For the first time in over 16 years, founding Kiss members Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley performed together onstage in St. Paul, Minnesota. The concert was a Hurricane Harvey benefit for The Children Matter, an initiative Simmons co-founded with in collaboration with the nonprofit, Matter, Blabbermouth reports. The musicians performed four Seventies-era Kiss songs. The last time they played together was at the final show of Kiss’ Farewell Tour in Australia in April 2001.
“Before you were born – there he is – 1973, in New York City, this guy and I and two other guys put together a band we never saw onstage – let’s hear it for Ace Frehley,” Simmons told the audience, as captured in fan-shot video. “He still looks great, goddamn it, doesn’t he?” Then the guitarist began the intro to “Parasite,” a track off the band’s 1974 Hotter Than Hell LP that Frehley wrote and Simmons sang.
Next up, after Frehley expressed his happiness with being able to help the hurricane victims, the musicians played another Frehley-penned, Simmons-sung tune, “Cold Gin,” from the band’s self-titled 1974 debut. The singer-bassist gave Frehley another compliment: “He’s powerful, attractive and can play guitar.” As it was finishing, Simmons outstretched his arms, summoning applause before hitting the final note.
Finally, they performed “Shock Me,” after Frehley explained why he wrote the song, which appeared on 1977’s Love Gun, after getting electrocuted in Lakeland, Florida.
The evening ended with the musicians inviting 30 people from the audience onstage to sing the Dressed to Kill single “Rock and Roll All Nite.” Among them were four kids in full Kiss regalia, each wearing the makeup of the original quartet.
Frehley explained yesterday to StarTribune that it was his idea to perform with Simmons at the concert. “I just did four shows on the East Coast, and I looked at my calendar and I noticed I was off today,” he said. “I had to head back to San Diego eventually where I live, so I figured I could make a pit stop here. I called Gene, and he was really excited about me being involved, and it’s that simple.”
He also said that Simmons had been over to his house in recent weeks to co-write two songs for an upcoming Frehley solo LP.
The guitarist previously collaborated with fellow Kiss cofounder Paul Stanley on a cover of Free’s “Fire and Water,” which appeared on the guitarist’s Origins, Vol. 1 covers LP two years ago. Despite the reunion, Stanley recently told Billboard he wasn’t interested in a full-fledged Kiss reunion – just the one-off.