Friday, September 23, 2016

Ace Frehley at the PlayStation Theater

Paul "Ace" Frehley was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and as a youth was a member of the Ducky Boys street gang. Born to a musical family, Frehley started playing guitar at age 13 when he received an electric guitar as a Christmas present. Frehley played in bands and held a string of short-term jobs—mail carrier, furniture deliverer, messenger, and liquor store delivery boy. In 1972, he auditioned for Wicked Lester members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Peter Criss, and was recruited. By 1973, Wicked Lester became Kiss. Meanwhile, Frehley worked as a part-time cab driver until Kiss generated a following a year later. After years of superstardom as Kiss' "Space Ace," Frehley left the band in 1982 for a solo career, and then rejoined Kiss from 1996 to 2002. His seventh and most recent solo album, Origins, Vol. 1, was released on April 15, 2016.

Ace Frehley and his band (guitarist Richie Scarlet, bassist Chris Wyse and drummer Scot Coogan) launched the Origins Vol. 1 tour tonight at the PlayStation Theater. The band came on stage to a prerecorded "Fractured Mirror," an instrumental track from Frehley's 1978 debut album. The musicians then tore into "Rip It Out," also from Frehley's first solo album. Before long Frehley was singing "Parasite" and "Love Gun," two songs he wrote for Kiss. Frehley performed 11 cover songs at the PlayStation Theater tonight, but few were from his most recent covers album. He gave the fans what they wanted to hear; eight of the 17 songs in his set were Kiss covers. To his credit, Frehley did not duplicate these songs as they were originally recorded; tonight's performance was much less tidy, and included expanded guitar work from Frehley and Scarlet. Interestingly, although Frehley was the attraction, he was self-confident enough to allow Scarlet to be the flamboyant one onstage. In the end, the content of the concert featured a healthy dose of Kiss songs, but was not intended to approximate a Kiss show by any stretch. This concert was simply Frehley demonstrating what makes him Ace.

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