It’s a long story.
And stories come best with chapters that coalesce into a whole; and it’s a long trip to Laval and Centre de la Nature for a rock’n’roll narrative from the Last Band that seems to know how to do this.
After the Sam Roberts Band had played their own tough set, crunching through road-hardened versions of Brother Down and a remarkable Mind Flood for the hometowners, it was time to see what a band that should have long ago gassed its legacy and energy on a gutter-opera of breakups and TV stardom redux had left in the tank.
As it turned out, 20,000 fans in the splendour of outdoor Laval learned not what Aerosmith had to, but wanted, to prove.
And it was long and plenty. Steven Tyler led the way, resplendent in shades and grey topper and scarvey caftan, with Joe Perry in spangled jacket with white-streaked warlock hair, playing slide for the sober version of one of their druggiest songs, Draw The Line. The first topless chick arrived on boyfriend shoulders. This would not be the corporate arena set. The caftan was doffed and this was balls-out ‘70s-driven Aerosmith, delivered by a band more ragged and dirty than expected.
Tyler was working through all his moves – the stompy spinarama, the hands-clutching-hair, the mic-stand humping – and for a moment, with Draw The Line nastier than anyone had a right to expect, and a singer who kept throwing his arm over his guitarist’s shoulder for that ugly intimacy at the mic, this seemed like a previous era. Perhaps better. As backup singers hidden behind the amps filled out the harmonies, Tyler was finishing Love In An Elevator with “Aw, cameras, get outta here! I’m shy!” They would deal with a large Livin’ on the Edge and Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees) and Jaded, and then lean back into their real era.
Read the entire article at The Montreal Gazette