Show Experience: Last night Aerosmith demonstrated that magic is all too real
Photos: Miles Chrisinger / Cover Photo: Brian Frederick
“Aerosmith's music is demonic and evil. You should listen to Christian music instead,” says YouTube user Dinosaur Junior.
The remark isn’t a very popular idea in the unearthly forum of shit talking elite, but it’s there clear as coconuts. It’s in the comment thread of Aerosmith’s iconic “Dream On” music video and the anonymous adds to it by saying that lead singer Steven Tyler has openly admitted to using dark magic to achieve higher goals in the band’s 40+ year existence and that there’s sources to authenticate the delusion. There’s always sources.
But… hell… if he really is summoning the devil, of course we’re going to go see them live!
To be gifted a performance from one of the greatest rock bands in music history is a rarity. They’ve been to Denver before, but no matter how often they come or what songs they play, an Aerosmith concert is a spectacle to be revered. Even if it is purely because of Steven Tyler’s penchant for black magic (allegedly), the experience is and always will be a metaphysical and uplifting experience.
To be in the same 675,000 square-foot room as Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the Aerosmith crew while they blare through almost fifty years worth of signature music is a mind-trip, it’s stunning. Theirs is a band that came to conquer the Pepsi Center in traditional rock form and conquer it with panache they did. The act made a bold statement to support that the old classics never die and great songs will always and forever be an endless gift through the ages.
Oh no, we missed Slash
When a band is as monstrous as Aerosmith has come to be there is little room for excess rigamaround and poppycock. They don’t need openers, they don’t need warm-up bands or other crowd pullers; what they need is someone to lightly entertain the fans while stragglers find their seat before the madness ensues. That’s exactly what we presume Slash was in order for.
But alas, we missed out. According to a close confidant who did manage to catch the rock and roll archetype of Guns N’ Roses fame, “He blew my mind. I grew up with all those GNR albums, so it brought me back and made me realize how fucking old I’m getting.”
We also pulled a succinct one-word review from him in our exchange: “Super,” he said.
Whoa! Wobblers, wobblers everywhere!
Again, we missed the opener, but it also looked like we missed the entire party. It wasn’t but an hour and a half after doors opened and roughly 3 out of every 5 people were shmammered. That’s shmammered, you know, shit-can hammered? Unable to walk and most likely going to be text-bombing an ex later on? Yeah, that.
It may have only been a Tuesday evening, but damn it if Aerosmith fans didn’t come to blow the roof off of the stadium and live like there aren’t any YOLOs left in the world. Party on the Waynes did, and party on the Garths followed.
“That’s a pretty ridiculous song choice right now…”
…said the three people who weren’t actually going bat-secretion-nutty to Lil Jon & Eastside Boyz’ anthem “Get Low.” As it blasted through the house speakers it managed to get everyone up and out of their seats before Aerosmith hit the deck. So it was by all accounts a strange enhancement to the vibe, but it worked, and to that we can’ fault anyone for making the random selection. The multi-generational folks of all shapes and sizes were there to get down and to not give any fucks about genre fads or coordinating musical tastes.
Hits, hits and more hits
It’s pretty easy to tell who is and who isn’t comfortable on stage, but when you’re dealing with an act that’s been around for so long, playing in front of so many hundreds of millions of people, the real treat isn’t in the performance itself, but in the astonishment of realizing just how many radio hits the Boston, MA band has. Steven Tyler and crew blistered through familiar songs in their arsenal like “Love In An Elevator,” “Feed The Rich,” “Crazy,” “Livin’ On The Edge” and the ubiquitous tear-jerker “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” among plenty of others.
It’s staggering to think about Aerosmith’s contribution to music. The list is endless and they barely had enough time in the two-hour set to chisel away at the entirety of their catalog.
Is that you, Steven Tyler?
If there were ever any doubt in anyone’s mind last night about how Steven Tyler is performing at the ripe young age of 66, it was put to bed immediately at the beginning of the frenetic set. The millisecond that he walked on, he was in a bodily-detached zone that went against everything we know about getting older. He swayed, he crooned, he moved and he barely broke a sweat while he entertained the welcoming crowd.
The only thing that didn’t appear to be pulled out of a 70s-era music video was Tyler's face-hugging goatee. It wasn’t near as creepy as we’d expect it to be, either. He rocks it well; but you be the judge…
The new drummer, now it all makes sense
Last week the band announced that a few dates would be cancelled on the tour as drummer Joey Kramer healed from a medical emergency. As of show time last night there was no word on whether or not Kramer would make it back behind the skins for the Pepsi Center performance, but much to the fans amazement, the show carried on with a new drummer. After further extensive research this morning (we Googled it), it was found that the fill-in drummer was none other than Jesse Kramer, son of Joey.
Consider this to be one of the few times a fill-in actually worked well in a pinch because Kramer #2 made swift timing of the set and put on a ridiculously entertaining showing under a presumably high amount of pressure.
The moment we left is the moment that will never leave us
As the quick-moving night came to an end Aerosmith obliged fans with a pre-planned encore that covered a few of the hits the regular set had left out. In one of its final displays of the evening, Steven Tyler jumped behind the pearly white grand piano and began the familiar build up of its 1973 song “Dream On.” Guitarist Joe Perry drifted up the hidden stairs like gilded nobility to the top of the piano and in a display unlike any other in music’s history, played along with Tyler one of the greatest classic rock songs to ever be written.
There just wasn’t anything else that could have topped the surreal moment of rock supremacy. They continued on with a few more songs, but quite frankly nothing will ever beat an Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” A song like that will live forever and having been able to see it performed live, we can honestly say that we believe in magic, even if it is the black kind that worries anonymous YouTubers who aren’t properly medicated.