The boys get it on.
Story and Photos by Rob GrabowskiWith the opening notes to "Beyond Beautiful" ringing wantingly and the stage glowing in the electrically charged light show that would give the Vegas strip a run for it's money, the bad boys from Bean town or as they are better known throughout the world as Aerosmith, blasted into the sold out New Orleans Arena. Knowing their place in rock history only cements their confidence. The lyrical wizard, Steven Tyler, draped in full witch doctor garb, was ready to offer his own brand of voodoo magic. Along with his musical alchemist and partner in crime Joe Perry, the boys pranced and preened with the understanding that their sound is not the music du jour, but timeless kick-ass rock 'n roll.
Aerosmith bellied down to the stage floor for "Beyond Beautiful" and Tyler hugged Perry's power chords like a bear raiding an angry beehive. The ever popular "Love in an Elevator" sent the crowd into a sing along, in which Tyler lured them into an extra loud round of "Whoa-Yeah's."
They charged into "Jaded" and "Just Push Play." These versions were harder, fresher and most welcome versions than the CD recordings. "Rats in the Cellar" was a full 12 minutes with Joe Perry and Brad Whitford trading guitar licks and Steven Tyler throwing in his trademark bluesy, doped-up harmonica, making the song a great free-form jam session.
When they hit "Seasons of Wither" the fans hands clapped so hard it nearly drowned out the bass and drums. You could tell the younger people in the audience were here to only to hear the post Permanant Vacation stuff, but many were indoctrinated to the classic sound. Hopefully, they'll spend a few bucks and pick-up some of the CDs that put Aerosmith on the map in the first place. As the tempo picked up, Tyler's emotion and focus helped him screech out the lyrics and Perry's incendiary guitar work shot electric arrows through your heart and the hair on the back of your neck would rise only begging to be massaged more. They continued with Joe Perry singing "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and followed it up with "Draw The Line." "Crying"' and "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" got the girls to dance in the aisles and found the MTV generation enjoying the brilliant camera work on the jumbotron and sometimes forgetting to enjoy the boys in the flesh.
The set list also included "Big Ten Inch Record," "Pink," "Mama Kin," "Back in the Saddle," "Dream On," "Walkin' The Dog," "Eat The Rich," "Walk this Way," "Sweet Emotion," "Livin' on the Edge," "What it Takes" and "Train Kept a Rollin."
In the age of processed and synthesized music it is still a real pleasure to see real musicians master their instruments and truly enjoy entertaining themselves along with the audience. Seeing the Hall Of Fame band Aerosmith live is truly a must see spectacle and with the boys heading back to the Midwest in late October, I suggest getting tickets early before they sell out, because if you don't you'll find yourself asking why you just had to "Just Push Play" on the CD player.
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