Story by Robin Mayer
Motley Crue took to the stage with the usual accoutrements of pyrotechnics, fog machines and scantily clad girls. Their hour long set played like a greatest hits album. From "Dr. Feelgood" to "Girls, Girls, Girls", they offered nothing new but instead relied on the tried-and-true to keep their audience rocking. Judging from the number of people roaring their approval, Motley Cre succeeded quite well.
Aerosmith began their set through a retrospective of photos documenting the band from their beginnings. When the screen lifted, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry presided over the stage like the rock n' roll royalty that they are as the band rolled into "Toys In The Attic." While the entire set covered over 30 years of Aerosmith music, the band paid homage to some of their earliest work including "Dream On" and "Sweet Emotion." The highlight of the evening was a beautiful rendition of "Seasons of Whither" during which Tyler and Perry took up residence in a couple of chairs at the end of the stage runway, Perry with an acoustic guitar and Tyler singing, while man-made snow floated on the crisp breeze down into the audience.
Noticeably missing was bassist Tom Hamilton who is currently battling throat cancer. Band friend David Hull is currently taking over bassist duties for Hamilton who is expected to join the tour soon. Hull is the youngest guy on the stage. The four remaining members are all over 50 years old with Tyler being the oldest at 58. Age was not noticeable however, as all put every ounce of energy into their performance. While Tyler and Perry cavorted about the stage, drummer Joey Kramer made us very aware of his status as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. And while not as flamboyant at Perry, guitarist Brad Whitfords fingers quietly flew over his fret board during his solos. The evening was not without some questions. Both "Eat The Rich" and "Sweet Emotion" seemed disjointed in spots and it took the band a few verses before they gelled together on both songs. However, the energy and power of Aerosmith made the show entertaining without seeming gimmicky or contrived.