Ace Frehley @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/16/2017)

Artist: Ace Frehley
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Date: 9/16/2017
Label: e1 Entertainment

The man is electric and his electricity is contagious. Despite the nearby Megadeth and Scorpions show taking place just down the street at Madison Square Garden, Ace Frehley had the entirety of New York under his thumb right here at the Times Square staple B.B. King Blues Club. After all, this is his city. With a line of painted faces and a mix of KISS and solo Ace shirts forming outside at 3pm while the doors only open at 615pm, you could only expect that the Space Ace drew an international crowd of the most loyal fans fully ready to rock and roll all night. Sure enough, it was hard to even move in the club (unless, of course, the legend threw a guitar pick into the crowd, because everyone and their mother jumped and pushed for that square inch of magical plastic).

The Spaceman came in hot from Jendell between the hours of 8pm and 9pm and, without missing a beat, turned out a beautiful recreation of “Parasite,” a classic KISS fan favorite off of Hotter than Hell. The energy only intensified from then on out. His Space Invader hit, “Toys” was up next. Afterwards, the rock icon paused to appreciate 11 years of sobriety, but pointed out the fact that we were all still expected to drink just as long as we didn’t crash our cars on the way home, as he knows all too well how that feels. The night continued with Ace’s very own, “Rip It Out” off of his self-titled album, Ace Frehley followed by a version of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald”. Each member of the Ace Fehley band had their night behind the mic, but first in rotation was Mr. Scot Coogan on drums who took lead on another KISS cover, “Love Gun”. After Ace sent a shout out to his former bandmate, Paul Stanley, Coogan performed doing the song a great justice and, no doubt, the crowd went wild for every reinvention of KISS. Ace grabbed back the lead with yet another KISS masterpiece, “Rocket Ride” and then took the energy right into his Anomaly release, “Sister”. Unlike most traditional rock bands (well, I guess KISS does it too), Ace gave way to a bass solo by Mr. Chris Wyse who proclaimed the integrity and significance of the bass guitar in rock music. Full of energy, Wyse took the lead on ANOTHER KISS favorite, “Strange Ways” again off of their 1974 release, Hotter than Hell.

This show being in NYC, it would have been considered a crime had the night gone on without the catchy claps of “New York Groove”. As the band hit the last chorus, the instruments stopped, and the crowd took over. New York shook. Mr. Richie Scarlet was up next with “2 Young 2 Die”. This came all too natural to him as he was with Ace when the song made its first debut on Trouble Walkin’. Other than his capabilities behind the guitar, Scarlet showed great prowess as he snatched up the mic stand. It was getting late, but Ace and his backing band were just getting started. They had yet to display what the fans came to see- Ace’s flaming hot guitar solo. The audience was in awe as the Spaceman shredded while his guitar smoked and lit up. It was beautiful and acted as the highlight of the night.

Having seen KISS perform “Shock Me” this summer, I was all too ready to hear how the man himself lays it down. Easily said, no one can mirror the original when it comes to his own productions. And of course, the night still wasn’t complete until the audience let the band know that “He’s gonna play without an Ace in his deck”. “Rock Soldiers” went carried perfectly into “Cold Gin,” which ended the regular show. Not too long after the band walked offstage, the chants for Ace started to get louder and louder. Eventually, the band came back to bang out KISS fan favorites, “Detroit Rock City,” and “Deuce” as the encores. This was by far the high point of the night, as everyone in the room was on their feet rockin’ out to the legendary songs. Frehley once again tore the house down.

Set List:
1. Parasite
2. Toys
3. Rip It Out
4. Emerald
5. Love Gun
6. Rocket Ride
7. Sister
8. Bass Solo
9. Strange Ways
10. New York Groove
11. 2 Young 2 Die
12. Shock Me
13. Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
14. Rock Soldiers
15. Cold Gin
16. Detroit Rock City
17. Deuce

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