KISS‘ legendary original guitarist Ace Frehley rolled into Los Angeles’ Saban Theatre on Feb. 3 for a stellar show of new tunes from his latest album, Space Invader, and, of course, unforgettable KISS classics.
Appropriately enough, this particular Friday evening in L.A. was unusually chilly, moody and rainy, making it feel more like autumn in New York. So, when this famous native New Yorker cranked up his most loved jam, “Back in the New York Groove,” the crowd was definitely feeling every beat of Ace’s groove.
The best moment during a night that included many was when Frehley pulled out his famous Gibson and played a smokin’ solo while his axe literally smoked, just like back in KISS’ early days.
After opening the show with the KISS classic “Parasite,” the influential guitarist shared lead vocals with his various band members on a number of KISS’ best songs, including, of course, “Cold Gin,” “Rocket Ride” and “Shock Me.”
The Spaceman was in fine form and seemed to be having as much fun as his audience, sharing stories and his famous chuckle between songs. He mentioned that he is celebrating 10-plus years of sobriety, a revelation that justifiably got as much applause as his set did.
Opening acts Smash Fashion and late-Eighties/early-Nineties stalwarts Enuff Z’Nuff were also fantastic and a lot of fun. L.A. newbies Smash Fashion offered a dose of solid, catchy Stone Temple Pilots-like original rock songs.
Likewise, Enuff Z’Nuff’s original jams, particularly the 1989 smash “Fly High Michelle,” were well-received and had the crowd on its feet and singing along at full volume. The timeless rock ballad was almost overshadowed by the band’s excellent cover of David Bowie‘s “Gene Genie.”
All in all, this was a three-homerun heavy metal bill that knocked it out of the ballpark.