:: Aerosmith w/ ZZ Top :: :: Saturday, August 1, 2009 :: :: Coors Amphitheatre ::
By Brandon Daviet
Photos by Lisa Sicliano
First, a little musical politics of sorts. If we really want to take a shot at reducing the obesity problem is this country we don’t need legislation to forcefully limit our caloric intake. Rather we should have a clearly defined policy that standing up and dancing at a concert is NOT a crime and is actually good for you to boot. I can understand some people wanting to sit down during shows, I do it about 30 percent of the time these days, but I also completely understand people wanting to shake their groove thing. If you really want to sit on your couch during a rocking song just wait for the DVD or learn to be more amicable to the people who don’t want to pay good money to sit still. It’s a hard situation to solve, as both “sitters” and “standers” have the right to enjoy the show but maybe concert promoters should focus on solving this dilemma instead of inventing new, creative ways to assess service charges. Just my opinion because not a concert goes by these days without me seeing a squabble over this very issue.
Seating issues aside, the crowd at ZZ Top and Aerosmith was jubilant for the most part. A good mix of young and old fans that even the apparent spike in beer prices couldn’t dampen.
For the hardcore Aerosmith fans the night started off with a “VIP” pre-show party with food, open bar and various activities like a “meet and greet” and raffle. The top package ran about $1,250 bucks and got buyers the chance to meet “The Toxic Twins” themselves Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. Other fans, and press like myself, got to chill in a patio area while drummer Joey Kramer did a short Q&A and signed copies of his new autobiography: Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top. For the mega-fan these pre-show gatherings are probably a memorable experience but my advice is drink as much as you can during the two hour party to get your money’s worth because they are a tad over priced.
The party was dismissed and fans were let into the venue with enough time to hit the merch stand and get some concessions before ZZ Top took the stage after being introduced by legendary promoter Barry Fey. I’m not going to say much about ZZ Top because I was at the show on Aerosmith’s dime. Basically, the band played a show damn near verbatim to the show they played at The Paramount on Halloween; you would think that a band with such an extensive catalog could mix it up a bit more. I do love the band’s music and can only hope their rumored collaborating with producer Rick Rubin can revitalize the band.
Aerosmith on the other had killed it as usual and once again justified why they are realistically the Rolling Stones of the 70s. I have to admit I purposely stopped reading Aerosmith news shortly after the band announced they were playing both Rocks and Toys in the Attic in their entirety. With that I was taken aback, in a sort of orgasmic way to be honest when the band hit the crowd with an opening punch of “Eat the Rich” and “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees.” After “Rag Doll” and “Dream On” it was becoming apparent that the band’s plans to pay tribute to Toys or Rocks had gone out the window and the crowd didn’t seem to mind one bit.
One surprise from the band’s early days came in the form of the blues standard “Walkin the Dog” and Joe Perry showcased his vocal skills with the rarely played “Combination” the lone track played from Rocks at the show. After a couple more hits like “Cryin’” and “Love in an Elevator” ZZ Top’s Billie Gibbon’s joined the band for “Rattlesnake Shake” complete with a sprawling jam and then the band dug in deep with another rarity “Lord of the Thighs.” “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” closed out the show but just weren’t quite the same without bassist Tom Hamilton who has been temporarily sidelined due to medical issues, something that has plagued almost every member of the band in the last few years.
The encore was probably the low point of the show in the form of a predictable “Train Kept a Rollin.” It is a great song no doubt, but after a killer show up to that point the band could have went out on higher note. Overall the show was proof that if the band’s health insurance can keep them all vital the band forthcoming album may be another masterpiece.