Aerosmith?! Really Paulie! Well, yeah because every once in a while, some band that you take totally for granted “surprises” you! As I stood in the field at BigMusicFest watching a band that I’ve seen countless times and way-past their glory days, I found that Aerosmith still matter.
Senior, iconic rock bands, who once blazed a path and dominated the radio for years are easily tossed to side by the next generation. A lot of it is changing tastes, some of it is mu$ic indu$try related and in many ways it is totally understandable. Any band that has been around for 25 or more years at some point, comes to the realization that even their fans are really NOT interested any of their new music and just want to hear the songs they grew up with. Even prolific artists like Neil Young & Bruce Springsteen have to deal with this. Only their most ardent fans really care. Artists faced with this usually keep the diehards happy with just a couple new songs and a few deep cuts.
Pearl Jam, another senior band have managed to go against this trend. Their set lists have always drawn from their vast song catalogue. In more recent years Pearl Jam fans are getting progressively restless, wanting more hits - less album tracks. Some people head to the beer stand while they wait for the band to play “Jeremy” or “Even Flow”. Pearl Jam want to keep things fresh for both them& fans who see them on multiple nights. With Pearl Jam, you’re either in or you’re out. AC/DC on the other had are the exact opposite. They choose to play the same songlist at every concert for an entire 2 year tour. That is a bit of a letdown if you’re a fan who follows them around from city to city or tour to tour.
Enter Aerosmith who released an album a couple of years ago that essentially went unnoticed. It was a total flop. It was a supposed to be a return to their glorioius 70’s form. In spite of that, nobody seemed to care. The band have been recently been saying that they may be done with recording new music. With that news Aerosmith just seem like they were coming to an end. In the media, Steven Tyler is the butt of jokes and the other guys are teetering on retirement age with health issues. With all that, it seemed Aerosmith were DONE.
Then...there’s this summer’s tour.
When Aerosmith hit the stage at BigMusicFest it didn’t take long to establish that the bad boys from Boston had lost none of their swagger and were giving notice to young acts, that “this is how it’s done”. “This” is how you perform, this is how you get your audience involved, this is how you take care of long-time-diehards and the fans of your big smaltzy ballads, all on the same night, this is how you survive year in and year out; this is how you make them come back again and again and again. It’s been a long time since Wayne & Garth said “we’re not worthy” but Aerosmith have lost none of their magic!
Here’s a treat: Johnny Depp joining them for Train Kept A Rollin’ on stage last week in a Boston.