The Vancouver Sun, Canada
September 17, 2010
Let’s do it for the kids.
That’s what Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry must’ve agreed to backstage Thursday night before exploding in Technicolor at Rogers Arena.
Thousands of eyes stared up at the legendary Boston blues rockers in anticipation, awaiting the final show of the Cocked, Locked, Ready To Rock tour. Fans looked cool and tough, encased in leather jackets and faded jeans, but beneath this second skin of theirs they were squirming.
They knew very well the concert might be Aerosmith’s last as a classic five-piece lineup consisting of Tyler, Perry, guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer.
Opener Joan Jett did a great job of setting everyone’s nerves free beforehand, encouraging the butterflies to run amok like hoodlums instead of shaking mousily in the corner. She warmed up the stage—and the audience’s vocal chords—with Bad Reputation and Cherry Bomb.
Jett sounded perfect from the start. Fists were pumping immediately. And each of those fists was also gripping a giant, sloshing beer.
“Hello Vancouver! It’s wonderful to be here with you,” she growled.
Man, for 50, Jett is smoking hot. Any woman would kill for her toned arms.
She pummeled out the hits like You Drive Me Wild, School Days, and Love Is Pain.
By the time she closed out with I Love Rock And Roll, Crimson And Clover and I Hate Myself For Loving You, Jett was all smiles.
It was probably because she knew the audience was already hoarse before the main event.
By 9:15 p.m., when the lights dimmed and a single chord announced the impending arrival of the glam squad, the jitters returned.
It’s no secret that Tyler and Perry’s relationship has been in a Crock Pot for quite some time now, with the fate of Aerosmith ultimately stewing in limbo. Over the past year, the two have taken jabs at each other through the media.
It all started during the summer of 2009 when Tyler fell off a South Dakota stage and broke his shoulder. Aerosmith was forced to cancel the rest of their tour —including a Vancouver date last August — due to the absence of their frontman. The ordeal eventually led to a lawsuit against the band.
Then Tyler talked about pursuing a solo record. This, as well as Perry’s threats to replace Tyler with a new singer, added to the spite.
To top it all off, Perry heard through the grapevine that Tyler was up for a second job as a judge on the reality TV singing competition American Idol.
Clearly, there’s trouble in Aerosmith’s paradise.
But from the moment Tyler, dressed in silver pants and a glittering purple overcoat, and Perry, with his Einstein hair and suave scarf, sashayed on stage for a hit-drenched two-hour set, fans knew the party was on.
Tyler, 62, and Perry, 60, put their differences aside for the sake of their fans.
Tyler came out screeching and hollering like a wild animal for Same Old Song And Dance.
When the snarling glamour tiger wasn’t flinging around his microphone stand like a seal in a killer whale’s jaws, he opted to model his perky pout to the audience from the catwalk.
Perry threw down his mad Guitar Hero solos, with Tyler cheering him on.
Tyler even walked over to his bandmate during these solos to give him a pat on the back or to grind beside him.
At one point Tyler put his arm around Perry. Perry wasn’t completely amused, but he went along with it.
“Don’t you get quiet on me Vancouver!” Tyler warned the ecstatic audience.
Love In An Elevator, the popular song from 1989’s Pump, spurred a drunken sing along, although no one could hit the notes as well as Tyler’s cryogenically preserved voice.
Jaded, from 2001’s Just Push Play, made the ’90s kids’ eyes grow wide, the excitement further fuelled by a light show extraordinaire, while Livin’ On The Edge was accompanied by a cloud of marijuana.
In order to sell 100 million records during your lifetime, you’ve got to have some serious class and dedication. Tyler and Perry showed they still have both.
Aerosmith have been immortalized in our eyes, and the band knows it. The two proud fathers of rock and roll got up in front of generations of whooping and hollering fans and showed them that they still care.
And that they aren’t too old to wear really, really tight pants.
The group has owned the stage for the past 40 years. To split it up now would be a shame. But should Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith go their own way, the Vancouver audience was bestowed with the opportunity to witness to a historical concert. Aerosmith made darn sure they were living it up before going down.
Photo Gallery: (here).