Published Jul 16, 2012When Aerosmith climaxed their set with "Walk This Way," it was the same kind of back-from-the-dead triumph as when Rocky scaled the steps of the Philly Art Museum. A few songs prior, though, Aerosmith's version of Rocky was getting his ass beat down hard by Ivan Drago, because the Boston Bad Boys of Rock were playing a new song that, in port-a-potty surround, sounded exactly like -- you guessed it -- "Walk This Way."
Still, the fact that Aerosmith are even still writing new music and not imploding under the weight of awkward stage mishaps, Toxic Twin grudge matching, and, well, old fucking age is pretty damn impressive at this point. Steven Tyler, just a day after announcing he was leaving American Idol (groan), was in a particularly flamboyant mood, air-humping the big-screen cameras and shaking his 64-year-old hiney to the delight of over 85,000 Quebec City rockers. Whatever post-midlife crisis Aerosmith were going through last year seems to have passed; no tension could be found on stage. In fact, they seemed friendly, playful even.
Obligatory guitar, bass and drum solos (in which Joey Kramer played with his bare hands!) led way to some of Aerosmith's greatest hits. We're talking "Livin' on the Edge," "Love in an Elevator," "Sweet Emotion" and "Train Kept a Rollin'" (and probably a few other songs with dropped Gs), not to mention Permanent Vacation's "Rag Doll."
Strangely, most of the big hits were avoided to make way for some blues jams and a couple more new songs, which actually faired pretty decently, all things considered. But no "Dude Looks Like a Lady," "Amazing," "Janie's Got a Gun" or "Crying." In fact, besides an amazing encore of "Dream On," complete with grand piano at centre stage, the band avoided most of their dullard ballads, which was probably a good call considering how amped and ready to rock the Quebec crowd was.
The band fed off the crowd's energy, but also seemed to be conjuring an adolescent force from within their instruments (and bandana-clad microphone stand), thrusting their crotches deep into the fountain of youth. Joe Perry and his grey skunk stripe was particularly on fire, playing his Les Paul behind his back with fingers blazing as hard as they ever did when he wasn't approaching a seniors' discount. And the other pepaws weren't slouching either, trading goofy smiles and even goofier orgasm faces as they belted through classic hard rockers. And, best of all, Steven Tyler didn't fall off the stage even once.