AEROSMITH has been a favorite band of mine since the 80s up to the 90s. I first heard of them when "Walk This Way" was sampled by RUN DMC and featured the band in a duet recording. In the 80s, there was "Love in an Elevator" and "Janie's Got a Gun" which brought the band back into the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10. After the ballad "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" went all the way to Number 1, the band unfortunately took a very long hiatus from success in the singles charts
Last year, Steven Tyler kept Aerosmith in the news because of his involvement as a judge in American Idol. This development further fanned rumors that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was looking for a new lead singer. Lucky these tensions subsided and the band launched its Global Warming Tour last year. This band really took a long time in coming to Philippine shores. I was very excited to see the announcements of this concert early this year. I bought the tickets as early as March in order to get a better view without necessarily having to shell out too much.
The concert began with 90s Pinoy alt-band Rivermaya. They sang a lot of their classic songs like "Elesi," "241" and of course "Kisapmata" (VIDEO). It was good to hear these local hits sung live and the crowd was all worked up already. Unfortunately there was a wait of more than 30 minutes before the lights dimmed down for the main show. Even at this point, the big standing room around the stage was not completely filled. Anyhow, once the introductory video started to play ending with the legendary name on the screen, the audience just kept on screaming and shouting it did not matter what the garbled voice-over was saying.
One of the songs I was most expecting for was the very first song being sung -- "Love in an Elevator"! I still could not believe I was hearing that inimitable rock vocals of Steven Tyler LIVE! They then sang "Jaded" (VIDEO) which was their last Top 10 hit in year 2000. After that, came the song many people in the audience wanted to hear, the rock love ballad "Cryin'". The loud screams and singing along proved that.
The next song was another big favorite of mine: "Janie's Got a Gun." At this point, the concert is complete already as both songs I was most waiting for had already been sung. I must say that Steven's vocals in "Janie" and the whole production of this song were awesome! He followed that up with another powerful performance dedicated to an organization that advocates ocean welfare, "Livin' on the Edge" (VIDEO). After this, Tyler introduced his drummer Joey Kramer who treated us to some drum pyrotechnics with, and even without his drumsticks!
At the end of this drum intermission, Steven came out and joined Joey with some drum moves of his own. Then he sang "Rag Doll." Between these hits, I assume he was singing some rocking cuts from their latest album which I do not recognize. The next song was again another favorite of us love song crazy Pinoy fans, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." The vocal fireworks at the end of that ballad were truly awesome to hear live!
Talking about Tyler's awesome vocals, the next song which was sung stripped down and raw was probably the biggest showcase of its range: "What It Takes". It is incredible how he can still reach those high crazy wailing notes at his age now, and doing this vocal acrobatics concert after concert all of these years.
As the concert wound up, Tyler sung hit after hit their version of the Beatles' "Come Together", then "Dude Looks Like a Lady" (VIDEO), and finally "Walk this Way"! I know keep using the word crazy, but crazy is the best way to describe the way Steven was wailing and scampering and posturing and writhing (with his colorfully scarfed mic stand) along to these hit songs.
When Tyler said a half-hearted goodbye and left the stage after "Walk", we knew that the show was not over yet. A white grand piano was brought out on stage, eliciting excited whoots from the crowd. After a few minutes, Steven then came out again, sat down to tinkle the keys and launched into "Dream On." That was a beautiful nostalgic performance of this revered 1973 rock classic (their first Top 10 when reissued in 1976). Yes, all his signature crazy screaming at the end were all still there. Amazing!
The final song of the night was "Sweet Emotion", a 1975 hit which I was not really too familiar with. The light show that accompanied this song was dazzling and blinding, a real potential seizure-inducer. Haha! The song ended with an explosion of smoke columns and a huge shower of silvery confetti that enveloped the whole stage. After introducing his band to the audience in his colorful way, Steven strutted off the stage in his own special way. THE rock show of the whole year was truly over already. No "Angel," "The Other Side," "Amazing" or "Crazy", but still we went home very happy indeed.