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Aerosmith Live in Anaheim

By Junkman, On-Air Personality
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 8:08 AM


At the Arrowhead Pond 2/24/06

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As a fan of live music since birth, I have gone to hundreds of concerts, seen just about everybody who I've wanted to see that wasn't dead already. With the exception of Led Zeppelin, the only band that I can think of that I love and have never seen, has been, up until this past Friday, Aerosmith.

My first attempt at seeing them was sometime in the mid-seventies and the reason for not going was because (and this ought to date me) of either I or the ticket-bearer was grounded by parents for doing something like getting caught smoking, or skipping school. Shows you how long these guys have been rocking. And ROCK they still do, as well as just about anyone out there.

Aerosmith has been referred to by some as the American version of the Rolling Stones, but, you know what? They still have the original lineup intact, and that's something the Stones haven't had since the late 1960's. I'll spare you the comparisons, they have been written about many times before. What I witnessed at this show was a timeless but complete soundtrack for the last 3/4ths of my life.

Entering the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, (or is it the Los Angeles Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim?) still the silliest name for an arena that I've ever heard, I was pleased to find my seats about 15 feet back from the stage and 3 rows above the crowd. The stage had a pair of HUGE catwalks that must have extended 100 feet or so into the crowd as well as ramps that reached the middle sections of either side of the stage.

After downing a few beers and checking out the huge assortment of "MILFS", and even "GILFS",(look it up, or ask your kid) that were assembled everywhere, dressed in their hottest out fits, the lights dimmed and we were treated to a great opening set by Lenny Kravitz, and his very tight 5 piece band, who were accompanied by a 2 piece horn section and 2 background singers.

Opening his set with "Where Are We Running", Kravitz, sporting a long fringed sixties styled vest, was clearly enjoying himself and the crowd did as well as they grooved to songs like "Dig In" and his version of the Guess Who's "American Woman". He even took a walk through the crowd during "Let Love Rule", as he led a sing along of the chorus, before really amping up the crowd with the set closing "Are You Gonna Go My Way".

But this crowd was clearly here to see Aerosmith. And, after a compilation career spanning video presentation, at 9:50 PM, they got just that, Aerosmith live. Yes, after all this time, there they were, singer Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer, knocking out the rock as they have done so well for so many years.

Opening with a version of the Beatles "Helter Skelter", the band immediately cranked out the classics "Walk This Way" and "Same Old Story, Same Old Song And Dance", that one would figure would be part of an encore later in the show. Not tonight. Without a new record to promote, Aerosmith gave the people what they want, a concert heavy on the oldies, surprising me again with "S.O.S.(Too Bad)", from the 1974 release "Get Your Wings".

Steven Tyler has always been the ageless rock star and tonight was no exception. Dressed in a "California Jam 2" T-shirt (which Aerosmith headlined in 1978) and a pair of bell bottoms emblazoned with the bands winged logo across the crotch, he still has the pipes and the energy of singers half his age. Tyler effortlessly spanned the huge catwalks as he screamed out the tunes, all the while leaving you wondering where all the stamina comes from.

What really blew my mind was Joe Perry, who was everywhere throughout the evening. Playing guitar all over the arena, introducing songs and singing lead on tunes like "Shaking The Cage", from his recent solo CD, and "Stop Messin Around" from the Aerosmith Cd of blues classics, "Honkin On Bobo". This is a guy, who for years has been considered by many as the coolest guy in rock n roll. Tonight he showed why he is one of the most talented.

Perry thanked the "hardcore fans" that have always supported the band before Tom Hamiltons familiar bass riffs introduced the Aerosmith classic (yes another CLASSIC) "Sweet Emotion", which featured blazing twin guitar solos from Perry and Brad Whitford. After recognizing "some Italians in the audience who say we don't do this song anymore", Tyler and company went back to the "Draw The Line" album to blast out "Kings and Queens", a song I had not expected to hear, and followed with one I had hoped to hear, "Seasons of Wither", a song from 1974 that I had played in my first band. As the opening acoustic chords were being played, I was immediately transformed back to my junior high school days as a pot smoking, LP record listening teenager who lived for two things, music and dope. I TOLD you this band was a soundtrack for most of my life!

After regaining my senses, touring keyboardist Russ Irwin started one of the most memorable riffs in my rock n roll history, the opening chords to "Dream On" from the 1973 self titled debut release. Now I'm sure that a lot of people have memories of different parts of their lives that include this particular song, its just that huge. Think about it for a minute. It could have been the first time you kissed someone, or the first time you drove a car, something like that. This is what makes Aerosmiths songs so special, they have been around longer and played more consistently than most because they are THAT GOOD. Hell, "Dream On" was released twice and was a hit both times.

Nostalgia ruled again as the band went back to 1975's "Toys In The Attic" recording of "No More, No More" (which I remember stealing from the local department store back when LP's were sold there) and finishing the set with their versions of "Baby Please Don't Go", from "Honkin On Bobo", and "Train Kept A Rollin" from "Get Your Wings", which featured the solid drumming of Joey Kramer.

By now the crowd and myself were in a frenzy and roared for more. Soon the band returned to the stage to encore with "Back In The Saddle" from what many of us consider Aerosmiths best album, 1976's "Rocks". Keeping the rock at a furious pace, Aerosmith ended the show with the title track to "Draw The Line", as the crowd cheered its approval, totally satisfied with a great rock show by the band that has spanned the generations and keeps coming.

Who knows what will be next? I waited this long to see them, I cant wait to see them again. I can assure you one thing, though. It wont be another 30 years. At least I don't THINK so. Now that would be some soundtrack. Long live Aerosmith. As Wayne and Garth said in "Waynes World"- "PARTY ON".

SET LIST:

AEROSMITH:

  • HELTER SKELTER
  • WALK THIS WAY
  • SAME OLD STORY, SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE
  • CRYIN
  • SOS (TOO BAD)
  • LIVIN ON THE EDGE
  • SHAKIN MY CAGE
  • STOP MESSIN AROUND
  • SWEET EMOTION
  • KINGS AND QUEENS
  • SEASONS OF WITHER
  • DREAM ON
  • NO MORE NO MORE
  • BABY PLEASE DON'T GO
  • TRAIN KEPT A ROLLIN
  • BACK IN THE SADDLE
  • DRAW THE LINE
  • LENNY KRAVITZ:

  • WHERE ARE WE RUNNIN
  • CALIFORNIA
  • LADY
  • DIG IN
  • BELIEVE
  • CANT GET YOU OFF OF MY MIND
  • ALWAYS ON THE RUN
  • AMERICAN WOMAN
  • FLY AWAY
  • LET LOVE RULE
  • ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY


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