Live Review: Aerosmith — Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Tue, 07 Aug 2012 08:22:12
"God bless you for coming out and rocking our world," said a smiling Steven Tyler at the end of Aerosmith's triumphant Hollywood Bowl show last night.
It takes two to rock—an audience and a band. However, when the band is as perfect as Aerosmith, the crowd doesn't have to do much to impress. That was the case in this instance. Aerosmith put on such a flawless performance that even the most jaded Los Angeles collective of industry types, celebrities, and fans barely left its feet. Being introduced by comic book legend Stan Lee proved rather a propos as at this point Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer remain superheroes in their own right. Immediately, the Boston trailblazers ignited the raucous riff stomp of "Draw the Line".
It sounded just as fiery as it does on record due to the group's immortal chemistry. Perry effortlessly ran up the fretboard, tearing through a mind-blowing blues lead and churning out an impenetrable groove. Meanwhile, Whitford weaved in and out of Perry's playing with his own impressively infectious display of six-string fireworks. Together, they continued to elevate the instrument and rock 'n' roll at large. Mind you, the duo never stopped moving either. Hamilton's bass anchored the low end, while Kramer pounded out beats that got the audiences shaking. Tyler guided this rock 'n' roll voyage with invigorating charisma and that voice. It's a voice that resounded just as powerfully as it did on Toys in the Attic—if not more so.
"Love in an Elevator" brought the energy up to dizzying heights as the band locked in tightly. Meanwhile, "Livin' on the Edge" illustrated the boundless dynamics at the heart of Aerosmith, seguing from a pensive verse into one of music's most memorable hooks. A new song from the forthcoming Music from Another Dimension! [due out November 6], "Oh Yeah", fit snugly alongside "Same Old Song and Dance" and "Last Child" with a fresh vigor that few bands of this century can cop to. The same could be said for the other incredible new cut, "Legendary Child".
Tyler began "What It Takes" a capella, and thousands of voices instantly joined him for a heavenly chant. During his solo spot, Perry's fretwork simply staggered as he immaculately merged shredding technicality and bluesy soul like only he can.
"Rats in the Cellar" evolved into a massive jam between all of the band, while their take on "Come Together" from The Beatles infused even more guts and groove into the timeless staple. "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk this Way" emanated a real rock 'n' roll grit with all the gusto true titans warrant.
After a poignant and poetic "Dream On", Tyler asked, "Johnny Depp, you in the house?"
Suddenly, Depp appeared clad in black with an axe in hand. He infused "Train Kept-A-Rollin" with an edge all his own, inching out the riff from his soul with the passion of any guitar great. He fit right in on stage and brought another dimension to the show.
As the band and Depp bowed, they emerged victorious as still the greatest American rock band. If anyone's world was rocked, it was all of those lucky enough to be in attendance.
Were you there?
See our exclusive interview with Brad Whitford of Aerosmith here!