cast, there will be someone who has to live in it. Sorry, Tommy.

Set List:
Rip It Out
Gimme a Feelin'
Snow Blind
Love Gun
Space Invader
King of the Night Time World
Bass Solo/ Strange Ways
Rock Soldiers
New York Groove
Shock Me
Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
2 Young 2 Die
Rocket Ride
Cold Gin