There was no makeup, no costumes, no flash pots, just a mountain of amps and a set list filled with primal rock songs. That’s what Ace Frehley, former guitarist for Kiss, brought Thursday to VooDoo.
For nearly 80 minutes, Frehley and his band delivered a mix of Kiss songs and material from his solo albums to a crowd of about 500, most of whom disregarded their chairs in the club at Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino and Hotel, choosing instead to stand, dance, sway, pump their fists and raise the sign of the horns.
Frehley didn’t hesitate to tap into his Kiss legacy. He opened with “Rocket Ride,” a track from the “Alive II” album now 38 years old. He followed that with “Gimme a Feelin’” from “Space Invader,” the solo album he released in 2014, then “Parasite” from Kiss’ “Hotter Than Hell” album, which included a solo from manic drummer Scot Coogan.
He’s an average vocalist on good days, and this evening Frehley would share vocals with Coogan, bassist Chris Wyse, who sang “Strange Ways,” another “Hotter Than Hell” track, and guitarist Richie Scarlet, who sang lead on “2 Young 2 Die” from Frehley’s solo album “Trouble Walkin’.”
It was a no-frills, bare-knuckles show. And loud. At times the vocals got buried in the wall of sound storming out of those banks of amps. It included a worthwhile cover of the Rolling Stones’ “2000 Man” plus two other solos, a brief one from Wyse and a long one from Frehley during “Shock Me,” the first song he wrote for Kiss.
He ended with a two-song encore: a rousing version of “Detroit Rock City,” from Kiss’ aptly named “Destroyer” album, and then “Deuce,” another classic. It wasn’t the same as hearing or seeing the band that made those songs famous, but for this loyal and appreciative crowd, it was close enough.