PIcture it. Toronto, Ontario. The summer of 1993. One of the greatest American rock bands of all time has hit the top of the charts with their latest album, and their videos are clogging up the MuchMusic and MTV airwaves. With some solid new songs and an amazing catalogue of hits, who wouldn’t want to see Aerosmith live in concert?
I know I did. So off to the Canadian National Exhibition grandstand I went with my friend, Corey Diamond (Corey gets a lot of my teenage concert-going shout-outs). Sadly, the show was horrible. It began with opening act/one hit wonder 4 Non Blondes – one of the worst bands in the history of popular music. They were painful to sit through, and even that one hit, What’s Goin’ On, was like nails in my ears.
Then Aerosmith hit the stage. While Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the boys did all the right songs and hit all the right moves, I just remember thinking the show was boring. Even worse, the keyboard player hidden behind the band was hitting all the high notes. I felt that in itself was deceptive. I left the show totally dismayed., vowing to never see Aerosmith live again.
However, after watching the band’s new live DVD, Rock For The Rising Sun, I feel like I might be ready to change my mind.
Find out why after the jump!
Recorded on the band’s 2011 tour of Japan, Rock For The Rising Sun finds the band actually performing at the peak of their powers. All the drama they’d endured with Steven Tylers drug relapse and his role as an American Idol judge is pushed aside. This is a DVD that focuses on the power and legacy of Aerosmith’s music. And make no mistake, this is one of the greatest catalogues of hard rock music in history. Virtually ballad free, Rock For The Rising Sun gives us radio hits like Love In An Elevator (my personal favourite song from the band), and shows the band actually jamming out on occasion. Joe Perry is the consummate guitar hero, while Steven Tyler is the true frontman and cheerleader for the band. I really enjoyed watching him egg on his bandmates. At one point, he positions himself behind drummer Joey Kramer, hugging his comrade while singing as only he can.
While Rock For The Rising Sun is a tribute to the band and the devotion of their Japanese fans, it’s also a calling care for their relevance in the new millennium. The band delivers on all fronts during this DVD, and I couldn’t help but rock with them, volume turned way up.
Today, the Aerosmith train keeps-a rollin’, and I’m ready to get back on board.