With a last minute approval, I headed down to the Cornerstone Berkeley in Berkeley California to witness the legend that is Ace Frehley. This was an awesome opportunity for me. One of my earliest musical memories was Christmas 1978 (I was 10 years old), I received a record player and Kiss Alive II. I played that record to death. I still have that record as well as a newer copy since my original is kid of scratched up and missing it’s cover. So, when I had the chance to photograph Ace, I jumped on it. Opening for him was the guitar virtuoso Eric Steckel. This was a great pairing for this leg of the tour.
Eric Steckel was a surprise for me. I had never heard him before I looked him up after seeing his name on the flyer. This guy shreds! This three piece out of Los Angeles California, hit the scene in the early 2000’s and has toured with some of the best (Steve Vai, Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter) . This band is just pure rock and roll. They played several songs off their latest studio album, “Grandview Drive” (which they had autographed copies at the merch booth) and Eric worked the stage and the crowd perfectly. The set consisted of powerful riffs and blazing guitar solos throughout. At one point, his right hand was moving so fast it was just a blur. Eric really knows his way around a guitar. The band were no slouches as well. Jos’ left hand bass and Tony’s huge drum kit just added to the big sound.
Eric Steckel Band Members:
Eric Steckel – Guitar
Tony Boyd – Drums
Jos Kamps – bass
1.) Solid Ground
2.) Waitin’ for the Bus (ZZ Top cover)
3.) Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T. & the MG’s cover)
4.) Can’t You See
5.) Take My Love to Town
6.) When Ignorance Turns to Bliss
7.) Day Drinkin’
8.) We’re Still Friends (Donny Hathaway cover)
9.) Empty Promises (Michael Burks cover)
11.) Tennessee Jam
At promptly 9pm, Ace Frehley hit the stage. Opening with “Parasite”, the Kiss Army in attendance went nuts. The performance was a mixture of Kiss songs and Ace’s solo material. Ryan, Jeremey and Matt did a fantastic job backing up the legend. Ace only sang some of the vocals with the other members filling in where they were needed. While Ace at 71 years old, isn’t as spry as he once was, he still held the attention of the crowd despite the troubled vocals on Ace’s part. One of my favorite moments was during “Shock Me” and his smoking guitar. Another one was his custom LED guitar for “New York Groove”. While his performance wasn’t 100%, it was still amazing and I will still look back at this show with a fond memory of a rock legend that I kind of grew up with.
Ace Frehley Band Members:
Ace Frehley – guitar/vocals
Ryan Cook – bass
Jeremy Asbrock – guitar
Matt Starr – drums
Follow Eric Steckel on social media
Follow Ace Frehley on social media
Photographer of about 10 years, I have been shooting concerts for about 8 of those years. I started to get serious about concert photography about 6 or 7 years ago and now try to shoot as many as I can. I shoot mostly rock but, have done some country and big band stuff. I love music and since I am nowhere close to being a musician, this is a way I can be a small part of what, in the words of Henry Rollins, “gets me through the highs, the lows and everything in between”.