TVD Live Shots: Ace Frehley and the Charm City Devils at the 9:30 Club, 4/8

PHOTOS: DAVE BARNHOUSER | Having spawned the careers of countless guitarists with his tenure in KISS in the ’70s, Ace Frehley is still holding the hot hand in 2016.

It’s time to give Ace Frehley credit where credit is due. Sure, the career’s been a proverbial rollercoaster, but Friday night at the 9:30 Club, Ace was smoking—and I’m not just referring to the pyrotechnics. His playing was nimble as ever and his signature tone sustained from track to track was impeccable. And how about those tracks? “Rip It Out,” “Rocket Ride,” “Parasite,” “Love Gun,” “Snow Blind,” Strangeways,” “New York Groove,” Shock Me,” “Cold Gin,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Deuce.” All, well, hotter than hell.

Ace’s brand new LP, Origins Vol. 1 arrives in stores this Friday, April 15 and finds Ace digging into a trove of tracks that influenced him early on. Covers from Thin Lizzy to the Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix round out the set which includes guest vocals from Mr. Paul Stanley on Free’s “Fire and Water.” While this material didn’t make Friday’s setlist, his own tracks blatantly informed the origin stories of those in the audience—that is, if we’re to weigh the crowd participation and the myriad of air guitarists in attendance.

Ace’s band deserves a solid mention too—long time cohort, Richie Scarlet on guitar, Chris Wyse from the Cult on bass, and drummer Scot Coogan—all took to lead vocals at some point during the set, Ace content to hang back or interact with the crowd.

Baltimore’s Charm City Devils set the night off as openers with a tight and polished set of modern blues rock which had quite a bit of support from those who lined up well early to get a listen to the locals. While new to these ears, that seems certain to change in no time. —Ed.

CHARM CITY DEVILS

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