All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Ace Frehley Live @ The Forum, Melbourne, Australia

Hard to believe five years have passed since KISS legend Ace Frehley toured Australia. Back in 2010 I experienced a thrill of a lifetime as I was the tour photographer for Ace’s entire Australian sojourn hitting every major Australian city. In short, the flights over those 2 weeks went something like this… Melbourne to Perth, Perth to Melbourne, Melbourne to Adelaide, Adelaide to Melbourne, Melbourne to Sydney, Sydney to Brisbane, Brisbane to Melbourne. And it all flashed by in a veritable blink of an eye.

This time around, it wasn’t going to be as crazy as I was only to photograph Ace’s Melbourne show at the gorgeous Forum Theatre.

You could feel the buzz in the air long before Ace was to hit the stage. KISS fans are some of the most loyal and fanatical in the biz. Add to the fact that Ace is largely considered one of the most popular members of the original four and you know the air was just brimming with enough electricity to power the entire city.

Ace looked and sounded fantastic. Adorned with his custom Sunburst Les Pauls and ably supported by drummer Scott Coogan (the only member of the band who was last here in 2010), bassist Chris Wyse and long-time Frehley cohort Richie Scarlett. It was great seeing Richie back with Ace and it made me pine for the Frehley’s Comet days of 83-86. Richie needs to be by Ace’s side. It just fits so nicely!

Ably supported by Melbourne’s Witchgrinder and Sydney’s Graveyard Rockstars it proved to be a fine night’s entertainment for all in attendance. Photos of Witchgrinder and Graveyard Rockstars will be on mine and the band’s respective Facebook pages if you would like to see them.

Personally, the night didn’t go off without a hitch. I had been granted both a photopass and Access All Areas pass for the night, but my AAA pass wasn’t the laminate so security denied my access to go backstage. A couple of frantic calls to the promoter as we tried to fix the situation, but there were no further laminates available. No biggie really. I only wanted to photograph Ace’s smoking guitar solo with the AAA pass. It wasn’t to be unfortunately but these things happen.

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