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Aerosmith: Live in Bangalore

By Avijit Michael | June 5, 2007

Photographs by Vandana Menon | Click here to launch gallery

Split Magazine Aerosmith BangaloreDespite ominous predictions from the Met. Department of an early monsoon in Bangalore, a crowd of over 25,000 thronged Palace grounds, the tired venue of so many mind-blowing concerts, as it played host to yet another international gig. Fortunately, our weathermen got their forecast wrong, as is expected of their kind; the skies were clear, the moon was full and people were pushing this way and that to get the best spots in front of the stage.

The evening opened with five lucky winners of a Royal Challenge contest playing air guitar to Aerosmith tracks, the best ‘air-guitarist’ was slated to win a real guitar signed by the band, not bad, huh? While the contestants made fools of themselves on stage, the crowd mulled around waiting for the Granddaddies of American Rock to make their presence felt.

Then suddenly, well past the scheduled start, the lights went off and everyone went crazy as images of the band flashed on the giant LED screen that made the backdrop of the stage. The video montage concluded with the Indian flag waving in the wind and BOOM, the “bad boys from Boston” were on stage, singing “Taste of India” to the screaming fans. But of course it was obvious that this song would be in the set.

Tyler jumped around wildly, decked up in his staple crotch-hugging jeans, a black vest, a leather hat and the definitive “hippie rags” that he always wears around his neck, and microphone stand. Meanwhile Perry, dressed in an overcoat with a scarf around his neck, swaggered about with his guitar as the band made a smooth transition into “Love in an Elevator”, following it up with a tight rendition of “Falling in Love (is Hard on the Knees)”. By this time there were a number of women who had passed out and had to be carried to the sidelines by worried male companions. Obviously Aerosmith still has that effect on women, even though they are all pushing sixty.

Then there was a pause while Steven Tyler yelled “Bangalore!!!”, “Namaste!!!”, and other such things that International musicians must yell when they are in India. After having got a sufficient number of crowd pops the band went on to play “Cryin’”, while visuals of the pretty Alicia Silverstone (from the song’s video) were displayed on screen. Steven Tyler took the opportunity to reach out to the appreciative audience on the extreme left of the stage, by thrusting the ample bulge in his pants towards them. This, of course, caused more women to pass out, even as they screamed out the obscenities they wished Tyler or Perry would do to them.

After this they had the audience jumping with a tight performance of “Eat the Rich” and over here Tom Hamilton took a tour of the sides of the stage. Brad Whitford stood pretty much rock steady in his designated spot through the entire show; he seemed rather unrecognisable with dark-glasses and a cap covering his messy hair, while Joey Kramer belted away at his kit as he usually does.

The band went on to play “Jaded” and “Honking on Bobo”, where Tyler played the blues harp followed by some neat soloing by Joe Perry. After this they took a breather and got a couple of wooden chairs out on the ramp and Perry and Tyler did some acoustic stuff, which I was unable to recognize, perhaps from their upcoming album. The crowd got a bit restive during this interlude but were back on their feet again as the band turned the knob back to full power with the hit single “Dream On”, where Tyler showed that his vocal prowess is as big as his mouth. Perry’s fingers blazed on his fretboard and a woman next to me wished he would take her then and there.

There were a number of women who had passed out and had to be carried to the sidelines by worried male companions. Obviously Aerosmith still has that effect on women, even though they are all pushing sixty.

After they played “Living on the Edge”, Hamilton walked up to the front of the ramp and started off “Sweet Emotion” with a nice bass solo. Now during this song Joe Perry started going crazy on a theremin, alternating between causing his guitar to wail followed by the screeching of the theremin. This was pretty insane, and I never knew he could play a theremin — I don’t know of many artists who play the theremin live anyway.

Unfortunately, Bangalore’s infamous early deadline didn’t have them playing a very long set and the audience was left shouting for many of the classics like “Janie’s Got a Gun” and “Rag Doll”. Just as the crowd was starting to leave Tyler came running out onto stage asking if he had indeed heard the crowd chant “one more”. A couple more tracks and they wound up on the sappy “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and I don’t think there was a single lady who didn’t sing along as Steven walked around bare chested.

Picks, clothes, and a miscellany of things flew into the audience as the band thanked the crowd for being a great audience and left. Disappointed women hung by the stage screaming for Joe Perry’s shirt. “He was absolutely yummy,” commented a friend of mine.

Apart from a slightly dull PA and some surprisingly bad event organisation, especially for the press, the show was legendary, another tick mark on the list of ageing rockstars who have made the trip to India. The audience may have been slightly disappointed by the set list lacking some favourites, and personally I was hoping to see Tyler do a backflip. However, the stage antics still lived up, the visuals were pretty cool and the wardrobe changes were extravagant. Everyone seemed happy and exhausted as they left, forced out of the venue by Bangalore’s fine police force.


7 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. June 5, 2007, 11:26 am Pratap

    Awesome pictures Vandana!

  2. June 6, 2007, 1:09 pm Berges

    Hey gr8 review fo the event and even gr8ter pics keep up the gr8 work SPLIT!

  3. June 7, 2007, 12:51 am Prash

    good review & even better pics !

  4. June 7, 2007, 2:09 am Bhavita

    grandadies of rock huh!?:P
    well…a mass hysteria was only expected..but they DIDNT PLAY ‘CRAZY’!!!!how cud they not play ‘Crazy”!?! oh well..cant even say “there will b a next time..!”never mind them cancellin the mumbai tour…:(

  5. June 7, 2007, 2:35 am Happy Wolf

    Wow ! thats incredible to read , i’m sad i missed it

  6. August 10, 2007, 4:18 pm Nikhil

    amazing gig! was right at the front!! those guys had the energy of teenagers i should say!! certainly not cheesy at all…

  7. October 15, 2007, 5:52 pm Nikhil

    Those acoustic songs were not from the NEW album… The first was a little part of “Hangman Jury” from the “Permanent Vacation” album… and the other was “Seasons of Wither” from the “Get your wings” album. They haven’t played “Hangman jury” since i saw them a while ago in Melbourne. The second time was EVEN BETTER! Got to see them play “Taste of India”.


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