The opening of Aerosmith’s “Blue Army Tour” in Glendale, Arizona played out like a well-timed victory lap last night before lead singer Steven Tyler leaves to pursue a country music career.
At Gila River Arena, Aerosmith played each song with the energy of an encore during the 90-minute show. The enthusiasm — from the band and the sold-out crowd — was palpable from the opener, “Draw the Line,” from the 1977 album of the same name. Though the show was clearly crowd-pleasing, Aerosmith avoided some of their biggest hits, including “Jaded,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “Crazy,” “Come Together” and “Amazing.” There were plenty of deep cuts, however, including “Monkey on My Back” and “No More No More.”
A catwalk, on which Tyler spent most of his time, jetted out into the middle of the floor. Tyler rocked a pirate-esque mustache, black-and-white patterned pants and a red shirt under a white vest. Scarves played a heavy and familiar role in the show, as they were wrapped around the mic stand. At one point, a fan tossed a feather boa onstage, which Tyler proudly put down the back of his pants to act like a tail. As a juxtaposition, Joe Perry donned a simple black leather jacket and an unbuttoned shirt that revealed his über-tanned chest.
“Cryin’” and “Dream On” were highlights of the show, with Tyler shouting the high notes, and “Monkey on My Back” and “Back in the Saddle” were rollicking throughout. For the latter, Brad Whitford played most of the guitar and lead parts, while Perry slung a baritone guitar around his neck. Perry, who had numerous guitar changes, switched to a lap steel for “Ragdoll.”
Perry told the crowd he was going to play a little blues from their album Honkin’ on Bobo, which ended up being “Stop Messin’ Around” by Fleetwood Mac. Tyler introduced “Mama Kin” by saying the band was going to return to its first album with the song he hoped would be a hit. The crowd then sang the chorus to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” From the slickness of that theme song to the movie Armageddon, the band made a 180 to the Toys in the Attic cut “No More No More.”
Aerosmith, who was joined by keyboardist Buck Johnson, finished their main set with “Walk This Way,” a song that resurrected the classic rock band’s career. But they weren’t done just yet.
“I fuckin’ love you,” Tyler said upon returning to the stage for the encore. “You sang every word.” They closed the show with an enthusiastic tear through “Sweet Emotion.”
“Draw the Line”
“Love in an Elevator”
“Living on the Edge”
“Monkey on My Back”
“Toys in the Attic’
“Back in the Saddle”
“Stop Messin’ Around”
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
“No More No More”
“Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”
“Walk this Way”