Former Kiss axeman Ace Frehley offered up a set of somewhat generic, mildly entertaining, but ultimately unlistenable hard rock to The Studio in Auckland. To be fair, it wasn’t necessarily Ace’s fault that his music was unlistenable… that charge should be levelled directly at the sound man.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a loud concert. I also never wear earplugs. I expect to be presented with a rock concert that is powerful, but tolerable. I don’t expect to have to worry that this could be the last thing I’ll ever hear.
When Ace and his band took the stage, they were indeed loud, but for me, just on the threshold of tolerable. I saw other folks fleeing for the back of the room, or covering their ears. Granted there were plenty of alcohol-fuelled fans who seemed oblivious to the potential danger to their hearing.
But after Snowblind, the fifth song of the set, it volume was getting noticeably louder and I began to fear for the health of my eardrums. I moved to the back of the room and got a bit of relief.
Ace and his band were putting on a decent show… plenty of energy… a few Kiss classics thrown in with tunes from his latest album, Space Invader.
There was some entertaining banter. While introducing Snowblind, Ace told the crowd that, “back in the 70s everyone was doing cocaine except Paul and Gene,” referring to his former bandmates in Kiss.
Drummer Scott Cogan sang lead vocals for King Of The Night Time World and Strutter, and did a fine job, while long-time Ace co-guitarist Richie Scarlett sang Break Out a tune he and Ace wrote with the late Eric Carr.
But by the time they got around to covering The Rolling Stones’ 2000 Man, about an hour into the show, I felt I could take no more of the aural pummelling and left, reluctantly.
Just before that a colleague told me, as he was leaving, that he measured the sound level at over 120 decibels.
If that is anywhere near accurate, then the sound man, the band and the venue should be ashamed of themselves. That’s bordering on torture and I would suggest to anyone who woke up this morning after attending the show and found their ears ringing, to contact The Studio and lodge a complaint.
I’m not sure if there are any legal requirements regarding acceptable sound levels, but if there are, this show must have certainly gone beyond them. Perhaps police action is warranted, I don’t know.
All I know is that it sounded criminal.
You're lucky he even performs
for you BASTARDS
.LEAVE TOMMY ALONE