Aerosmith, Tweeter Center, September 14, 2007
AEROSMITH ROCK: The gods of dirty water rock emerged.
“Wooo,” went the crowd in the parking lot; “Woooooooo,” cried the tailgaters; “Wooooooooooo,” shouted the line of people on their way into the Tweeter Center. As the moment of Aerosmith’s Friday-night performance drew near, you could have thought you were at Fenway for the Yankees and the Red Sox — and that seemed intentional. For Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and company are Boston’s rock-and-roll home team — a role they cherish, and one they play to the hilt. Beneath a photomontage of Beantown touchstones — the Celtics logo, the Charles River, the Red Sox, Red Sox, Red Sox — these gods of dirty water rock emerged, ready to belt one out. With a flash of lights, it was “Love in an Elevator,” the crowd moving up and down to the beat, both the newer hormonal and the older menopausal fans pumped by the band’s repeated references to how much they love their native city. (These “bad boys of Boston” are very good at civic pride.)
For a post-rawk-and-roll ironic sort like myself, the ploy reeked of pandering and cliché. So did Steven Tyler’s flowing-scarves shtick, his Jaggeresque dance moves, and his air-guitar theatrics during Glimmer Twin–lite partner Joe Perry’s frequent solos. Yet as the show progressed, it became apparent that, well, Aerosmith rock. Not only was the rhythm section tighter than a steroid muscle, but Tyler was in fine, almost-beyond-belief voice, especially for someone of his age and, uh, “experience.” (Things like “rock-and-roll lifestyle” become clichés because they’re true.) By the time the obligatory closer, “Walk This Way,” was bouncing off the cars back in the parking lot, the fans — even the post-ironic ones — found it hard to walk away.
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