Ace Frehley, Enuff Z’Nuff, The Saban Theater, February 3, 2017
The glorious touring rock and roll combination of Ace Frehley and Enuff Z’Nuff made their way into the Southland, unleashing a dazzling night of all-out sonic devastation at The Saban Theater in the City of Angels. Frehley and his fantastic band were in town touring in support of their critically acclaimed covers album entitled Origins, Vol. 1 on EOne Music, and what an astounding night it was! Performing songs from throughout Frehley’s vast and brilliant career, the opener Parasite from the legendary KISS album Hotter Than Hell instantly captivated the audience in an epic way. Then it was to for the dynamic Toys from the Ace Frehley solo endeavor Space Invaders, with many in the crowd knowing the words and singing along. Those wanting to hear more KISS tunes were in for a real treat, as Rip It Up, Love Gun, and Rocket Ride were launched early on in the set.
With a brand new album to promote, Frehley and the band selected their sparkling cover of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald as well as a raging rendition of the Willie Dixon classic Bring It On Home for the packed Saban to rage out to. Throughout the entire night, Ace Frehley was in top form, rocking harder than ever and giving the audience the performance of a lifetime. The Frehley band lineup was positively first rate and definitely had their moments to sparkle and shine. Scot Coogan unleashed an absolutely staggering performance on drums as well as sang lead on many of the KISS cuts. Richie Scarlet has been with Ace since the days of Frehley’s Comet, and his guitar work was absolutely fantastic. And one of the grand highlights of the show was a mesmerizing bass solo from Chris Wyse – a seasoned musician who has spent time working with the likes of Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osborne. And if you thought the crowd went bonkers over the unveiling of Back In The New York Groove and Cold Gin, the encore featured spiraling renditions of Detroit Rock City and Deuce, which nearly blew the damn roof off the historic Saban Theater. A superbly intensive conclusion that thoroughly enraptured the sold out house.
Earlier in the evening, Chip Z’Nuff would arrive onstage to let everyone know that “it’s ShowTime, mother f*ckers,” and what a short yet dazzling set of tunes Enuff Z’Nuff sent out to the all of the early arrivals. Opening with the bewitching refrains of Baby Loves You from their Strength magnum opus, Enuff Z’Nuff enveloped the entire room with a dazzling display of psychedelic tinged rock and roll. One of the wondrous highlights of the set was when Chip Z’Nuff and the band paid a splendid tribute to David Bowie with a fierce rendition of The Jean Genie. Ace Frehley guitarist Richie Scarlet joined the band onstage for a stratospheric unveiling of Fly High Michelle – a stunning piece of artistry that still sounds magical after all these years.
Chip Z’Nuff is especially impressive in the front man position, his mystical voice and pulsating bass work standing out and setting the classic material in flight. Tory Stoffregen has been a member of Enuff Z’Nuff since 2008, and his impressive lead guitar work was a thrill to the senses. Tony Fennell shined through with his amazing rhythm guitar work – many may remember him from his tenure with Ultravox replacing Midge Ure on lead vocals. It is great to see Fennell back in action. Daniel B. Hill supplies a muscular beat on drums, driving it all home with a ton of precision and energy. Closing with the wonderful New Thing tapestry, Enuff Z’Nuff definitely inspired their longtime fans and clearly won over those hell-bent on seeing the almighty Ace Frehley. Be sure to check into Clowns Lounge, the brand new release from Enuff Z’Nuff – now available from Frontiers Records!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)