The original Spaceman crashlanded in California this past week for a bunch of shows in the SoCal area. Last night Ace Frehley and band hit the stage at The Rose in Pasadena, CA for a rollicking night of classic rock tunes from both his solo catalogue and his tenure with KISS.
Frehley continues to tour with his new and improved Ace Frehley Band, including Jeremy Asbrock and Ryan Cook on guitars, Phil Shows on bass, and Matt Starr behind the drumkit. The band were on fire throughout the night and their professionalism definitely helps to hide Frehley’s sloppiness. Not known for being the best live singer Ace was more than happy to let the band take lead on some classic KISS tracks while Ace would put his best foot forward with his crowd-pleasing guitar playing and quirky stage presence.
ACE FREHLEY BAND SET LIST CHOICES
The setlist proved to be quite eclectic and members took lead vocals on a few KISS songs. Again, with his own singing voice being an acquired taste, Ace was more than happy to let his new members shine at the mic. Ace’s strength is still his spacey guitar playing and last night he didn’t miss a lick. All of his classic riffs were on display and the crowd was cheering every single one.
From the opening notes of the classic “Rocket Ride” the audience was immediately in the palm of Ace’s hand. The set was packed with some of The Spaceman’s best loved songs including “Rip It Out,” “Shock Me,” “Rock Soldiers” “Hard Times” and the cover tune he made famous “New York Groove.”
The odd choices in the setlist included “Love Gun,” “She” and “Watchin’ You.” All three of these are classic KISS songs but Ace didn’t write or sing on the original versions. Given his vast catalogue, this reviewer would have rather heard three more Frehley solo songs instead. That may be nitpicky on my part, as the crowd ate up every second of it.
ACE GETS POLITICAL
In a strange twist that this reviewer did not see coming Ace went full Ted Nugent with a Pro Donald Trump rant. This was quite surprising as the venue was only half full to begin with so only an idiot would risk alienating half the crowd but sure enough Ace went for it. I’m paraphrasing but Frehley basically said all Democrats are idiots and then end with “God Bless our President.” Since I’m a Democrat 11 songs was more than enough for me to hear from this nut job. As I exited the venue the thought that ran through my mind was… What did I expect from a guy who just sang two songs about his dick.
The show definitely ended on a sour note for me and my recommendation for Frehley would be to change the setlist, get your vocal chops in order and leave politics at home. You shouldn’t pay high concert ticket prices only to be bombarded with the very thing you are trying to get away from for an hour or two. As the saying goes… “Shut up and play your guitar.”
ACE FREHLEY THE ROSE SET LIST
Rip It Out
New York Groove (Last song I stuck around for)
Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.