Anomaly European Tour 2009
16 Second Stare – support act
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Former Kiss guiratist Ace Frehley ahs just released his first album in 20 years and he’s currently out on a tour supporting that album. At the beginning of December it was time for the legend to pay Malmoe a visit and of course he stopped by at the best metal/rock club Kulturbolaget to perform. I think that ANOMALY actually is quite a good album and the interest for Frehley and for his old band Kiss in Scandinavia is pretty huge. Frehley had visited Norway,Sweden and Finland before he came over again Sweden and the day before the show had he made an interview with one of the biggest talk show hosts in Sweden. I met up with a few of the fans that had waited for Frehley during the day and they said that he had walked passed them twice without signing anything at all and I could tell that they were really disappointed with Frehley’s bad behaviour towards them. The show’s after party was held at a small café/bar that is located in the same building as Kulturbolaget called Vinylbaren where all the Ace and Kiss fans were gathered to drink beer, analyse the show and take part in a Kiss quiz. The after party was thrown by the official Kiss Army Sweden and was really appreciated by all the people that showed up.
When I arrived at the venue at 6:30 to meet up with a friend I saw that the line to the doors was already really long and it seemed like the club was sold out. When we got inside the club about one hour later there were already a lot of people inside and I couldn’t help but notice that the age of most guests had reached above the 40-line. 90% of the people there were middle aged men and almost everyone had on a Kiss T-shirt or the new T-shirt with Ace Frehley on. As the evening proceeded more and more people turned up and the heat started rising as we waited for Frehley to go on stage. However there was a support act called 16 Second Stare from Florida that was gonna warm up the crowd.
When the band entered the stage the audience was very reluctant and it felt that the crowd only waited for Frehley to go on stage. I think that we were a not so welcoming crowd for the support act. The band played some kind of mallcore music but to be honest I didn’t pay the guys any attention. The only highlight for 16 Second Stare was when they did a cover of the old Pantera classic “Walk” and that was the only time the audience really woke up during 16 Second Stare’s show. The bands 30 minutes went really fast and then it was time for the main event that showed up on stage 25 minutes later.
Members in Frehley’s band are:
Scot Coogan – drums, vocals
Anthony Esposito – bass, b-vox
Derrek Hawkins – guitar, b-vox
Everyone plugged in their instruments and waited for Frehley to go on stage and when he came on they started the show with “Rocket Ride”. Everyone in the audience screamed and cheered when Frehley went on stage and kept on shouting of joy when the show continued on with “Parasite” and “Snowblind”. Frehley looked cool in his jacket and black t-shirt and leather pants together with sunglasses on. While Frehley said that he had a new album out called ANOMALY he took of his jacket because the temperature had increased a lot only during the three first song. Despite the huge amount of space on stage Frehley didn’t move around at all and he mostly stood solid on his place behind the mic stand. But even though Frehley stood behind the mic most of the time he started to sing too late in many of the songs and miss some words here and there, it felt like his main focus was to play guitar and not sing. He was very stiff in his movements when he moved over the stage. It was guitarist Hawkins that moved around on stage the most and he was most fun to watch. Two new songs from ANOMALY was performed, they were “Sister” and “Outer Space” and it seemed like everyone in the crowd really loved the new songs. Drummer Coogan sang lead vocals together with Frehley and he was an excellent singer actually. The band was solid and tight, the member who made the most shaky performance was Frehley himself but I guess that years of alcohol and drugs have taken its toll on him.
“Speedin’ Back To My Baby” followed which was another crowd pleaser to say the least and then followed “Rock Soldiers” and now it felt like the venue was about to boil. At the end of the song the entire crowd sang a long in the chorus and the roof was about to rise. In “Love Her All I Can” the excellent Scot Coogan sang lead vocals and it sounded much better when Frehley focused on playing guitar and didn’t sing. Frehley then said that it was time for a cover he had made and he started to play the intro to the Rolling Stone song “Satisfaction” but it wasn’t that song meant. The audience screamed for “20.000 Man” and yes, that was correct and Frehley kicked off that song.
Frehley didn’t talk much to the audience but when he did he slurred and sounded really unfocused and it seemed that he didn’t know in what country he was in. He had problems with getting back to the mic in time to start to sing after he had done guitar solo and his lead vocals hadn’t improved during the years either. Frehley thought it was time to go back to the new album and do the cover “Fox On The Run” which actually was a song that wasn’t as appreciated amongst the crowd as the songs before. “New York Groove”, “Foxy And Free” and “Shock Me” followed and again the crowd sang a long in every song, “Fox On The Run” was only a minor set back. At the end of the last song did all of the members go off stage and it was time for Frehley to do a guitar solo. A dad with his son stood beside me and I couldn’t but over hear the dad saying to his son “watch now, soon it will come” and the boy looked impatient on stage. And so it finally came, the familiar smoke out from Frehley’s guitar welled out and it was so much smoke that we couldn’t see Frehley behind it. The little boy beside me looked really impressed and stared at Frehley while he did his solo. After the solo the band came on stage again and Frehley said that “I’m still smoking”. It was time for “Shout It Out Loud” and needless to say did crowd literally exploded with joy. Frehley and Coogan shared the lead vocals and it was Coogan that saved most of the song. Another Kiss song followed in “Deuce” and when the song was over Frehley waved to the crowd and walked off stage. 70 minutes had then passed but the audience wanted to have more and after 5 minutes Frehley and the band showed up on stage again.
The encores that followed were “Rip It Out”, “Love Gun” and “Cold Gin”. As soon as the band had walked off stage again the roadies began to take down the gear and the equipment. Frehley played for about 90 minutes and sadly I have to say that I had higher expectations of the man. During the show he forgot the lyrics and he hardly talked to the audience at all. He should focus on playing guitar and let Coogan take care of the vocals. Frehley’s solo material isn’t as strong as the old Kiss songs but even a great vocal effort from Frehley hadn’t helped out his solo songs.
The most positive things with the show was the great sound and the great light. It was fun to see Frehley’s guitar solo with the smoke and it was also great fun to see and hear the very competent band he had brought with him. And you can’t take away the fact that Frehley still knows how to play guitar.
After the show me and a friend decided to try to get our albums signed by Frehley and waited outside his hotel for a couple of hours, it was impossible to have his autograph outside Kulturbolaget he was surrounded by 4 securities when he walked out to the bus. When he finally came out from the hotel he was leaning on a woman and he didn’t look healthy at all, he just walked right past us and didn’t sign anything at all. Frehley sells meet and greet passes at his website for 250 US Dollars which is a huge amount in Swedish crowns (almost 2000 SEK, 1 USD is about 7 SEK) it’s horrendous that he charges people to have his autograph. It was a sad ending of an only OK night.
Speedin Back To My Baby
Lover Her All I Can
Fox On The Run
New York Groove
Foxy And Free
Shout It Out Loud
Rip It Out
A great and sincere thank you to the head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass to not only this show but to all the shows this past year. Also big thanks to Kristian Kornhage, head of the press/media for Kulturbolaget for all the help this year.
Thank you for this year and see you next year.
Also a huge thank you to the nice and friendly staff and security at Kulturbolaget.
Another big thank you goes to Pekka “Blood Brother” Ristakoski for keeping track of the set list.