Saliva - Ted Nugent - Kiss - Aerosmith
(Comerica Park, Detroit, MI - September 7th, 2003)
After being postponed due to the Black Out of 2003 the rock event of the summer finally took place this past Sunday. Saliva took to the stage to a half filled Comerica Park. People were still flooding in from the chaotic streets where fans from Ford Field were celebrating the Lion's huge victory over the Cardinals in their season opener. Saliva performed with energy and intensity as if they were performing as a headlining act to a sold-out stadium. Front man Josey Scott led the band through a set list that included "Rest In Pieces" and "Holdin On" from their latest offering Back into Your System.
After a quick set change the 'Motor City Madman', Ted Nugent came out waving old glory as Ray Charles' "America" played over the sound system. He quickly followed with a guitar screaming rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" to continue on the patriotic mood of his performance. Ted rifled through an onslaught of his hits old and new. From "Hey Baby" to "Fred Bear" Uncle Ted proved once again why he was worthy of playing with the heavy hitters. Ted closed his set by leading the crowd in the 'Pledge of Allegiance.'
The stage next exploded to life as Kiss opened with "Detroit Rock City", the tribute that immortalizes Detroit as having the greatest rock and roll fans of all time. Made up of 3/4 of it's original members with the addition of Tommy Thayer taking Ace Frehley's position as the spaceman Kiss rocked through their set list which consisted mainly of tracks from the earlier albums. Back dropped by a stage of risers, pyros, lights and explosions Kiss played hit after hit which often at times seemed rushed to get as much content into their time slot as possible. Paul the ever-energetic front man rallied the crowd with often cheesy introductions that all Kiss fans have come to expect and even appreciate over time. Peter Criss seemed to be in better shape then he has on previous tours since reuniting with his former band mates in 1995. Gene Simmons performed his trademark Fire Breathing and Blood Spitting to the joy of an audience that ranged from children to seniors. Returning for their encore, Peter Criss sang "Beth" before being re-joined by fellow band mates to close out their set with "Love Gun" and their anthem "Rock and Roll All Night".
Aerosmith had quite a daunting task of keeping the momentum going after Kiss' explosive set. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were more then apt to oblige the near capacity crowd by opening their set with "Mama Kin", "Same Old Song And Dance" and "Love In An Elevator". After a quick set change from their revolving stage and another Aerosmith classic "What It Takes", Joe Perry introduced a couple of songs from their forthcoming blues LP due out in February and supplied vocals for the second song. Steven and Joe gave the lighting crew a run for their money by using every inch of the stage as their personal playground while putting on a great show for their fans. The band performed "Rag Doll", "Pink", "Dream On", "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion" as well as other hits they have accumulated throughout their career spanning three decades. Aerosmith has beefed up their set list since starting out on this journey with Kiss by including more of their classic hits such as "Adam's Apple" and "Nobody's Fault" while removing some of their newer ballads.
Overall the show was spectacular but since the headliners played slimmed down versions of their normal sets, it left you wanting more. Billed as the concert of the summer, this show definitely lived up to it's name. I look forward to their return visit in December.
Review by Mark Owiesny - Exclusive Magazine Intern-For-A-Day!