The show was at Fenway Park, which has hosted concerts before, but nothing as big as an all-Boston blowout!
We arrived when the gates opened and found our seats. Not incredibly close, but not too shabby, considering the vast majority of the crowd were in seats across the baseball diamond from the stage! For what we paid for "fan club" seats, I would have expected much better - especially since the "A5" section sign was right in front of the stage from my position! I definitely had better seats at my last Memphis show, when I was able to lean on the catwalk and interact with band members, but for such a cool outdoor venue, I'm happy with what we had.
Denis Leary narrated a hilarious custom video which detailed Aerosmith's history - starting with Boston, going through "trading" Joe Perry to the Cardinals (a nice way to gloss over egos clashing in the drug years!), and bringing us to the present moment in Boston, full circle.
and they turned the back lights on...
and then set up the trademark Aerosmith curtain! I was totally calm:
until it fell.
Check out that crowd shot in the screen! SOLD OUT!
Joe's two oldest sons came out to jam with him on "Stop Messin' Around"
and I learned that my camera's zoom didn't totally suck...
The set list is, as you might imagine from such a band, pretty predictable. They have to play the hits that drew the crowd - doesn't everyone know that?! Apparently not music reviewers. I read a handful of reviews that were pissed the band played "Cryin'" and "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." Umm, yeah I don't like those songs either, but I wasn't surprised/disappointed that they played them! Only a few reviews mentioned that they guys did a rare performance of "Come Together" - something they originally covered for the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" movie, and re-recorded for "Armageddon."
Joey Kramer did a kickass drum solo. He started off just going at it, then Steven snuck up behind him and started playing the same set as Joey! It sounded amazing, and you could tell it wasn't planned because Joey looked totally shocked, and Steven hugged his shoulders before he walked off and let Joey have the spotlight. Joey stood up at the end of his solo and the crowd went wild. He threw his sticks, presumably because he was done, and then started drumming with his bare hands. I've never seen anything like it.
Joe Perry did a lame "solo" where he battled his Guitar Hero self. I could have sworn that, on the last tour, they actually brought a kid up on stage to play against him, but I Googled my little heart out and still came up blank, so I must have made that up. It would have been way cooler than reality, though, which was boring. Having his sons come out to play was a saving grace though, and then he messed with a theremin ala Jimmy Page on "Sweet Emotion," and, of course, whipped his guitar like a madman on "Draw the Line."
While sitting during J. Geils' opening set (I just don't dig 'em), I noticed some guys walking around on the Green Monster. They were rolling a white baby grand into position, so I assumed J. Geils was going to use it, since I didn't know if their music was piano based or not. Then, the roadies covered the piano with a tarp. Then I figured this must be a huge plan for the encore. Steven often plays the piano part at the beginning of "Dream On." As awesome as the entire show was, I almost went nuts waiting for Steven to play that piano.
Sure enough, after the lights dimmed and the crowd began cheering for an encore (something I never do, along with doing that "sing back" thing so many bands love), we watched the backstage area and the top of the wall. We saw a little spider monkey running by, and knew Steven was getting settled at the piano.
"Hey Boston, up here!" he yelled. I had been staring at that place for five minutes, but everyone else's eyes followed the spotlights searching the crowd in the grandstands.
"No, up HERE!" The spots hit Steven and he began playing, and it was absolutely breathtaking.
After the piano part, he got up and went down to some box seats to sing. I was SO worried he was going to fall, after last summer's incident...
Just kidding! It was only a stumble, though I did gasp when it happened. That's a loooong way to fall.
He went back to the stage while the band played an opening jam for "Walk This Way," and then the show was over! Steven and Joe gave nice speeches, thanking the city that spawned them, and even J. Geils for opening - note that J. Geils never even MENTIONED Aerosmith, nor did they thank Aerosmith for choosing an out-of-date, non-touring band to open such a major show.
I love that the band is looking out to the crowd, and Joey is turned around admiring himself on the big screen.
See that pesky A5 sign?! I really want to see the shot the photographer got, but don't know who he was. I thought it was Ross Halfin, my favorite rock photographer,
but he was in Dubai.
I left very satisfied,
and it didn't hurt that we trailed behind Joe Perry's bus as we left the park.
***For those who remembered/cared/noticed, I decided to go with an Exxxtreme Glitter!!! t-shirt design, instead of worrying with rhinestones as previously mentioned. This photo does not even begin to show how sparkly that glitter was.