What a show!

 I saw Aerosmith live, Saturday, Sept 6th, 2014, with opener Slash.  

The reason I went to the show is this guy, Alex Leipold, one of my more talented guitar students.  Alex is a huge fan of Slash, and many months ago Alex mentioned Slash was opening for Aerosmith in our area.  I said, "Hmmm…let me see if I can arrange something.  A guy I know works for Aerosmith."

That guy is this guy, John Shipp.  John's a brilliant front-of-house engineer who used to work for my band The Orchestra. We had quite a few sonic adventures in places like El Salvador and Russia that required all of John's extensive audio skills.  But I digress.  I asked John if he could hook us up and boy did he ever. First, John took me and Alex up on stage to check out the gear.

These are Slash's guitars.  You've probably noticed already that Slash really likes Les Pauls.  Those white picks are duct-taped to the headstock.

This area is on the stage, right behind the drums and amps, hidden by black cloth. It's basically a rock and roll bunker/operations center.  It's where the Aerosmith guitar techs keep all the guitars ready for action. Pretty much every one is a collector's item. Fun.

This is the view we had of the concert.  We were ON the stage, just to the right of Brad Whitford's guitar bunker. It was kind of insane. At one point in the middle of a song Steven Tyler came over to where Alex and I were watching the show. He leaned right into us while he was singing his heart out. A camera guy was right there and I looked up at the jumbo screen to see my smiling-like-an-idiot face, about two stories tall.  Wish I had a picture!

So, how was the show?

WOW.  You finally see an act live and suddenly everything changes. My appreciation of Aerosmith--a band I've liked well enough but not necessarily worshipped for all these years--just increased about 4000%.  All because I saw them live.  MAN OH MAN. Now THAT is a rock show!

Steven Tyler in particular was a revelation.  After having him around as media wallpaper for 40 years, I finally saw what he brings to the stage in person. It's completely amazing. He's obviously a piece of work, kind of a six-year-old in a 66-year-old's body...but what an entertainer. 

90 minutes went by in a flash because Tyler never stopped pushing, never took a breather. He involved the crowd. He involved his bandmates. He involved the camera guys. He barked at his crew.  He threw his harmonica to a fan. He threw a head scarf to a fan. He put the mic in front of a gawking middle aged woman and made her sing her heart out…for an entire chorus. 

When he wasn't keeping everyone engaged he sang his ass off. I mean, really sang incredibly well. All the range is there. All the power is there. All the risk-taking is there. He played with melodies, screamed and shouted with abandon…it was eye-popping. A lot of guys half his age don't have half his skills.  What a show!

 

5 comments

  • Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper UK

    Ace review, Hux! That's how to share an experience. If only the journos in half the music mags I read could write like that! Kudos.

    Ace review, Hux! That's how to share an experience. If only the journos in half the music mags I read could write like that! Kudos.

  • Neil Keighery

    Neil Keighery Nottingham UK

    hey Hux,,,,,,,and how was Slash? Going to see him myself in December here in the UK.......don't expect I'll get to see backstage though :(

    hey Hux,,,,,,,and how was Slash? Going to see him myself in December here in the UK.......don't expect I'll get to see backstage though frown

  • Hux

    Hux

    Thanks, Jeff. Neil…I can't really say I'm a huge fan of Slash. He sure can play, but the only thing he said to the crowd all night was "On vocals…Miles motherfucking Kennedy!" I thought maybe he'd "present" more to the crowd, but he just plays his guitar and runs around. Maybe he's hiding behind his top hat and hair, you know? His bass player and second guitarist are excellent hair-tossers, and they spend most of the show doing just that.

    Thanks, Jeff. Neil…I can't really say I'm a huge fan of Slash. He sure can play, but the only thing he said to the crowd all night was "On vocals…Miles motherfucking Kennedy!" I thought maybe he'd "present" more to the crowd, but he just plays his guitar and runs around. Maybe he's hiding behind his top hat and hair, you know? His bass player and second guitarist are excellent hair-tossers, and they spend most of the show doing just that.

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