I've had numerous "concert Gods looking down on me moments this year." Tickets to this sold out, second show of Ace Frehley's "Space Invader" tour was one of them.
I was on vacation in Florida at the end of September for the 80's In The Park Festival and had to get up early on that Friday (okay...maybe 10:00am is not usually early, but when your on vacation for a rock fest, trust me, it was a battle to roll out of bed at that hour) and get my fingers limber and ready to type as soon as 10am hit...
Well the ten o'clock hour hit and Ticketmaster now does automatic refresh and I sat there for 4 minutes, getting annoyed, as the page would refresh and not give me the opportunity to get tix. Then after 4 or 5 minutes the refresh stopped working. I exited out of the page, got back to it and got to the point where you enter the number of tix you want and type in the code. I was sure at this point I would be getting crap seats for me and my 5 friends. Instead, somehow, we got 6 front row right orchestra seats! Having just been there to see Tom Kiefer, I knew these would be great seats (in actuality, the Sugar Loaf Theater only holds about 600 or 700 people and there is not a bad seat in the house). Once again, thank you concert Gods!
So as I write this, there have only been three shows on this tour so far and it looks like we got the best one with the most songs played. It appears to be the only show where "Change" was played in full plus we got the full encore that was not played at the first show.
So I'll just say it...this was a great show. Really solid setlist with an awesome selection of Kiss songs mixed in with Ace solo and Frehley's Comet tunes.
Ace's band is fantastic and all share lead vocals as various points in the show with drummer Scot Coogan singing the bulk of of the Kiss tunes (and Ace commenting how he sounds like Paul Stanley used to. I have to say Scot NAILS the Kiss tunes and it was not the only time throughout the night Ace threw jabs at his old band mates).
Bassist Chris Wyse is engergetic and forms a tight rhythm section with Coogan. He sang lead on "Strange Ways" off of "Hotter Than Hell", but I think the key to this band is the "Emperor of Rock n Roll" himself, Richie Scarlet. Richie not only kicks ass on guitar, but is so damn animated throughout the show it brings it to another level. Richie's vocal lead turns come during "Breakout" as well as later in the set on "2 Young 2 Die" off of "Trouble Walkin."
This being only the second show of the tour, there were two or three moments where the songs went a little off the rails, but I gotta say I love the dirty street rock, not perfectly tight but tight enough for rock n roll vibe this band has. Many of the songs come across much heavier than their studio versions and there was not a "let's go for a beer run" tune among them.
The setlist is below and you can see it's paced well. Everyone coming is of course looking to hear some classic Kiss and the first taste is four songs in with the super heavy "Parasite" also off "Hotter Than Hell" and this goes right into "Snowblind," the only song off Ace's Kiss era solo album other than his hit cover of "New York Groove." Following this immediately with "Love Gun" and the band has the audience in the palm of their hand for the remainder of the set.
The set was longer than I expected (a good thing) especially with the show starting a bit late with at least an hour between the opening act and Ace who didn't hit the stage til close to 10 The show didn't end until just before midnight which is late for the theater. I was afraid they would cut the set, but we got everything on the setlist.
The sold out crowd (including Steve Brown of Trixter/currently Def Leppard who we spotted in the middle front row) roared approval after every song and numerous times started an "Ace! Ace! Ace!" chant including during the long encore break. When Ace did come back out he said he was sorry that he didn't re-enter the stage during the loudest part of the audience chanting his name, but he "had to take a piss." Ace's stage banter was a hoot through out.
So that's about it gang, great show, I got two guitar picks (one from Richie and one from Ace) and I will say this, if you're up front and want an Ace pick, I hope your seats are on the left side of Ace if you're facing the stage. Ace throws out TONS of picks, but almost none of them to the right side. But if you're on the right and rockin out, Richie will surely get you one.
Below is the setlist and a lot more photos. If you dig this, please go to this link and follow us on Facebook and feel free to comment there. If you'd like to share these photos, please just give us credit and let us know where you're sharing them and we'll share the link. Also click on any of them to supersize them. Follow us on Twitter as well to keep up with all the goodness and contests.
Once last thing for the more die hard Ace fans. Does anyone know why Ace never plays Frehley's Comet's "Into The Night?" I mean it was something of an actual radio hit and I've always wondered why he never plays it anymore. Let me know if you know.
As always - Rock on and Enjoy! - Paul
Lost In Limbo
Gimme a Feelin'
King of the Night Time World
Chris Wyse's Bass Solo
New York Groove
Shock Me / Ace Guitar Solo
2 Young 2 Die
Shot Full of Rock
Detroit Rock City