Edmonton Journal, Canada
Photographs by: Brian J. Gavriloff
September 15, 2010
Don’t do it, Steven Tyler.
No matter how much money American Idol offers you to sit in one of the judge’s chairs, Aerosmith — and the world — needs you even more.
Who else is going to treat us to sexy blues-rock tunes that make you want to take your clothes off or give your ex the middle finger? OK, maybe Kings of Leon can — but their vocalist, Caleb Followill, can’t wail like a banshee, and let’s be honest, they don’t even come close to commanding a stage like Tyler and (most of) his Boston bandmates do.
Tuesday’s show at Rexall Place wasn’t supposed to happen — the rockers were scheduled to perform last year at Commonwealth Stadium until Tyler fell off a stage, injured his shoulder and almost fractured the band — but it was worth the wait for 9,500 of Aerosmith’s most faithful fans.
He didn’t fall into the crowd, thankfully, preferring to rely on the rest of his repertoire as one of rock’s greatest peacocks. He shimmied down the catwalk, twirled his scarf-laden microphone and pouted into cameras as he screeched out some of the band’s raunchy rock anthems (Love In An Elevator, Rag Doll, Pink) and kiss-off numbers (Cryin’, Jaded).
While guitarist Joe Perry isn’t entirely content with the band’s state of affairs — he still airs his grievances with Tyler in the press — the two were professional enough to put their differences aside on stage. They repeatedly leaned on each other, back-to-back, or shared a microphone during the course of Aerosmith’s two-hour set. And perhaps, just to drive the point home, they performed a cover of Come Together, turning the Beatles classic into a smouldering stomper.
“Reviewers: only allowed to write good things about the concert,” was one of the media instructions sent by Aerosmith’s people before Tuesday’s show. It was a joke, of course, but it wasn’t even necessary. The fivesome, including lanky, nonchalant bassist Tom Hamilton and frazzled drummer Joey Kramer, are still at the top of their game, more or less…. Or maybe he was just astounded by Tyler’s agile voice as the frontman navigated through four decades of hits, including Sweet Emotion (1975), Rag Doll (1988) and I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (1998) — which prompted more fans to flick their lighters than wave their mobile phones. (What a novelty!)
Perry was equally as nimble as a six-string squealer, competing against (and destroying) the Guitar Hero version of himself. If that wasn’t enough to win over the crowd, he did with his compliments, which sounded more sincere than the usual niceties spouted by visiting rock stars.
“This is one of my favourite towns … you’ve got a great music town, you’re a great audience,” he gushed, then showed a clip of his adventures of Whyte Avenue.
Opener Joan Jett was a great fit — with gritty songs such as Do You Wanna Touch Me, Love Is Pain and one of her old tunes with The Runaways, You Drive Me Wild, providing the foreplay for the night’s main attraction. “Love between two people is a beautiful thing,” she quipped as she introduced The French Song, released in 1983. “But I’ve got to tell you, love between three people is an even more beautiful thing, especially if one of them is me.”
And Lady Gaga thinks she’s the first to fly the freak flag and encourage others to do so … au contraire.
Photo Gallery: (here).