July 8, 2019 Ace Frehley Brings Rock-n-Roll Glory To The Paramount Huntington, NY 7-2-19
What could be more patriotic than kicking off your Fourth of July holiday with a grade-A, prime performance from one of the most renowned American guitarists in KISSTORY? Well, for a Rock-n-Roll fan, very little! As the summer concert season heats up, Long Island, NY’s premier music venue, The Paramount in Huntington Village, hosted the legendary Ace Frehley on July 2, 2019. Not your typical Tuesday evening, with Fourth of July 2019 a mere two days away, Rock fans took over Huntington Village for Happy Hour, proudly donning concert tees in support of the music they love.
As die-hard KISS fans, these amazing concert-goers showed up to support their hero, original KISS guitarist, Ace Frehley. As one of four members of the classic KISS line-up and a native of The Bronx, NY, Frehley played a pivotal role in the success and legacy of KISS, who took over the mid-1970s to do one thing and one thing only – change the face of music forever. Coming Alive!, KISS scared parents half to death, taking over Rock-n-Roll with an image that had all four members wearing make-up and transforming themselves into larger than life characters. There was Vocalist/Guitarist Paul Stanley aka “The Starchild,” Vocalist/Bassist Gene Simmons aka “The Demon,” Vocalist/Drummer Peter Criss aka “The Catman,” and, the man of the hour, Vocalist/Lead Guitarist Ace Frehley aka “The Spaceman.”
Quickly rising to a fan favorite, Frehley wowed listeners with his dynamically crunchy guitar style as heard on classic tracks like “Detroit Rock City” and “God of Thunder.” In concert, Frehley became known for adding special attractions to his performance, such as a smoking guitar and fireworks emanating from the head of his Les Paul. In later years, Frehley and KISS would part ways giving Ace the opportunity to embark on what became a successful solo career thanks to albums like 1987’s Frehley’s Comet, in addition to the popularity of his solo album while still a member of KISS, 1978’s Ace Frehley.
In 1996, Frehley reunited with the original KISS line-up for what was a highly acclaimed reunion tour. Following this run, Frehley’s final performances as a member of KISS took place on their Farewell Tour in 2000-2001. Since then, Frehley has continued to stay a vital part of Rock music both in his legacy as the one and only “Spaceman,” and as a solo artist releasing five albums in the last ten years including his latest endeavor, 2018’s Spaceman. In 2014, Frehley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of KISS, bringing his iconic career full circle. Today, Frehley is on the road in support of Spaceman with as much enthusiasm for the music as he had growing up as a wild kid in The Bronx.
As always, Long Island’s most dedicated Rock fans packed The Paramount from front to back, ready to put their fists in the air while seeing their favorite KISS and Ace Frehley solo hits performed live. Kicking off the night, the festivities began with a very impressive, talented young band from Queens, NY called Ryder. Just a few years ago, Ryder was formed in 2016 by Vocalist/Guitarist James Ryder, Bassist Tim Freyr, Guitarist Andrew Bloch, and Drummer Billy Smith. At its heart, Ryder’s sound is made up of mean Classic Rock riffs with a touch of Modern Rock appeal, similar to bands like RATT and KISS. Personally, Ryder lists their biggest influences as Thin Lizzy, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, and Aerosmith.
Overall, Ryder handed The Paramount exactly what was needed to start off the night, a set of energetic and spirited Rock music with nothing but tons of feeling. Songs like “Do or Die,” “Slave to Love,” and “Is Rock n Roll Dead” connected beautifully with fans in attendance. Ending the night, James declared The Paramount as the only building in Huntington, NY, with a heartbeat and the crowd being the lifeblood. By far a cool band to check out, Ryder absolutely has tons of potential and the goods to become a great Rock band.
The next band on the bill were New York City natives Like It. An interesting act, Like It Vocalist/Guitarist Jamie Ross and Lead Guitarist John Ostronomy took the stage dressed as something straight out of 1980s Glam Rock. On rhythm, Bassist Dave Messinger and Drummer Mike Lincoln took a more traditional Modern Rock approach to their look. Musically, the edgy riffs and melodies kept some members of the growing crowd entertained. An animated frontman, Ross played the part of the performance while singing an array of campy lyrics that represented the image and style of Like It.
As the electricity grew to a fever pitch, fans in attendance fed off each others’ energy building excitement for the show. As the lights went halfway down to illuminate the stage set, a healthy portion of the Aerosmith album Rocks blared through The Paramount’s sound system. Finally, the time had come and an announcement was made that went something like this: “Long Island, you wanted it, you got it, Ace Frehley!” To a huge ovation, Ace Frehley and his band – consisting of Guitarists Philip Schouse and Jeremy Asbrock, Bassist Ryan Cook, and Drummer Christopher Williams – hit the stage and tore straight into “Rip It Out.”
Infesting The Paramount, the seething riffs of KISS’s “Parasite” were an early favorite in the set. Addressing a screaming and engaged crowd, Frehley says, “Are you guys ready to Rock-n- Roll?” before cutting into “Hard Times.” Now the scene was even more wild with a frenzied crowd and Frehley’s band, who were clearly hungry to put on a killer performance, playing unbelievably tight and rocking out all over the stage.
Speaking of the band, Frehley sat back as the remaining four members poured devotion into singing lead vocals on the sinister KISS track “Watchin’ You.” Next, Frehley introduced a new track, off Spaceman,” the stirring “Rockin’ With the Boys” before taking Long Island for a “Rocket Ride” on a “Mission to Mars.” Really diving into the meat and potatoes of the set, Frehley and company grooved into “Strange Ways” off the 1974 KISS album Hotter than Hell.
An unexpected appreance, Frehley welcomed special guest guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo of Skid Row to the stage to join the band on a gripping rendition of “Snowblind.” Letting the crowd join in, Frehley shared his true story of the near fatal car crash which almost took his life back in 1983 via “Rock Soldiers.” Thereafter, Frehley showed his New Yorker roots on the sing-a-long hit “New York Groove.”
In one of the most anticipated numbers of his set, Frehley broke into his signature tune “Shock Me” and thrilled the room with his smoking guitar while playing an extended solo at both ends of the stage. Feeling the heat, “Cold Gin” gave Frehley one of the biggest audience reactions of the show before the band temporarily left the stage. Moments later, Frehley returned to a barrage of cheers promising two more songs to a crowd thirsty for more Rock. With the peddle to the floor, Frehley brought out the big guns for the encore, crushing The Paramount with overwhelming performances of “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce.”
Simply mind blowing, Ace Frehley and his incredible band came through The Paramount like a bat out of hell with a truly fantastic set of pure Rock-n-Roll. Celebrating his storied career, Frehley’s set was nothing short of a high-powered, engaging, and nostalgic Rock-n-Roll experience. Showing the love, the Long Island Rock community sent Frehley and his band off with an outpouring of cheers and applause before leaving the venue with renewed spirits all around. A must see, Frehley’s tour continues with only a handful of dates in July and August, so run out and get your tickets now!
Photo credit: Andrew Fiero Photography