Rock superheroes Aerosmith played a show for the ages last night at the Hollywood Bowl. As part of their Global Warming tour, Aerosmith showed why they are still a force to be reckoned with and deserve to be mentioned along side such classic bands as the Rolling Stones.
A short Twilight Zone inspired video montage by legendary Marvel comic book creator Stan Lee gave way to an appearance by the real life Lee immediately riled up the sold out capacity crowd. Lee's unrequited enthusiasm was apparent as he introduced Aerosmith as the "Greatest Rock Band in the World".
Joe Perry's snarling guitar fired up the bitting tone of "Draw The Line" as Steven Tyler strutted to the front of the catwalk to receive the adulation from enthusiastic fans in the pit. Despite the continuos swirling rumors about acrimony between Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith, the band seemed tighter than ever operating at full capacity.
The hits kept coming as they whipped through "Love In An Elevator" and "Same Old Song And Dance." It didn't take long for me to realize they rightly deserved their own specially branded Aerosmith "Guitar Hero" video game as Perry's lightening guitar fretwork was phenomenal accompanied by the the unsung rhythm guitar playing of Brad Whitford.
Drummer Joey Kramer had his moment to shine during the show as he pounded out a drum solo prior to the bluesy swagger of "Rag Doll". Tyler momentarily accompanied Kramer by grabbing a pair of drumsticks and drummed along with a wide grin. Perry showed off his dazzling guitar skills for a ripping rendition of "The Peter Gunn Theme" using deep whammy bar bends and squealing harmonics filtered through an octave divider pedal. It made me want to throw my guitar collection away knowing I could never sound that amazing.
Aerosmith played a few covers throughout the evening that seemingly had an underlying note of irony. Perry sang lead vocals on their Fleetwood Mac cover of "Stop Messin' Around". Fleetwood Mac notably and often had band turmoil so the song could be a possible poke to Tyler's stint with American Idol.
Touring to promote their soon-to-be-released new album, Music From Another Dimension on August 28th, "Legendary Child" blended well with all their other hit songs with its steamrolling guitars and patented Tyler screams. The other pointed cover of the evening was "Come Together" which literally had Tyler and Perry getting together to share the microphone.
The smoky talkbox enhanced guitar riffs of "Sweet Emotion" sounded sublime with some heavy duty bass grooves by Tom Hamilton. The momentum continued to apex with a blazing version of "Walk This Way" that closed out their main set. Possibly one of the greatest power ballads, "Dream On" and its hyperkinetic vocals punctuated their encore as many off-key fans attempted to sing along.
As if Stan Lee wasn't a big enough surprise, everyone went nuts when Johnny Depp brought out his Keith Richards swagger and guitar abilities for "Train Kept A-Rollin'" that burned the house down. The Aerosmith train doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon and a capacity Hollywood Bowl was very thankful for it.
Cheap Trick were more than capable openers whipping through some of their classic songs like "Surrender" and "Dream Police". Gotta love Rick Nielsen's "Dream Police" tie.
Critical Bias: I'm not a super huge Aerosmith fan but Joe Perry's guitar playing was highly inspirational to make me look closer at their back catalog.
Crowd: A huge mix of young and old fans with hints of weed lingering throughout the Bowl.
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Overheard: People singing along to every song.
Random Notebook Dump: The paparazzi went crazy when Liv Tyler walked up to the entrance.
"Draw The Line"
"Love In An Elevator"
"Same Old Song And Dance"
"Livin' On The Edge"
"The Peter Gunn Theme"
"Stop Messin' Around"
"What It Takes"
"Rats In The Cellar"
"Walk This Way"
"Train Kept A-Rollin'" (w/ Johnny Depp)