at Debaser Medis, Stockholm, Sweden, November 30, 2009

(All photos also by “St” Patrik Gustavsson)

Being ‘Space’ Ace’s first ever visit to Stockholm as a solo artist, Rock soldiers of the KISS Army had made sure to sell out the gig well in advance. So far, all’s well. However, come the night of the gig, the support act, The Flare-Up, are on well late, though it turns out they’re only performing some twenty odd minutes anyway. Which means The Ace is on at half past nine at the latest, right? Nope. Not close. Twenty past ten on a Monday evening to freakin’ start a gig is disrespecting an audience; some people need to catch a late night train and/or go to work early in the morning. Instead, fans are treated to the DJ’s mix of an olden, though not always golden, mix way too loud through the PA to at least have a proper conversation through the ridiculous eighty minute wait in between.

L Pissed (and not ’cause of beer consumption, mind you), a heavy grinding edition of “Rocket Ride” put the irritation to rest. Reason for the wait ought have been a pre-show “meet and greet”, though Ace early on gestures to the crew and outs displeased comments regarding technical matters. As the gig proceeds, these mishaps are pretty much sorted out without further delays. The gig solidifies Ace as a not so proper front man (introducing several songs with a “back in the Seventies” reference) as is, and its also clear he is not anywhere near the live guitarist he once was. Interaction with band members isn’t the greatest either, most notably so with the transition from “Speedin’ Back To My Baby” to “Rock Soldiers” turning out anything but smooth. Not to mention we all know Ace isn’t much of a schooled vocalist, which, by all means, is part of his charm.

L What’s left is the songs, and the Space Man certainly still knows how to write those, which was well proven with the very impressive Anomaly, represented on this night with a healthy dose of four selections that, whilst not showcasing the album’s variety, by focusing on hard hitters such as “Foxy and Free”, “Outer Space” and “Sister” but omitting the likes of “Genghis Khan” and “Too Many Faces”, certainly confirms its strength. That’s why its also unfortunate Ace is relying too much on KISS tracks he neither had a hand in writing or originally put vocals on; so why perform “Love Gun”, “Shout It Out Loud” and “Deuce” (all performed to death by KISS themselves anyway) instead of “Hard Times”, “Dark Light” and “Talk To Me” for instance? “Getaway” would had been a better fit taken off Dressed To Kill instead of “Love Her All I Can”, though the savior fact they are both obscure picks. The Sweet classic “Fox on the Run” turns out something of a mess live, but “New York Groove” and “Shock Me”, are the expected crowd pleasers, with the latter complete with the smoking guitar routine – a tradition as sure as Angus Young stripping to his bare bones whenever AC/DC performs “The Jack”. Nah, the songs made this gig pretty much alone, and one can enjoy those without leaving home.

L Setlist:

”Rocket Ride”
”Snow Blind”
”Outer Space”
”Speedin’ Back To My Baby”
”Rock Soldiers”
”Love Her All I Can”
”2.000 Man”
”Fox On The Run”
”New York Groove”
”Foxy And Free”
”Shock Me”
”Shout It Out Loud”
”Rip it Out”
”Love Gun”
“Cold Gin”


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