Growing up, yeah it’s been a long row to hoe (read: “still growing up”) I got into rock n’ roll around the age of 12. I lived in Enid, Oklahoma and back in the 60’s (yeah I’m that old) about all we had was AM radio. The ever popular GLEN CAMPBELL and CONWAY TWITTY were the dominant popular artists on the radio. Out in the country sticks like we were, about the only rock n’ roll anyone ever heard about was ELVIS PRESLEY. Really the first rock band I ever liked was THREE DOG NIGHT and “Joy to the World”.
KISS was one of the bands that began my rock and roll addiction. I think my mother wanted to play their records more than me. They were popular in the 70’s and through my high school years.. I always liked listening to ACE FREHLEY’S guitar solos. I was never a huge KISS fan, but I have seen them three times, once with FREHLEY on lead axe. This was my first time catching him solo.
FREHLEY has come to Dallas every year or other year for awhile now. I never really paid much attention, but a California friend of mine continued to bug me about going. Whether it was my friend’s insistence or my curiosity seeing him as a solo act that changed my mind, I’m not really sure. Probably a little of both. Afterall, he has a long and well respected reputation. Maestro also mentioned to me that we were invited to review the gig this time around. So of course I was interested. And where was this? Trees Dallas, of course, my home away from home.
19MACHINE from Fort Worth was kind of a mix of ARCTIC MONKEYS and MUSE. I must say that bassist Jordan Hunter has to have the most perfect hair on stage. I was a bit jelly to tell you the truth. When SUPERNOVA REMNANT took the stage, I was grateful that the same fog machine operator we had for ENFORCER had the night off. I’d seen these guys several times in the past and even met singer/guitarist Robbie Gustin at a local store. Their set was about 30 minutes, a bit short, but I think everyone was anxious for ACE to take the stage.
So, the original lead guitarist for KISS…ACE FREHLEY. How cool to see one of the legends of rock n roll? The place was completely packed, in fact it was sold out. Getting shots at the stage was next to impossible, so I had to rely on my telephoto Sigma. I actually prefer to be about 15 feet or better from the stage, so no biggie to me. Playing a thirteen song set and two encore tunes, FREHLEY rocked the house with mostly KISS tunes and several solo efforts.
On the listening menu were classics such as “Parasite”, “Shock Me”, “Cold Gin”, and of course “New York Groove”, which the crowd completely ate up. Other songs included “Rip It Out”, “Rock Soldiers”, and “Snowblind”. For the encores we were served up the rock classics “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce”.
ACE FREHLEY, self-taught guitarist, is also known for his innovative guitar effects on stage.including one that lights in sections and of course his infamous, iconic smoking axe. There’s no doubt that he still has a huge following. His fans are most dedicated or else there would have been more breathing room on Saturday night. Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY