(rockandrolljunkie.com welcomes our newest contributor Steve Trager. Steve is an avid music fan from the Philadelphia area, and has agreed to cover this region for us as a regular contributor. Steve is also an accomplished photographer, and will feature many of his photographs within his articles. We are excited to welcome Steve as a fellow rockandrolljunkie. Enjoy!)
Closing out the month of November 2014, there have been numerous spectacular concert events all around the east coast region, some of which don’t always come through as often as we all would like, so we often settle for a one off performance of some our favorite rock icons, which always seem to turn out to be the greatest shows ever. It has been over twenty years since legendary former KISS guitarist toured the circuit in support of a great new CD entitled “Space INVADER”. Another jammed packed effort of all new solo material that clearly puts Ace Frehley on top of his game as always.
This tour also marks the return for Ace Frehley to perform outside of the Philadelphia market, in Glenside Pennsylvania, at the ever popular cozy comfy newly restored Keswick Theatre. A small venue with great sound acoustics perfect for a rock show. Despite the inclement weather, the Keswick was half empty. Perhaps the lack of advertising and/or the entire week surrounded of the big holiday traditions with family and friends kept ticket sales brisk. Still, it was a great time to get out and see Ace Frehley sizzle on stage with all those great memorable classics through a lifetime of music.
Doors opened very early, about an hour and a half, as people filled in grabbing merchandise; some of which was authentically signature by Ace himself. Fans were treated to about forty minutes of local Doylestown musicians. Not often do any lesser known bands in the area get to share the stage with an Icon like Frehley. While the local band was performing many songs from their debut EP, fans lined up alongside the backstage door to have perhaps one of the greatest moments in their lifetime; the chance to meet Ace himself and have a few signatures, which in itself is sometime priceless.
With a quick change over, the stage was set for Ace to roll out some great new songs, as well as anyone’s guess to just how many KISS classics he would toss in. Ace opened the show with “Rip It Out “from his first debut effort back in 1978. Ace Frehley, well-dressed at center stage, introduced eager fans to some all new material throughout the show with songs like “Gimme a Feelin’ “, “Toys” and “Space Invader“. Obviously, fans wanted to hear everything from the solo songs that impacted his career outside of KISS, to those classics he’d written or co-written with his former band mates, spanning an entire generation of rock anthems.
Ace Frehley always puts on a great show. He has always put out some great solo recordings, but really hasn’t touched the touring torch until this release – or at least not in the Philly area.
Many of the KISS classics like “Love Gun”, “Strutter“ and “King of The Nighttime World” with Scott Coogan on vocals made the night even more special for any avid KISS fanatic in the first five rows raising their fists in the air. Besides Ace being the star of the show, Richie Scarlett leaned over and belted out “Breakout “from Frehley’s Comet, which sounded like a freshly polished new song, regardless of it being from 1987.
It wasn’t just the memorable songs throughout the entire show that made it a great night, it was the experience of reminiscing through timeless classics, and witnessing Ace Frehley’s precision guitar playing during the show that made it all that more special. No show should be without “Shock Me”, a song where Ace brings out his signature Les Paul, sending sparks out into the air. This is something we all used to see back in his KISS concert days; some may say his signature move.
Even with a bunch of KISS songs tossed in for good measure, Ace Freshly still can hold the fans in the palm of his hands like his minion of rock soldiers. Ace Frehley, being clean and sober for years truly demonstrates his creativity through every classic gem he performed at this recent Keswick Theatre show. This was definitely worth toughing it through bad weather to see one of rockand rolls’s best solo artists.
Ace Frehley Set List – Keswick Theatre – Glenside Pennsylvania
Rip It Out
Gimme a Feelin’
King of the Night Time World
New York Groove
2 Young 2 Die
Review and photography by contributing writer Steve Trager