Aerosmith Rocks Melbourne

aerosmith_postI awoke on Sunday morning with my fingers contorted into a strange position. On closer inspection, I discovered that they were merely preempting the day’s forthcoming activities and had forged themselves into an undeniable rock horn pose. Yes… Today was the day I would experience the stellar lineup that was due to culminate with no other than rock royalty, Aerosmith.

The outdoor venue, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, looked a little dubious earlier in the day as grey clouds threatened to rain on the parade of many an already washed-up rock fan in attendance. But the Rock Gods smiled upon us and the clouds parted, allowing punters to mix their Jim Beams and power riffs ‘neath Melbourne’s autumn sun.

Due to a mid afternoon scheduled start and some difficult decisions to be made at the food stalls (fried or steamed dim-sims), we missed all but the final song of the first act- Diva Demolition. I was eager to catch one of my perennial favourite bands- Spiderbait- up next, but felt that the early billing combined with the ever complacent Melbourne crowd resulted in a performance that left me wanting more. Next up were The Dead Daisys, fronted by ex-Noiseworks lead singer, Jon Stevens. Whilst I didn’t know any of their songs, they certainly got the party started, including playing a gutsy tribute to the late, great Chrissy Amphlett. Grinspoon followed with a frenetic-paced set that one again proved that they haven’t lost their edge and that Phil Jamison would be a formidable interpretative dance opponent.

The precursor to the headline act was Wolfmother, apparently performing their last ever show as Wolfmother, but according to Andrew Stockdale, releasing new material and staying together as they are, but just being referred to as Andrew Stockdale from now on…… O-kay!!! Egos aside (if that’s possible) the afro-toting lads delivered their unique blend of psychedelic rock to a crowd that I suspect couldn’t have given a shit about what the band was called as long as they continued to play that sweet, sweet music!

And then it was time, after 22 years of waiting, for the Aerosmith juggernaut to take flight. From the moment that Steve Tyler sauntered onto the runway, he reinforced why, at 65 years of age, he is still rocking out with the bands less than half his age…because he can! His voice, seemingly unaffected by the years of substance abuse, remained pitch perfect and intoxicating. His presence was unashamedly ostentatious, yet undeniably mesmerising. The eternal showman, Tyler seamlessly seduced the female fans and struck windswept poses in various locations around the stage, all the while belting out track after track of crowd favourites.

Standout numbers for me were the possibly semi-autobiographical, Dude Looks Like A Lady; a song that always takes me back to my angst-riddled teen years, What It Takes; and my long term favourite, Dream On, befittingly performed both on and atop a white grand piano and climaxing amid a propulsion of smoke and explosion of confetti. The solid two-hour set was a perfect blend of old school rock ‘n roll and a homage to their hometown blues roots.

It was my first and possibly my last ever live experience of Aerosmith and it is certainly one that will remain with me for years to come.

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