(Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI – Dec. 13th ’02)
Having seen Aerosmith more times live than I care to even recall, it still never ceases to amaze me that they can still rock the house down to the ground each and every bloody time they take to the stage ! There hasn’t been one occasion where I’ve EVER heard anyone say that they sucked at any given point of their performing career ! That said, and with no album to promote, the boys from Boston took over the Red Wings home for the night and turned the heat up from the very start. ’Toys In The Attic’ and ‘Love In An Elevator’ were sung from the smaller stage for the cheap seats before moving to the main stage for songs like ”Sweet Emotion,’ ‘Livin’ On The Edge,’ ‘F.I.N.E.’, ‘Let The Music Do The Talkin,’ and the ever-popular Nine Lives cut, ’Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees).’
Trust me, all the classic tunes aside, the moment that Steven Tyler greeted his adoring hordes with ”Hello, Detroit” he had them in the palm of his hand ! Grabbing things from the audience as if it were going out of fashion, Tyler paraded around with everything from a glamed-up ‘Cat In The Hat’-type affair to a traditional Santa hat ! Sounding admittedly a little hoarse from the onset, Tyler soon lost that gruffness as he and the boys powered on through their 17 song set with other tracks such as ’Jaded,’ ‘Pink’ - complete with new blusey intro - ’Dream On,’ ‘Cryin’ and the ultimate power-ballad, ’I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ from the hit flick, ‘Armageddon.’
Add into all that a Joe Perry solo moment – complete with guitar riffs played up and behind his head – and Tyler allowing himself to be physically mauled by the baying crowd each time he got close to sing to them (”I’m not going up there again. She scares me”), the show was never guilty of a dull moment. Bringing the set to a close with the bluesy ’Train Kept A Rollin’ the guys left the stage to rapturous applause before coming back – with Tyler in a fresh white wife-beater – to sing ”Draw The Line’ where Perry ends the song by placing his guitar on the floor, takes off his sweat-ridden pink shirt and proceeds to beat the strings with it !!! A funky intro suddenly turns into ’Walk This Way’ which comes complete with a deluge of silver confetti being dropped from the ceiling ! There’s even enough time and energy left for Tyler to pluck a female member of the audience out and up onto the stage for a running and singing fest to bring the show to a close. Introducing the band, including ”Joe ‘Fucking’ Perry”, Tyler’s ending words of ”Merry Christmas. Drive careful” and ”God Bless” are met with thunderous applause and foot stomping before the finality of the situation is realized as the lights come on and flood our weary eyes.
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk