January 20, 2017
Brewster Street Icehouse- Corpus Christi, TX
The humidity was high & the fog was thick rolling into the bayside venue, Brewster Street Icehouse January 20th, 2017… The parking lot was already filled with old school fans; ”KISS ARMY“ in full-effect. People from all walks of life were present from ages from 5-65. Some fans in full face paint and others showing their adoration via t-shirts & other memorabilia.
8:00pm creeped up quickly, as Enuff z’Nuff took to the stage with Ultravox’s very own Tony Fennell playing guitar & backing vocals for Enuff z’Nuff. Chip Z’Nuff walked onto the stage last and the old-school crowd went wild with excitement as the band began playing Baby Loves You the 2nd single off their 2nd studio album from Strength, which was aired on the, David Letterman Show in 1990. The band continued rocking the crowd with Kiss the Clown & Heaven or Hell before Chip Z’Nuff introduced the current Enuff Z’Nuff lineup. After a couple quick jokes and almost no hesitation; Chip & Tony & the rest of the band continued with In the Groove.
In the Groove is the 5th track off the bands self-titled debut album. The catchy song began with some crunchy bluesy basslines followed by the whiney, lead guitar & hard, swinging drums. The fans received the old-school hit like it was their first time hearing it… Screams coupled with hoops & hollers while the female fans in the front row began swaying side to side.
The band’s rendition of, David Bowie’s Jean Jeanie was just as prodigious as the original only with a more of a wailing metal sound. The harmonies of Enuff Z’Nuff’s influences can be heard through every track. The band’s influences include The Beatles; Aerosmith; The Raspberries and Cheap Trick. The band is well known by many, and is a personal all-time favorite of, Howard Stern. Chip is quoted as saying “I believe my brother, Donnie Vie is one of the most impressive singers of my generation; in comparison to the greats of rock singers that is”. Chip is also cited as saying “Donnie, and I have the same chemistry as, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, in the note of communicating harmonically”. The band’s sound has stayed true to its original roots, I myself was very amazed at the authenticity an utter raw talent that Enuff Z’Enuff filled the air waves with.
In between songs; while the guitars were tuning, Chip would tell a story or two. In one story, Chip explained to the audience that: “Tory Stoffregen, our lead guitar was born here in Corpus Christi Texas, so ya’ll got a brother up in here” as he pointed in his direction. After this was said, the audience began to lose it in roars of cheers and exclamations filled with the over joyous knowledge of the lead guitarist native roots in Corpus Christi. Enuff Z’ Nuff, then began playing the great power ballad chords of Fly High Michelle, which was premiered on the Beavis And Butthead Show on MTV in 1993. This song as well as Baby Loves You had all the couples in the crowd embracing in each other’s arms. Chip then told stories of wild an reckless adventures and tales of being on tour an on the road with the notorious spaceman Mr. Paul Daniel “Ace” Frehley. The well-known lead guitarist and founding member of KISS. Chip, was a very humorously entertaining and carried a charismatic presence on the stage that night.
Enuff Z’Nuff ended their set with an all-time fan favorite, New Thing. Once Chip Z’Nuff announced this was the last song on their set list the crowd began screaming in shock. The song lasted a little bit longer than usual because the marvelous guitar shredding of Tory Stoffregen, who was kindly throwing countless guitar picks to the crowd after playing amazing solo after solo. The band’s roadie crew began to star dismantling the amplifiers and drum set. Chip Z’Nuff then began to thank everyone for showing such admiration and support…
After approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, Ace Frehley came onstage & dedicated the set to the inauguration of our countries 45th president of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump. This was about the most the Spaceman had to say about anything in general reference to what he was excited about that very night. The band then began the show with Parasite from KISS’s Hotter Than Hell album; released in 1974. The crowd began to muster hastily to the front row. Atop a man’s shoulders, sat a boy no older than 7 years old wearing the Spaceman’s signature KISS war paint… The crowd was full of fans very familiar to every song on Ace Frehley’s set list. The song was insanely revisited and remastered in a very definitive way. I was very intrigued at this point. Myself as well as many in attendance had never heard this song in such a rocking, fast paced, up-beat rhythm than the way KISS originally played it.
Ace Frehley did not waste any time playing songs back to back, one great well recognized masterpiece of classic rock and roll after another. The vibe of the KISS Army was intense full of devotion and pure admiration that one most definitely could tell had been deeply rooted in their souls. The talent of the band poured more an more through every pore and fingertip and the very instruments each one was playing. The atmosphere only grew thicker with massive amounts energy and good times, as Toys from the 2014 release of Space Invader.
The Spaceman did not wear his signature face paint, but there was no lack of painted faces in the crowd. After Ace Frehley announced which song he was playing the floor was way beyond packed, it was definite that this was sold out show. Rip It Out was played followed by Ace Frehley’s cover of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald from the 1976 album Jailbreak. The band played this in a way that change the song forever in the way that it was heard. One could tell that Ace Frehley had only gotten better in time an in his departure from KISS. The fact of the matter is not all musicians who go solo wind up better, Ace Frehley is an exception to this fact against all odds. The lights upon stage shined bright an luminescent across their faces and instruments. In the middle of the song Emerald there is a bridge that fades into silence but then a marvelous guitar solo from Ace Frehley himself kicks the songs tempo right back up to pace, it was quite an experience.
The song Love Gun played an original classic from KISS. The couples again were brought closer to one another in a heavy metal thrasher like romance. One could tell that he kept true to the way it was genuinely played which showed us all who the real talent was behind the song. The band themselves gave a very memorable an exciting live performance. I found this truly remarkable, because for most musical performers it’s very hard to sound exactly like it does on C.D. and just as with perfect pitch and tone as in the studio. The sound of a train bell and rang, as the drummer hit the cymbals in the exact way as in the record, the very familiar twelve bar blues scale began ringing through Ace Frehley’s guitar one could tell in the most peculiar way this was a cover of the great, Willie Dixon’s Bring it on home. I myself, never knew he had covered this song but in my own opinion, it was an intriguing rendition & had brought the classic back to life from the depths of classic rocks attic of mastermind artists… Rock soldiers from the 1986 Frehley’s Comet album, followed by a 4 minute and 18 second bass solo that rocked the audience in utter shock and disbelief. Especially when Ace began playing his famous smoking guitar during a super-hot guitar solo The Space Man, Ace Frehley played his famous signature Budokan 1976 Gibson Les Paul, which displayed the most gorgeous shimmering cherry sunburst. After the phenomenal guitar solo Ace & the band continued rocking the crowd to their socks with yet another classic cover from 70’s English Glam Metal Band Hello & preformed New York Groove. New York Groove First appeared on Ace’s 1st solo album. The KISS Army was treated to 6 more KISS classics. In rapid succession Ace Frehley & his band fired off with Too Young to Die; Shock Me; Cold Gin; Detroit Rock City & ending the phenomenal ending with Deuce… The crowd screamed, cheered & clapped as the legend, Ace Frehley left the stage. What an amazing night Corpus Christi, TX was witness too. Many more stops ahead for Enuff Z’Nuff & Ace Frehley. Be sure to check it out when this Show rolls into your city!
I give this show a 10/10
Review by: Julian Marlin