Forget that permanent vacation, Tyler: Aerosmith's still showing that sweet emotion
Aerosmith came rolling through Tampa on Saturday night, giving me my first-ever chance to cover a concert live for the paper. Thankfully, it was at the friendly (and ridiculously humid) confines of the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, which made it less painless. You can read my full review right here, but in the meantime, here are a few observations that I didn't include in my story.
TOP 5 THINGS I LEARNED COVERING AEROSMITH:
1. TYLER STILL HAS IT: I figured that his recent stints in rehab, and the rumors that he's the next judge on American Idol, meant Steven Tyler was washed up. That couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, he still doesn't miss a chance to mug for a video camera, and he could give David Lee Roth a run for his money at hamming it up on stage. But unlike DLR, he still hits every note.
2. JOE PERRY IS A ROCK GOD: An old-school god. He can just stand there and do absolutely nothing and the crowd swooned. He's the anti-Elvis. The perfect foil for Tyler's crazy antics. But how he was able to wear a leather overcoat in last night's 150-degree heat is beyond me.
3. THE HEAT: Speaking of the weather, will someone please tell concert promoters to avoid Florida in August? God knows I love the gang at Live Nation, which runs "The Gary," but someone needs to throw a damn retractable dome over the venue for six months out of the year.
4. BALLADS ARE BORING: I'm a sucker for I Don't Want To Miss a Thing, the power-ballad from the movie Armageddon, which coincidentally was playing on cable yesterday just before I left for the concert. But clearly Aerosmith doesn't enjoy it anymore. It was one of the more lifeless numbers of the night. Steven dedicated it to his aunt, who died earlier this year, but even the dedication seemed forced and slightly insincere. The band was bored. The crowd was indifferent. (And please drop that dreaded Pink, easily one of the worst songs in their catalog.)
5. IDOL IS A MISTAKE: Seriously, Mr. Tyler. Turn American Idol down. And then you, Joe and the boys need to hunker down in a studio and turn out another album like 1987's Permanent Vacation. Sure, it's not the vintage material that every Aerosmith fan loves. But a few more easy hits would feel great, wouldn't it? American Idol doesn't need you, Steven. But Aerosmith fans do.
[Times photo: Luis Santana]