IN REVIEW - Ace Frehley in fine form at House of Blues

CLEVELAND - No one is quite like Ace Frehley.
Scott Seitz
Jul 25, 2010

 

CLEVELAND — No one is quite like Ace Frehley.

The former Kiss guitarist rocked the House of Blues in Cleveland on Thursday night.

Frehley, 56, has headed out on his first solo tour in about six years because he wanted to let people know “he was still alive.”

He was a member of Kiss from 1973 to 1982 and then again from 1996 to 2002. Frehley is set to release a new solo CD, “Pain in the Neck,” in April or May.

First off, the House of Blues was packed. I was really surprised by the size of the crowd.

The crowd was not made up of America’s finest citizens. There were definitely people there still trapped in the 1970s and ‘80s. At times I thought I was at a mullet convention. Lots of beer was spilled on the floor and people during the course of the evening.

There were children in attendance and then the typical drunk weight-lifter dudes who just wanted to push everyone around.

Frehley opened his set with “Rip it Out” from his 1978 solo album. He then went right into “Hard Times” from 1979’s “Dynasty” and “Parasite” from 1974’s “Hotter than Hell.”

The crowd was really into it at the beginning — singing along with each song. The crowd started to run out of gas about 30 minutes in.

Frehley and his band were great. I had heard a Frehley show from Atlanta from Feb. 22, which was the second date of the tour, and the band sounded a bit rough. Another week of touring helped as it had the show down.

Frehley can still play the guitar and does a great job remembering all the lyrics. That’s quite an accomplishment considering he’s lived the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle but is clean and sober now.

The middle of the set contained “Strange Ways,” “Into the Void,” “New York Groove,” “Shock Me” and “Rocket Ride.”

Frehley included “Deuce,” “Love Gun,” “Love Her All I Can” and “Cold Gin” in the encore.

Overall, the set contained 27 songs, if you include the medleys. A pretty good effort from Ace.

I’d say “Rip it Out,” “Hard Times” and “Deuce” were all highlights for me. It was great hearing all those tunes I’ve loved since I was a child.

I’m curious as to how “Pain in the Neck” will sound. I read where Frehley said it will be similar to the 1978 solo album. If that’s true, it’s a good thing.