Tyler doing it again.
Story and Photos by Phil BonyataSo what the sappy melodies are now more common than the testosterone-laced hard rock of yesteryear, because seein' them live makes you forgive their recent transgressions. Saturday night Alpine Valley Music Theater saw the boys from Boston play a genuinely inspired set of some 20 classic and soon-to-be classic songs
Steven Tyler, the 50 something rock gypsy, adorned with enough color to make a proud peacock jealous, hit the ground running with the savvy and sweet "Love in an Elevator." On a dime they switched gears and went tender with the most recent hit "Jaded." Sappy? Sure. But performed live the melody took on a different character. Tyler's wonderful voice, which was anchored beautifully by longtime "Toxic Twin" partner Joe Perry's choppy and tattered guitar licks, burst forth with all of it's whiskey soaked brashness.
As the band lit into "Big Ten Inch Record" the crowd nearly drowned out Tyler during the chorus. Songs with cheeky lyrics will do that to people. "Pink" came off as a sexy one-two punch."Fly Away from Here" had Joe Perry take center stage and chopping down the notes one by one like a lumberjack with a full pot of hard coffee in his belly.
Tyler, winkingly flirted with all the women within eye shot. Some were so smitten that they threw their bras and underwear at him. Of course, Tyler, with smile blazing, picked up the choicest ones with the fresh caresses of a first love.
Aerosmith were at the top of their game in the 1970s and most of the '80s found them in a drug induced stupor. The miracle is they were able to clean up their acts and reclaim their throne of straight shootin', kick ass rock 'n rollers.
Aerosmith's stage and lighting said hello to the new millennium. Complete with three huge video screens, lighting that would make the Greek sun god Helios envious, computer graphics, live camera work and a second stripped down stage for the lost souls in the lawn seats.
After a rousing rendition of "Mama Kin" Tyler yelled "We're coming out!" With a ring of security guards circling the band they proceeded up the aisle to the second stage. The band blasted through their oldies with a new found passion that they didn't have a few years back at Alpine Valley. The golden oldies were fun again. "Toys in the Attic" was a little faster and a little harder than usual. "Dream On' and "Same Old Song and Dance" were fun again.
Aerosmith proved that they indeed, still reign king in the palace of hard rock.
Fuel opened the show in great hard rock fashion. Lead singer Brett Scallions and company demanded your attention with such hard rock hitters like "Bitterseet," "Shimmer" and "Sunburn." Scallions definitely has rock star credentials - good looks, charisma and tons of energy bursting forth. He moves about the stage like a tiger waiting to pounce on his prey. Fuel has a bright future as the possible torch carriers of hard rock if Aerosmith ever decide to call it quits.
"If you can't get enough Aerosmith . . . try Better Than Your Harley, Aerosmith.MU"
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