Ace Frehley in New Orle

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, February 28, 2008 @ 11:04 PM

At the House of Blues

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Hello friends and welcome to another episode of Rock-n-Roll Road trip. Tonight’s destination: New Orleans, Louisiana.

When my concert cohort and I first saw the tour dates for Ace’s first solo tour in some time, 2 dates immediately caught our attention, Dallas and New Orleans. Because we live about an hour north of Houston it would have seemed to be a no-brainer to go for the Dallas show but alas, that show was on a Sunday night and since we do have regular jobs, driving home from that show just in time to get changed, showered and ready for work did not seem appealing at all. Besides, I’m getting too old for that shit. So, New Orleans on Saturday night it is!

We left Houston around 11:30 in the morning for the 5 ½ hour jaunt next door. We get two miles from our hotel in Metarie, just west of New Orleans, and hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. Do What?? Okay, first off, it’s Saturday and there should be no rush hour. Secondly, New Orleans has less than half the population it had before Hurricane Katrina, so where the hell are all the cars coming from?? No matter, we finally made the hotel around 6:30 with enough time to chill a bit before the show.

We leave for the show at 7:30. The downtown exit is 8 miles from our hotel, which was by design as I did not want to stay anywhere in New Orleans proper. I really just don’t care for that city much and was only going to be there the least amount of time necessary to complete the journey. Anyhow, we get on the freeway and go about ½ mile before we hit, guess what? Bumper-to-bumper traffic again, this time ALL the way into New Orleans. Turns out that there was a monster truck jam going on in the Superdome that night. I had no idea what time that event was supposed to start but it was quite apparent that everyone was going to it at the same time we were. We finally get to our parking lot at 8:40, 1 hour and 10 minutes to go 8 miles!

We enter the House of Blues to what appears to be a pretty packed house although no bands have played yet and more people are still coming in. The opening band for this show was a Canadian group by the name of The Trews. Can someone explain to me exactly what the hell a ‘Trew’ is?? Lol. They came on a 9 sharp and played for about 45 minutes. A pretty good band with a sound kind of like a cross between Cheap Trick, The Black Crowes and The Wallflowers. They did have a lot of energy and kept the crowd’s attention. Then, at 10:15 or so, the time had come. The moment we had traveled all this way for: Ace Frehley!

To be honest, I had not seen Ace play solo since the first Frehley’s Comet album and when he played Houston on the Metal Mania tour of ’87 or ’88 so this was to be a real treat for me. Ace hit the stage with ‘Rip It Out’, proving any critics who didn’t think he could play sober anymore dead wrong! Ace played right up until midnight, playing a very nice mixed set of material from Kiss, Frehley’s Comet and his own solo efforts though he didn’t preview any material from his forthcoming solo album which is due out this summer. A very nice set indeed that was as follows:

  • Rip It Out
  • Hard Times (which led into)
  • I Want You (a somewhat abbreviated version)
  • Parasite
  • Snowblind
  • Rock Soldiers
  • Shot Full of Rock
  • Into the Void
  • Breakout
  • Strangeways
  • Medley(Consisting of :)
    • Torpedo Girl
    • Speedin’ Back to My Baby
    • 5 Card Stud
    • Trouble Walkin’
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • New York Groove (with lighted guitar)
  • Shock Me
  • Ace Solo (with ‘ole smoky)
  • Rocket Ride

  • Duece
  • Love Her All I Can
  • Love Gun
  • Cold Gin (which led into the live ending of Black Diamond)
He was having lots fun and interacted with crowd throughout the show, even taking time out between a couple of songs to sign someone’s prosthetic leg that they had handed up to him from the front of the stage. He was throwing out tons of picks and his backing band (which included Scott Coogan of Brides of Destruction) was absolutely FULL of energy! I should point out that Ace did not handle 100% of the vocal duties. Scott handled a few as well as his bass player, whose name I did not catch because Ace forgot to introduce them!

There were a couple of interesting tidbits to the night. (Note to guitar tech: MAKE SURE THERE ARE FRESH BATTERIES IN IT EACH NIGHT!) During ‘New York Groove’ Ace’s lighted guitar began to get dimmer and dimmer until by the end of the song you could only see 1 or 2 of the rows barely flicker. Ace was slightly amused at the gaffe. The biggest non-musical ‘highlight’ of the night occurred when Ace returned for his encores. He came out onstage drying his face off with a towel which he threw into the audience once he was finished. As you can imagine there was a scuffle for it, but then everything appeared to return to normal. Well, about halfway through Ace’s second encore I notice some activity to my right in the general area of where he threw the towel and, lo and behold, there are two grown coon ass men on the floor wrestling over this towel! One guy has about 90% of it wrapped up and he’s in a ball on the floor while the other guy who barely holds onto one end of the towel is on top of him and neither one is giving in. this little tussle continues on for at least 5 minutes, with nary a security person being seen anywhere. Finally, the majority holder won out and left with his ‘prize’. The loser then went back to watching the show with his friends, high-fiving them every so often as if to say ‘I showed his ass, didn’t I?’. Yeah dude, you’re a real man, dumbass. I turned to my buddy and said ‘This has got to be one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen!’

Following the show we made the decision not to stick around to see if Ace was going to come hang with the fans as I had overheard some talk that he probably wouldn’t be and I didn’t feel like wasting time hanging around if it would be pointless. We left for home the next morning around 8 and it would have been a picture perfect weekend except for the tire blowout we experienced 30 miles outside of Houston. We had to travel the rest of the way home on a donut tire at 50 mph, but hey, it was worth it!

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