Thursday, April 27, 2023, was a HUGE deal for a number of reasons! The focal points were as follows:
- Ace Frehley performed at the Lorain Palace Theatre
- The great ex-KISS guitarist was celebrating his 72nd birthday!
Ace doesn’t come from too far away (New York) but the crowd made the venue feel so much like home with every hoop and holler that I’m sure Ace couldn’t tell the difference. The rocker performed the hell out of his personal KISS songs, opening the set with “Parasite” from ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and closing with a track from the self-titled record “Deuce.”
As the show progressed, the megastar hit all of the jams you’d expect from Mr. Frehley, “Detroit Rock City” and “New York Groove.” Once the last notes of “Detroit Rock City” were ringing through the air, Ace exclaimed something along the lines of, “Better vocals than Paul Stanley,” referring to the head-butting with which the two guitarists have been publicly feuding in recent days. The crowd, covered in spaceman makeup, cheered at his statement, praising his own guitarist, Jeremy Asbrock, but the acid in his voice could be heard from the back of the theater.
Ace’s birthday meant there was a magical show in store! There were many guests flooding the wings of the stage: Matt Fish of Ohio’s Melt Bar and Grilled as well as PJ Farley and Steve Brown of Trixter! As Steve presented Ace with a birthday cake, Ace’s blush and beaming smile could be seen from under his infamous aviator sunglasses.
During a concert, there are always songs in which the crowd is blowing their tops over and some in which they’re headed for a smoke break. Surprisingly enough, a song that had the crowd getting up to take their restroom break was a KISS tune, “Getaway” from ‘Dressed to Kill’. On the contrary, the track that sent the crowd over the moon was the danceable “New York Groove,” which is a cover of Russ Ballard’s original. Ace used his well-known, one-of-a-kind flashing LED light guitar during the track. There were no fancy-dancey guitars used during “Getaway,” so perhaps it didn’t catch the audience’s attention as it did during “New York Groove”.
Ace has been through a lot when it comes to addictive behaviors and it shows in his work on stage. He’s been going through the motions for decades and that shows when the sober man is stumbling on stage. Perhaps it was purposeful to reminisce on how he used to act on stage, but to an untrained eye, it doesn’t look great. Don’t get me wrong, every single note of every single song was spot on, from every member, but it looked sloppily achieved. Honestly, the crowd wouldn’t have had it any other way as most has followed Ace since his days in KISS.
Opening for Ace was the unbelievable New York City rockers, Kore Rozzik. These guys know how to make it look, feel, and sound like it’s 1987 again, which is something one doesn’t see too often on stage nowadays. It feels as if you’re seeing the 1986 movie ‘Trick-or-Treat’ in the form of a band. Kore opened up their set with “I Am Your Savior” to let the crowd know what the band is all about and have them on the edge of their seats for the fan favorite, “Mistress.” Bassist, Dazey, says that his favorite song of the evening’s setlist was easily “Guilty As Charged,” and after hearing it, we can see why. The fire behind not only Dazey’s eyes but the whole band when performing that one was invigorating. The boys left the crowd wanting more after putting a spell on the crowd with “Spellbound,” but they were conveniently found in the Palace’s lobby signing shirts and loving the fan photos!