Ace Frehley @ Forum Theatre Review

ACE Frehley at the Forum Theatre 2 May, 2015

Casually and nonchalantly, as if he wasn't a founder of one of the greatest rock acts of all time – KISS – the spACEman strolled to the centre of the stage at the sold-out Forum Melbourne on Saturday night (2 May).

With his strong Bronx accent he yelled: "Hello Brisbane! I just came from Tasmania. I thought it was Transylvania. It's got me all mixed up. Not sure what town I'm in!” while laughing at the shocked faces of his fans. After all, it's cruel joke to compare Melbourne with Brisbane wouldn't you think? [Ed's note: doesn't the opposite apply?]

Click here for photos from the show.

Customary to his reputation of very loud, hard rock, the wall of Marshalls pilloried the stage, much like that of an '80s metal show. Evidently they were not just for show; from the first to the last note my ear plugs remained snug while protecting my brain from the tremendous sound vibrations. It was the loudest gig I’ve been to for years.

A mixed set of both Ace and KISS songs, dating back to ‘74, rolled-out just like this:

'Rocket Ride' (KISS)
'Gimme A Feelin''
'Parasite' (KISS)
'Love Gun' (KISS)
'Space Invader'
'King Of The Night Time World' (KISS)
'Strutter' (KISS)
'2000 Man' (The Rolling Stones cover)
'Rock Soldiers'
Bass solo
'Strange Ways' (KISS)
'Talk To Me' (KISS)
'New York Groove' (Hello cover)
'2 Young 2 Die'
'Cold Gin' (KISS)
'Shock Me' (KISS)
Ace Frehley guitar solo
'Rip It Out'


'Detroit Rock City' (KISS song)
'Deuce' (KISS song)

People weren't at the Forum just to hear ACE sing – let's face it, he's no pitch-perfect frontman. Fans were there to see him play, which became evident during his solos. Fists and metal horns were proudly held high as his signature, Cherry Sunburst Lea Paul smoked out the venue.

Ace.3Image © Carl Neumann

Although Ace covered most, each of the band members had a chance to sing KISS songs. Drummer Scot Coogan sang a few songs, which reminded me of a young Paul Stanley, and bass player Chris Wyse sang 'Strange Ways’ after a seriously wicked, bass solo. "I'm feeling pretty strange with ‘y’all,” he said, announcing the track.

Nothing much has changed with ACE over the decades, except for a number of mature-aged face wrinkles; it was still very loud, hard rock – nothing over the top, nothing too extravagant.

Ace.2Image © Carl Neumann

ACE questioned: "Who here saw me when I first came in 1980? What, that's 35 years ago? Shoot!” and laughed as he looked out over only half-a-dozen raised hands.

Ignoring a few sound issues that plagued the road crew throughout the night, ACE was ace.

Click here for more photos from the show.

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