January 28, 2017
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ace Frehley came to the dusty desert of Arizona last month and rocked the packed house of the Marquee. Fans ranged from seven to 77 it seemed, reminding you just what an impact he has had in his career. It’s easy to forget that fellow musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag, John 5, Marty Friedman and James Hetfield, among countless others, have many times cited him as an influence on their own techniques and styles while they were still developing.
The band immediately tore in to “Parasite” and were off and running. The crowd erupted upon hearing the signature Ace riffs. While the performance and energy of the band was phenomenal and highly energetic, if there has to be one shortcoming of the gig it’s that the band isn’t changing up the setlist much. With the exception of one or two songs, it’s identical to the setlist last time they kicked up dust in Arizona (not the same order, however). “Emerald” is the only song to make it off of Origins Vol 1 (not counting the KISS staples already in the set that appear on the disc as well). With all the material Ace can draw from, it would be nice to hear him mix it up and throw in a long forgotten skeleton or two.
The band continued to rip through their setlist note by note, pleasing every drooling fan in attendance. The band was tight and playful, one of entertaining characteristics of guitarist Richie Scarlet and bassist Chris Wyse.
“Parasite“, “Toys“, “Rip it Out“, “Emerald“, “Love Gun“, “Snowblind“, “Rocket Ride“, “Bring it on Home” (Willie Dixon cover), “Rock Soldiers“, “Strange Ways“, “New York Groove“, “2 Young 2 Die“, “Shock Me“, “Cold Gin“, “Detroit Rock City“, “Deuce”
Direct support came from Enuff Z’ Nuff, who seems like they have constantly been an after thought since their late 80’s heyday. Unable to continue riding high from the success of their late ’80s MTV videos, they seemed to have fallen in to the just a support band rut. They tour constantly but seem to be just filler, maybe being affected by the fact that Chip Z’ Nuff is the sole original member.
Regardless, the crowd was delighted during their short performance (which all bands suffered from), while building anticipation for the Spaceman. As expected, the crowd’s largest responses were during the band’s signature tunes, “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing“, but just seemed to waiver during the rest of the set. The band did put on a great set, but it just didn’t stand out much compared to the other bands on the bill, and most notably, following Color of Chaos.
“Baby Loves You, “Kiss the Clown“, “Heaven or Hell“, “In the Groove“, “Jean Genie” (Bowie cover), “Fly High Michelle“, “New Thing”
Tricus hit the stage with a powerful set, raising the crowd’s energy as the time was growing closer for Ace. The band, led by guitarist George Contreras, started off with “Digging in the Berm” and followed with the crowd pleaser “Sick As Fuck“. The band continued to deliver a set that grabbed the crowd’s attention from the minute they hit the stage.
“Digging in the Berm“, “Sick As Fuck“, “Betrayed“, “Strong“, “Deep Incision“, “HHH“, “Electric Eye” (Judas Priest cover)
The most energetic set of the night belongs to Arizona’s own Color of Chaos, featuring Steve Carlson on vocals, Lance Eric (BANG TANGO) on bass, Steve Favela on guitar and Danny Ott on drums
. The band was firing on all cylinders and the crowd was revved up right along beside them. The band performed like seasonal professionals, handing off a tough task to follow for Tricus.
“Hate“, “Crack the Whip“, “Push“, “Movin’“, “Hollywood“, “Fortunate Son” (Creedence cover).
All Photos Â© 2017