The silver space suit may be gone, but the Spaceman lives on!
Ahead of the release of his new album of cover songs, Origins Vol. 1 from eOne music, KISS founding member Ace Frehley has returned to the road. Originally known for his silver, black & white make-up and spectacular lead guitar work, Ace has been flying solo again for many years and has proven over and over that he more than stands on his own, both live and in the studio. With the same band in tow from his last tour that supported the album, Space Invader, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has never sounded better. Shock caught up with Ace on the third night of the new tour at The Bomb Factory, one of the best venues for live music in Dallas, TX, and was not let down. The newly remodeled venue was packed to near capacity.
The show started after Ace personally met with over 50 VIP experience ticket holders. He posed for photos, signed memorabilia and even a few guitars. Then, the hall went dark and the opening notes of the signature piece from Ace’s now legendary 1978 solo album, Fractured Mirror, sent the crowd into a frenzy. Surprisingly, Ace simply sauntered out to the stage with little fanfare and opened the show with the track, Toys, from Space Invader. It was a perfect out of left field way to open the show and really get the crowd on its feet. The night’s set list featured all the standards that Acelanders would expect like Rocket Ride, New York Groove, Shock Me and a few unexpected gems. Later, giving fans a taste of what’s in store on his forthcoming album, he also played a powerful version of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald. Guitarist Richie Scarlet took over lead vocals on 2 Young 2 Die, the classic track he originally recorded with Ace on the Trouble Walkin’ album. Drummer Scott Coogan’s Paul Stanley inspired vocals on the KISS staples Love Gun and Detroit Rock City were as impressively spot-on as ever. Another bright spot in the show was Strange Ways, another classic KISS cut that was originally sung by Peter Criss. It was masterfully performed by bassist Chris Wyse. As far as the theatrical antics from his years in KISS that Ace is known for, he did not leave any would-be space traveling fan disappointed. To the delight of his fans, before the show was over, in true cosmic fashion, the venue was filled with smoke from Ace’s custom Gibson Les Paul during his blistering solo.
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