Well the tour is chugging along and heating up. It is currently 97 degrees at nearly midnight in Dallas.
In Montreal the band played at the Laval Nature Center with Tab the Band. It was cool seeing Joe and Steven watching side stage for the entire set. Tom and Brad came up for some support too. I’m not just saying this but these guys are a well-oiled machine and can play power pop with the best of them. The apples don’t fall far from the trees. I have known these kids since they were in short pants and they are going to show you guys what they’re made of. Go check out their tunes on iTunes and see them when they come to your town. It was truly a family affair that night. More on the extended Aero family a bit later in this report.
|Tab the Band. |
No trip to Montreal would be complete without a visit or 3 to Schwartz’s Deli in Old Montreal. These guys do the best smoked meat sandwich you’re ever going to find and they were enjoyed thoroughly by the twins of toxic on their way to Newfoundland.
|Joe with Montreal's finest! Photo by John Bionelli |
The guys played to 105,000 peeps in Quebec City at the Festival d’ete de Quebec. Old friend and former Boston Bruin Joe Juneau came by to see his old beantown buds. Joe is now retired and keeps his chops up by playing the drums in his home just outside of Quebec. He was seen studying the Krame-Dog’s every move during his solo but doesn’t think his fragile paws would be up to the pounding that Joey puts on his skins.
Newfoundland was a first for Aerosmith and was the closest I got to where my grandparents are from in a long time. The band played the yearly Salmon Festival and expected to bring home coolers filled with the Atlantic’s finest Salmo Salar. Instead we were told it was out of season and had to settle for chicken in the catering tent. Go figure!
|Salmon Festival lineup. Photo by John Bionelli |
Boston up next!
Of course when the guys play Boston you are going to hear from relatives and friends you haven’t heard from since…well the last time Aerosmith played Boston. But for these two shows it seemed like they were coming out of the woodwork. The guys were visited by a bunch of old friends backstage. David Hull and local blues legend James Montgomery, Gary Cherone and Curt Schilling where there to name a few. Hopefully you fellow Bostonians won’t have to wait long for the boys from Comm. Ave to come back and play where the spoke B’s play.
|Steven with Boston Blues legend James Montgomery! Photo by John Bionelli |
Philly was sold out and packed to the rafters. Cherry bombs and Zippos are now replaced with the warm glow of cell phone lighters and it’s quite a site to see 15,000 people holding up those PDA’s at the beginning of “Dream On.”
The Meadowlands in NJ feels like home with a slightly different smell. The old building off 16W still rocks and on this night no one went home disappointed unless someone broke into your car and stole the change out of your ashtray during the show.
On our way to Atlanta, Joe and family stopped at the Georgia Guidestones. These amazing massive stones are out in the middle of nowhere. Next to them is a time capsule that was buried in 1980. I couldn’t help to think that along with a Betamax, Sony Walkman, floppy discs and Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits there is a case of Billy Beer waiting to be tapped. I can’t really figure out what the Georgia Guidestones are all about or doing there for that matter so I will leave that up to you guys to do the research.
|Your's truly with Joe at the Georgia Guidestones. Photo by Billie Perry |
Hotlanta was rocking with the return of “Same Old Song and Dance” complete with Mindi Abair sax solo and then it was on to Dallas via New Orleans where once again the Boneyard on wheels dropped anchor on Bourbon Street for the better part of the day. Joe and clan’s first stop was Café du Monde for some Beignets and coffee before popping into the Acme Oyster House and just about every shop in the French Quarter.
Dallas is one of those places that when we get the first draft of the touring itinerary you kind of sigh with relief. It’s always a great show and always a blast. If you kept hearing Steven’s reference to Ron Ross during the show that’s because the famous Ron Ross was in attendance sporting his Riff Raff look. Ron has been at Hit Records since 1975 and has always been a huge Aerosmith supporter. When in Dallas visit Hit Records and tell him Steven sent you.
|Ron Ross. Photo: John B. |
You may have been wondering whom the stunningly handsome gentleman playing percussion right behind Joe Perry’s wall of sound is? Well it’s none other than Jesse Kramer. The Krame-Pup’s day job is setting up his Pappy’s drums and making sure everything is good to go for the show, but once you hear that eerily familiar voice before the first chords of “Draw the Line” you will see Jesse as a one man percussion ensemble. He adds a bed of sound to an array of Aerosmith classics and future classics. He is an alum of my employee of the week and a helluva nice guy.
Also in Dallas, Brad’s son Harry came up to deliver some sizzling guitar work in Last Child. Do you guys see a theme here? Harry can also been seen playing guitar in Davina Leone’s song “Flashback” (check it out on youtube) and alongside the incredible Joe Bonamassa.
|Harrysmith? Photo by Robert Knight |
If your counting that’s 4 of the band member’s off spring to grace the same stages as their famous father’s and I got to tell you folks there are more of these kids waiting in the wings.
Pesky shutterbug Ross Halfin’s been causing quite a stir lately. He roams the stage with reckless abandon looking for the next great shot. Our favorite Lobsterback will be popping up at various stops throughout the tour so if he gets in your way politely ask him to move and I am sure he will oblige without incident.
|Ross Halfin gets in Joey's face! Photo by Apple Mike |
Russ Irwin is back onstage with the big boys for the 15th straight year, singing like a bird and banging the horse teeth. Russ has a solo album out with a bunch of his famous friends on it. Go check it out and give it a spin. I’m sure you will be able to get it at Ron Ross’s Hit Records.
Employee of the Week goes to Joe’s bus driver Mark Langley. Mark has been driving Joe’s coach since 2000. He has been driving bands around North America since 1996. I have been lucky enough to able to hear his numerous stories sitting along side of him in the passenger seat and have never heard the same story twice. He is our Ferdinand Magellan.
|Mark Langley and friends. Photo by John Bionelli |
See you on the Road!