The comment came after the two former members of KISS took the stage together for the first time in 13 years and performed tight, energetic versions of the KISS songs "Love Her All I Can" and "Rock And Roll All Night" with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Frank Bello, and Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portney (Winery Dogs) joined in on the latter. He also served as talent coordinator and house drummer for the entire event and put together a lineup that featured many of Trunk's musician friends playing songs by his favorite bands.
The five-song KISS mini-set began with "Got To Choose," performed by Portney, Thal, Ian, and Bello. Then the band introduced Frehley; and the hard-rock legend played guitar and sang lead vocals on "Parasite," which he wrote for the band’s second album, 1974's Hotter Than Hell. To the surprise of many, Frehley left the stage when Criss came on to play "Hooligan," his song from 1977's Love Gun.
"I couldn’t remember how to play that one," Frehley admitted when he returned for "Love Her All I Can."
The crowd members sang along to "Rock and Roll All Night" as if they were at an actual KISS concert, though the volume wasn't quite as deafening due to the size of the venue.
The rest of the evening was almost as exciting for fans of hard rock and old-school metal. Trunk favorite and UK proto-metal band UFO got the second-most play of the night – four songs in total. Runaways guitarist and solo artist Lita Ford took the mic for UFO's "Too Hot To Handle," reading lyrics from her cell phone screen but delivering every note with passion and perfect pitch. She – like most of the vocalists during the night – was backed by Portney, Thal, and bassist Billy Sheehan (ex-Mr. Big). Stryper's Michael Sweet sang lead vocals on "Rock Bottom" and was joined by Ian and Bello.
The encore for the night featured the last two UFO songs, "Doctor Doctor," with Queensryche's Geoff Tate and TNT's Tony Harnell sharing vocal duties and Ford joining Thal on guitar. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante accompanied Portney on drums and remained onstage for the closer "Lights Out," for which Ford and Harnell split the vocals and Portney handed a cymbal stand over to Benante to bash along with the rest of his scaled-down kit.
Other performers at the celebration included Overkill's Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, who ripped through Twisted Sister's "You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll" and "Under the Blade." Accept's current vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick) sang on Accept's "Restless and Wild"; as well as Van Halen's "On Fire" and "Light Up the Sky," on which Trixter’s Steve Brown doubled for Eddie Van Halen.
While his band TNT remains unsung in the States, Norway’s Harnell was one of the main singers of the night, proving his vocal prowess on the aforementioned as well as Judas Priest's "Diamonds and Rust" and Deep Purple’s "Burn."
Before the all-star jam, Portnoy and Sheehan played a full set with their new group the Winery Dogs, which is fronted by Richie Kotzen (ex-Poison, ex-Mr. Big). When the Winery Dogs were looking for a singer in 2012, Trunk recommended Kotzen, and has been a major supporter of the band. Strangely, Kotzen didn't play during the rest of the night. Neither did Sammy Hagar, who showed up for the party but had to leave for another gig.
"There are no words to describe how I’m feeling," Trunk said after the final notes of "Lights Out" faded. "Hopefully I'll see you all again in another five years."
In 2008, Judas Priest played a private event to celebrate Trunk's 25th anniversary.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Eddie Trunk
- Ace Frehley
- Peter Criss