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. Continue reading Ace Frehley @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/16/2017)→
Artist: Ace Frehley Venue: Playstation Theater (New York, NY) Opener: Simo Date: 9/23/2016 Label: eOne Entertainment
It was awesome to find the great Ace Frehley performing tonight at the Playstation Theater because while this would be the musicians third gig in the immediate vicinity in the space of about six months, I didn’t get to the shows that took place at the nearby B.B. King Blues Club. Yeah, I was really heartsick about it but that is life in NYC. Sometimes there are a hundred things happing on a single night and sometimes there is nothing. For those shows it was the first one but that was then and this is now and I was ready to be one of the assembled Rock Soldiers with so many music loving friends. Opening the show would a band called Simo but I wouldn’t be able to see them since I was convening with a group of fellow KISS fans down at a favorite concert watering hole called Smith’s. I also had someone’s ticket and needed to make sure they got it and didn’t miss a moment of the original Spaceman.
Artist: Various Artists Title: “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” Deluxe Edition Label: Armoury Records Release Date: 9/14/2010 Genre: Holiday Metal Rating: 4/5
A couple of years ago the folks over at Eagle Records gave the Metal fans a holiday album that was really something up their alley. Though not as much a story-telling enterprise as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or as tongue in cheek a delivery as a Twisted Christmas, this really had some interesting and fun stuff to enjoy. Having reviewed the original CD and then its EP follow-up, I decided to combine and slightly rework those thoughts based on Eagle Records re-releasing these albums in time for the 2010 holiday season as one package.
“I’ve been a fan of the holiday juggernaut that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for several years now, but there was no way that my experience with that would have prepared me for how Twisted Sister would deliver their “Twisted Christmas” release. I bring them up as it originally hit me as one of the most absurd items in reviews to do pile but after several listens I found myself intrigued at just how well the conventional Metal vibe worked when crafted together with Holiday classics that they chose. It was an album that left you hungry for more and that made the arrival of the “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” release something I was eager to dig into. The players on this one are as vast as the Metal genre itself and as result finds legends like Alice Cooper and Ronnie James Dio performing along with the likes of diverse quality players like Steve Lukather and Ray Luzier and many, many more. The vibe of this release is rather heavy which was good and I admit it that it almost felt like a Motorhead track when Lemmy gave it a go at “Run Rudolph Run”. Shock master Alice Cooper and John 5 delivered the creepiest “Santa Claws Is Coming To Town” I’ve ever heard and believe me at the end of this one, the fact that he knows when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake will scare the Charles Dickens out of you. Winners come shining through during a few numbers like “Silver Bells” which has a powerful modern Metal drive to it and Geoff Tate singing and I felt the same way about the albums opening title track that gave us the magical voice of Jeff Scott Soto, a singer I have always been able to enjoy. Dio is at his ominous best with Mr. Iommi and company for “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and the best way to describe this one is as imagine the band Heaven And Hell doing the track. Weird huh, but it does work on some levels. I had to say that I was put off by the Death Metal growls of Chuck Billy and Thrash treatment given to “Silent Night”, as this is a track that I like to much to see given such a reworking. Of course there are some who might enjoy the chance to finally hit the circle pit to this one, so here you go folks. Former Judas Priest/Iced Earth front man extraordinaire Tim Owens hits it out of the park with “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” and he sounds like he is having a blast and the same can be said for King’s X vocalist Dug Pinnick during “Little Drummer Boy”. It wouldn’t be fair for me to ruin every single surprise on the album so I shall leave the remaining tracks to your own surprise as you unwrap this present with glee after you taking it from the spiked leather stockings that are hanging on your mantle. It does end with a rousing rendition of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and I love this tune and felt the guitarist/singer did a fantastic job of it. He is joined by Toto’s own Steve Lukather who can deliver the goods in any situation it seems. Continue reading “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” (Deluxe Edition) by Various Artists→