Being a long time KISS fan, it was hard for me to believe the ultimate guitar player finally would return to New York City at the Nokia Theater in Midtown Manhattan on April 4th 2008 and RockEyez.com attended with the invite from Carol Kaye of Kayos Productions (Thanks so much Carol). The opening band THE TREWS played a lively forty-five minutes set to packed house of Ace fans and did a fine job cranking up the crowd. There were chants of Ace every once in awhile but for most part THE TREWS had great rapport with the fans even having them with hands in the air and singing along. It was good seeing the audience not just booing them off but also seemingly enjoying their set.
Right around 10pm it was time for the Legend to wander onto the stage with blue-ish green laser beams emitted from the drum kit as Ace welcome himself back home to New York City with the opening tune “Rip It Out.” It’s a funny thing; back in the day, people were embarrassed to say they were KISS fans. Now with so many closet KISS fans and famed musicians coming out of the wood work mentioning that KISS was always their favorite band-- so there is a large insurgence of newbies in older fans. I also saw youth with their mom’s or dad’s just enjoying the show of one of the greatest guitarist ever. Ace was definitely on his game as he ripped through tons of fans favorite like “Parasite”, “Snowblind”, “Strangeway” and a medley of “Torpedo Girl”, “Speedin’ Back To My Baby”, “5 Card Stud” and “Trouble Walkin’” during the first half of the show.
Guitar picks were being thrown by the dozens in all directions, Ace did plenty of dialogue with the crowd and received a huge response by all present. Hands were in the air during the whole set and a majority of the fans were singing along with every tune. I do miss the days of counter partners Richie Scarlet-- MOUNTAIN and John Reagan-- Peter Frampton but to tell you the truth Anthony Esposito who is playing bass on this tour has a great aura and show’s great stage presence as a crowd pleaser. One other thing when drummer Scot Coogan sang “Love Gun” on the one of the encores he did an amazing job.
In the second half of the set Ace hit with “New York Groove”, he pulled out all the stops with his lighted guitar solo followed up by “2000 Man.” Next up was “Shock Me” with ole smoky bellowing smoke from side to side of the stage. One of my favorite songs of the night was “Rocket Ride” I really felt the old sensation of how powerful the song was and still is. Ace exited the stage only to return 5 minutes later with all the hard hitters “Deuce”, “Love Her All I Can”, “Love Gun” and “Cold Gin” with and ending of “Black Diamond”. When I close my eyes and listen to how great a musician this man is, I know that only deserves sold out shows like Nokia at every venue he plays.
I just wanted to mention a few other notes to the night. It was great getting out seeing one of my favorite guitarists in the world. It was also great to once again hang out with a couple people who are close to me and we just don’t get to see one in other much anymore -- my good friends Bill and Donna DeMild, and also an ole KISS buddy Dave.
Only one thing was disturbing during the night and that was the security at Nokia. Cameras were prohibited at Ace’s show and the security went way over the line with their actions. I saw a girl that was just text messaging and security member whose number was 5199 (the number was written on his shirt) was way over the line. He was screaming at the girl and even wanted to fight the guy who was with the girl sticking up for her. This guy must have not taken his meds because it seemed like he want to have a fight with anyone and I foresee problems for Nokia in the future if they don’t calm down. After the show all I asked him was it the policy of Nokia or Ace that no cameras were allowed. It looked like he wanted to kill me, he starts screaming “…I make $10.00 an hour and that is my job, you think I need this…”, Damn you talk about major problems. I verbally heard the guy trying to antagonize fans into a fight. Also some idiot tried to get in the authorized photo pit only to get thrown out, so don’t try it.
Very Special thanks go out to Ace Frehley and the band, THE TREWS, Carol Kaye and all at Kayos Productions.