Aerosmith & Cheap Trick Concert Review, Austin, TX 11/16/2012
Having just seen Cheap Trick a few months ago and having had such a great time at that show, when the second leg of Aerosmith’s Global Warming Tour was announced, I knew I had to go. This was not a cheap show by any stretch of the imagination and I think partially because this show was sponsored by/centered around the Formula 1 (F1) race that is in Austin this weekend. Thousands of people from around the world have come to town to watch cars go fast at a premium price. More power to ’em, I say.
I bought 2 tickets to the show as I figured it would be pretty easy to have a friend tag a long. For various and sundry reasons ranging from work, lies, sickness etc, it was difficult finding someone to come with. Finally my friend’s girlfriend stepped up and came with me. Perfect. She’s a good friend and we’re almost related. haha.
We walked to the Erwin Center, checked out the shirts and found our seats. We were a little higher in the stands than I would have liked, but that’s what I got in the ticket presale. No biggie.
Cheap Trick hit the stage promptly at 8PM to their standard opener of Hello There and went right in to Come On, Come On. The band sounded great and Robin’s voice was crystal clear as it was a few months ago. Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) came out and played guitar with them on Ain’t That A Shame which was super cool. A few songs later and right after Sick Man Of Europe (great song!) they announced that they would do a Beatles song. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith – duh) came out and split vocal duties on Golden Slumber/Carry That Weight/The End. While I’m no Beatles fan, it’s blatantly obvious that both Cheap Trick and Aerosmith are. It was a cool thing to see them on stage together. They closed with I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police and Surrender. I was hoping to hear She’s Tight again but no biggie. Cheap Trick changes their set up every night which is quite impressive. The crowd left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t even half full for most of their set. Either way, Cheap Trick sounded great again and I can’t wait to see them for a 4th time, whenever that may be.
After about a 30 minute set change, Aerosmith hits the stage with Mama Kin. On the first leg of this tour they had been opening with Draw The Line. Unfortunately that song fell from the setlist for this leg. It’s my fave! They went right in to Love In An Elevator (gag) and that was my cue to go to the bathroom. I really dislike that era of Aerosmith in general, save for a few songs. As my buddy put it last night, “they played the soccer mom setlist.” No truer statement could be told. It was cool to hear Movin’ Out and Last Child, which was my brother’s (RIP) favorite song by them. Hearing that one definitely sent a little wave of emotion up through me. What It Takes sounded great and that’s probably my favorite song from that era of the band. There were a few songs from the new album played and of course they did Come Together (I detest the Beatles in general), Dude Looks like a Lady (gag), Walk This Way (heard too many times to enjoy), Dream On and Sweet Emotion. Right before Dream On, a piano was to rise up out of the runway portion of the stage. It seemed as if there was a Spinal Tap moment about to happen as the piano wouldn’t move. But it finally did and they played through the song perfectly. While I’ve heard that song too many times in a lifetime, I still like it.
Tyler’s voice sounded great and the energy that the man has is practically unparallelled by any rock singer. His interactions with the crowd and just overall gender bending charm are unmatched. I think he’s a freak of nature to have done the things to his body that he has done and still be able to perform at that level. It’s impressive. Perry played well but I’ve always thought of Whitford being the unsung hero of that band. That guy is a killer guitarist but gets zero credit. Joey Kramer, as always, played flawlessly. I love seeing him live. Let’s not forget Tom Hamilton. Talk about unsung. He’s a lot like Bill Wyman in that he’s seemingly the quiet one in the band but lays down low end perfectly. He and Joey are definitely in tune with each other as they should be after playing together for 40 years.
It was a great show and was my 3rd time seeing Aerosmith (’89 and ’93 previously). It was also my 3rd time for Cheap Trick (’99 and ’12).