Concert Reviews

Aerosmith at the Pepsi Center, with Cheap Trick, 8/1/12

Page 2 of 3

If that last part -- the presence of real live Rock and Roll Hall of Famers -- wasn't clear to the Pepsi Center's packed-in legions of merch purchasers and moms, the band's hypnotic, robotic intro let us in on the secret early on. "You are about to enter a great invention," a very Kraftwerkian voice announced, "an experience of awe and mystery...from which you may never return." Cue: Joe Perry and Steve Tyler shooting from the stage, bedazzled and unbuttoned, as if expelled from some invisible whale's blowhole.

Slide show: Aerosmith brings its mojo to Denver

Brandishing his ribbon-laced mike stand like a samurai sword, Tyler checked in with the crowd ("Was that good enough for yo ass?") before showing off both his abs and a vocal range as impressive as Mariah Carey's. (VH1 reality show pitch: Diva Duels.) Throughout early hits including "Love in an Elevator" and "Livin' on the Edge," Tyler whirled like a spin cycle across the stage and its center island while howling, at full volume with full technical skill, the songs on which his band built its career. Laugh at his American Idol stint, call him a has-been, judge his book on whatever cover you want -- but then listen to that voice. Are we done now?

Behind him -- and occasionally, to force awe and wonder in the audience, beside him -- Joe Perry shredded his guitar like the lining of a birdcage while stomping on the band's own logo projected on the floor below him. During Aerosmith's two-hour show, the guys indulged both the crowd and themselves, performing into the camera as much as out of it and allowing each member an extensive solo.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kelsey Whipple
Contact: Kelsey Whipple