TVD Live Shots: Aerosmith at MGM National Harbor, 8/10

TOP TWO IMAGES: ZACK WHITFORDAerosmith, the bad boys from Boston, brought their “Deuces are Wild” Las Vegas residency show to the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland for three dates which concluded this past Tuesday.

Named after the track originally recorded for their 1989 album Pump, and not released until 1994 for The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, the “Deuces” run includes 35 shows spread out among the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, the Borgata in Atlantic City, the MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, and finally the Park Theater in Las Vegas beginning in late September.

It’s hard to pigeonhole a band like Aerosmith. Not only has the band been a major player in the rock music scene from their inception in 1970, they practically define the genre for those of us who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. The band up and ran with the baton passed from mega-rock predecessors like Led Zeppelin, the New York Dolls, and the Rolling Stones, and they’ve done a hell of a job reaching new audiences and a new crop of fans. Their music has definitely inspired generations, and icon status fits the band quite well.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the band’s colossal rock anthem, “Dream On” from their 1973 self titled debut. Songs like these don’t come easily and it reflects the breadth and uniqueness of Aerosmith’s best material. Fast forward to 1987 when I’d argue the band re-found their spirit with the pristine sounds on Permanent Vacation. From that point forward no one could escape their commercial success. Their next two studio releases, Pump (1989) and Get a Grip (1993), further cemented their status as reigning rock kings.

Saturday night’s performance at the MGM was a full-blown rock and roll experience. Steven Tyler and the boys appeared suddenly, and perfectly poised atop the elevated center stage’s mechanical drum riser. Huge video boards stretched from floor to ceiling behind them, alternating between their winged logo, a live video feed, and iconic video clips from the band’s MTV heyday.

Getting right to it, Aerosmith blasted off with an enthusiastic version of “Train Kept A-Rollin'” pausing for just a moment as the drum heavy intro to the classic, “Eat the Rich” took the forefront. A short change afterward found Joe Perry with his pedal steel for the unique guitar lines of “Rag Doll.”

Later Tom Hamilton took center stage for a long bass intro to “Sweet Emotion,” followed by a center stage acoustic sit down with Tyler and Perry for an intimate version of “Hangman Jury,” “Seasons of Wither,” and “Stop Messing Around” with Perry on vocals. The crowd went crazy for the ’90s classics “Crying” and “Living on the Edge,” followed by “Same Old and Song and Dance” before a sort of awkward “Happy Birthday” to their tour manager with a wheeled out birthday cake.

The final stretch of the evening included “Love in an Elevator,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Toys in the Attic” before the encore. Tyler laid down on stage as a piano slowly arose and he proceeded to play a beautiful intro to an unforgettable performance of “Dream On.” The set concluded on a huge note with an killer rendition of their most well-known song, “Walk This Way.”

As we approach the band’s 50 year anniversary, there has been talk about yet another Aerosmith tour to celebrate the milestone, and according to Joe Perry’s Twitter, he and Tyler are working toward recording material for a new Aerosmith album in the coming year. I suppose at this point we’ll have to wait and see what happens and enjoy the “Deuces are Wild” run while we can.

SETLIST
The Train Kept A-Rollin’
Eat the Rich
Rag Doll
Last Child
Sweet Emotion
Hangman Jury
Seasons of Wither
Stop Messin’ Around
Cryin’
Livin’ on the Edge
Same Old Song and Dance
What It Takes
Love in an Elevator
Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Toys in the Attic

ENCORE
Dream On
Walk This Way

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