Aerosmith / Joan Jett
September 14, 2010
By Kevin Berger
Photo By Ben Checkowy
Before I go any further, I should note that I had never seen Aerosmith in concert, and while I know most of their music — who hasn’t? — I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan. That said, after seeing Aerosmith perform at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Tuesday night, I can see just how easily they’ve earned their legendary status.
Suffice it to say, most of their hits got brought out: What It Takes, Jaded, Livin’ on the Edge, Love in an Elevator and Walk This Way, to name a few. You know, it’s one thing to know that Aerosmith is a world-famous band and another to actually witness the sheer scope of their work in one show. Going into the concert, if you wanted me to list ten great Aerosmith songs right now off the top of my head, I wouldn’t have named half of them.
They’re polished to damn near perfection, to the point where they almost make it look easy. The crowd interaction is great, the performance is impeccable, and the technical side is as smooth as the skin-tight pants that Steven Tyler was wearing on Tuesday night. I’ve mentioned Tyler before the other members of the band because, of course, he’s shouldering most of the weight of the show. It’s Tyler that’s interacting with the crowd, shaking his booty for the fans in the front rows and striking dramatic poses. The cameras are on him constantly as he struts around the stage, swinging his microphone around like a weapon. (It’s easy to see how the accident in August occurred when Tyler accidentally struck guitarist Joe Perry on the head).
His band members arenít spared from Tyler’s interactions, even when they’re trying to play a solo. He practically drapes himself across their bodies, particularly Joe Perry. If there is really discontent brewing in the band as some say, it didn’t come out that way at the concert.
It was a concert packed with a lot of great moments. My notebook is filled with a lot of furious scribblings about the band’s antics on stage, particularly a terrific drum solo by Joey Kramer using his head and his hands. Joe Perry lashing the stage repeatedly with a microphone cord and whipping himself up into such a frenzy that he (briefly) collapsed on stage. A long and very cool solo by Brad Whitford came after Tyler egged him on by calling him a "motherfucker". There was also an a capella rendition of What It Takes by Tyler.
There were a few songs early in the concert that I didn’t recognize and a few others that I was expecting to hear that didn’t ultimately come, which was mildly disappointing. I don’t know what the band’s feelings are on Dude Looks Like a Lady, but I would have rather heard that than the kinda sappy ballad of I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. However, these complaints do not detract from the quality of the show. Edmonton is a very hard rock town, and had it been a lackluster show, they would have let Aerosmith know it. Though some of the energy did ebb out of the stadium as the show went on, there was hardly a person not standing up and cheering by the finale.