“This is where it started and this is where it will never end!” So said Steven Tyler at Aerosmith‘s free concert on the streets of Boston in front of 1325 Commonwealth Avenue, the apartment where the band began about four decades ago.
Lifelong Beatles fans, Aerosmith had their “Abbey Road” moment Monday afternoon (November 5), but instead of playing from the top of the building, they played from the street in front of the entrance. And while this won’t be their last gig (as the Beatles’ Abbey Road performance was), it was still a reminder of what a powerful live band Aerosmith is… at least, when they leave their interpersonal drama behind.
The event started at around noon: after driving across Boston in a convoy of “duck” vehicles (they drive on land and in water, and are frequently used in the tourist industry) they came to their destination in front of their old apartment, where they were presented with “game balls” from New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, a longtime Aerosmith fan and friend, accompanied by some members of the team, and, of course, the Patriots Cheerleaders.
And then it was time to rock. Aerosmith didn’t just do an abbreviated version of their usual set; instead, they opened with three tracks from their 1973 self-titled debut: their cover of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ The Dog” (which had previously been covered by their idols, The Rolling Stones), “Movin’ Out” and “Mama Kin.” Tyler noted that “Movin’ Out” was the first song that he and guitarist Joe Perry ever wrote together, and that they wrote it in that very building. Perry pointed to a “gorgeous blonde” in a window of one of the apartments, and noted that that was where they used to rehearse.
After that old-school trifecta, they turned their attention to their new album, Music From Another Dimension!, due out tomorrow (November 6). They played “Lover Alot,” the one song on the album that all the members had a co-writing credit on, perhaps a nod to the band’s re-charged solidarity. But then, they quickly darted back to the ’70s with “Back In The Saddle” and “Sweet Emotion.”
Curiously, they skipped their entire ’80s and ’90s era, concentrating on their early days (an obvious nod to their surroundings) and the present. The Joe Perry-penned “Oh Yeah” from the new album got a great reaction from the audience, and then they wrapped with “Walk This Way,” before blasting confetti into the audience. If Tyler announced “This is where it started and where it will never end” three or four years ago, it might not have sounded credible. But today, after playing a strong set to thousands of fans on the streets of Boston where they began, and with a new album due within 24 hours, it rang true.
– Brian Ives, CBS Local