There is a double header happening in Sydney tonight and I for one am more than excited to go see it, no I am not talking soccer, I am talking about Rock N Roll, pure unadulterated entertainment in its best form. I am talking about legendary KISS guitarist MR Ace Frehley who is in town supporting the one and only Alice Cooper as he tours the country in support of his latest album Paranormal.
You cannot look past the fact that some bands are so important to music history, Kiss is one of those bands so I look forward to getting myself a fix of Kiss in any form, even if it is just the Spaceman himself, legendary guitarist Ace Frehley. The set begins with a backing tape playing Fractured Mirror and then wastes no time rocking on with the Kiss track, Parasite. I was really hoping to hear some of those great Kiss tracks and Ace would not let me down. The set would be so rocking you could not stop a-clapping and a-foot stomping along to tracks like Love Gun and Rocket Ride a fitting song given he is the space man and a few wardrobe changes always saw him in shirts of a cosmic nature. Accompanying Ace was another guitarist, drummer and bassist who absolutely smashed it out of the park when he let rip one of the best bass solos of all time, it was sensational. But nothing would out-do the man himself who showed us why he is one of the world’s best guitarists as he played out his own solo which literally, and I mean literally, had smoke billowing out of his guitar. He would end this dazzling display with a cheeky comment ‘ yep still smoking’ lol this would lead us into a crowd rousing moment and we would all get up and rock out to Detroit Rock City and finish off the set with another Kiss classic, Deuce. They leave the stage to a tremendous applause and say Sydney, thank you, but it’s time to go.
Wow, what I just witnessed was enough to blow me away, but that is nothing compared to what is to come. I knew one thing as I headed in to see tonight’s show and that was to expect theatrics, and theatrics is exactly what I got. When I walk back into the Horden the stage now has a massive back drop at its very front, a signature look of the Alice Copper eyes but with spider webs inside them, so now as the house lights go out a macabre voice comes through the speakers informing us we have all been chosen to spend the night with Alice Cooper. I am excited and feel like I am about to be a part of a musical horror film. As the music kicks in the stage curtain drops and reveals our master of ceremonies for tonight’s show looking sharp as ever he stands front and centre, alongside him are three guitarists and a bassist and elevated up the back is a drummer. The stage is adorned with all sorts of macabre set pieces, it looks like Sesame Street if it was set in Racoon City, absolutely nightmarish smoke machines would pour out and the stage would light up with sparklers and this is just for the opening track Brutal Planet.
The tone of the night has just been set, the curtain has been peeled back, and we are now in for one hell of a ride. Every song you want to hear is played tonight, from No More Mr Nice Guy to Department of Youth but let me tell you of just some of the stage highlights as we get to these classic legendary songs. On stage is a magical toy chest in which a woman would pop out of, assisting Alice with his costume changes and cane changes one of these canes would be a foil with cash on it waved over the crown on Billion Dollar Babies. I mentioned before on stage were 3 guitarists, one of these guitarists was the most babe-a-licious guitarists I have ever seen, like if she was a president she would be Baberham Lincoln. now I don’t just tell you this so you understand my interest in women, even though I swear I am off blondes, no, this woman would absolutely kill it on guitar and become a focus point of the show, especially for Women of Mass Distraction which then led directly into her sensational guitar solo which was mesmerising to say the least, and it ended in a massive cheer of appreciation. This led us into my personal favourite track Poison, wow, you ask anyone in the Horden tonight this part of the show alone was worth the price of admission.
The guitarist wouldn’t be the only musician to display her skill set tonight as we exit out of the track Halo, the drummer and the bassist would remain onstage to show off their stuff in a rhythm section solo. I must say the overall artistry in the performance of these musician’s tonight is amazing, not only in talent but all the wardrobe changes just adding to it all.
The show is far from over but you know what is coming next when stage hands roll out a massive Dr Frankenstein lab table, Alice is now in a bloodied lab coat and it is time to Feed My Frankenstein. The theatrics on this song were some of the best yet as Alice is strapped to the table, electrocuted, and as the smoke clears he has disappeared only to remerge as the monster himself. At this point I thought I had seen the best of it all, but nope not by a long shot. After things are slowed down a bit so we can enjoy the beautiful ballad of Only Women Bleed, two stage hands would strap Alice into a straight jacket and this would begin a three-song long performance starting with Paranoiac Personality. We would witness Alice be administered some bad medicine by the hot yet scary macabre nurse who later calls out to crowd to cheer for his execution, and we would watch in shock as the guillotine is bought down and his head paraded around the stage for us to see. The band would continue the show without Alice who would later remerge holding his own decapitated head singing Killer, wow man, just freaking wow! I am stunned and the crowd go insane loving every second of it, what a showman, but the show must end as all good things must and it closes with, I’m Eighteen, which I find amusing given the average age of the audience tonight are older than my parents who introduced me to Alice Cooper music, it’s a pity he didn’t play their song You and Me. The show would end in a flash of lights and mayhem the band would exit but the crowd was not done yet.
As soon as the lights go dim the cheering and whistling begins, we aren’t kept waiting long as a drum beat begins matching time with our own clapping and then a school bell rings and we know that Schools Out. The ring-master would be on stage with one last wardrobe change leading us through the night’s final act which to mix things up featured in the middle a Pink Floyd snippet of Another Brick in The Wall. It was an amazing way to end an amazing night’s performance as sparklers lit up the stage, confetti and streamers poured down over us and giant balloons filled with confetti would burst open as soon as Alice cut them showering us with paper tickets. Everybody was on their feet and cheering so loud. The look of joy on tonight’s’ audience face is what I love to see from a live music gig and it’s also so good to see people getting into the spirit of it all, young and old alike, painted up like their musical hero. All in all, it was absolutely sensational and a performance worthy for the ages.
Review – Chad
Photo Gallery – Christian Ross