Ladies and Gentlemen presenting the return of the Joe Perry Project, the band that features none other than veteran Rock guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith. This gig in and of itself would be cooler than cool but I had to say that the most interesting thing about it was that it came on the tail end of the news that long time singer Steven Tyler had quit the ranks of Aerosmith after fronting the band for almost forty years. Reported over a number of media outlets across the radio, internet and whatever else brings people the words of the day, this was news that no one really expected to hear and those who had seen the band while on tour over the summer with ZZ Top said they witnessed a band that was still on top of their game and showing many more years of rocking to come. It would be interesting to see what and if Joe mentioned about this tonight in front of his diehard fans in the Fillmore NY venue in The Big Apple. Given that it is not secret news I think everyone in the room was expecting some kind of statement from him about the situation and how Aerosmith intends to rectify it. Perry had a band called The Lost Souls opening up for them and they were a rocking three piece Funk Rock/Blues band for lack of a better term and I arrived a little later than planned and didn’t see their full set. I did enjoy what I saw however and would catch them again if at all possible. There was a lot of groove to their sound and the three musicians all delivered commendably. A quick set change was up next and Joe Perry was on the stage ready to Rock.
The guitarist opened his night by saying “let’s just clear the shit that is in the air tonight by letting the music do the talking” and then it was on as he and the powerhouse band rocked into the number that bears the same name. This is one of my favorite songs from his catalog of originals and as you might know as an Aerosmith fan, the band also redid a version of this tune over the course of their career. After playing “Vigilante Man” Joe would talk about his new album which is called “Have Guitar Will Travel” and the next tune up would be the first single from the release and called “We’ve Got A Long Way To Go”. I had not yet heard the new disc but it was clear from the sound of this tune that it was going to continue the musician’s delivery of sound Blues based Rock without a doubt. An Aerosmith number would come next with “Get The Lead Out” and onto another new one via “Slingshot”. They got back into the Aerosmith groove by doing a kick ass rendition of “Other Side” and I had to say that the bands new German singer Hagen did an amazing Steven Tyler mimic. He was apparently found on YouTube by Perry’s wife Billie and this follows in the tradition of singers being discovered via this medium. Flash backward a couple of years to when Journey found their new front man Arnel Pineda via the same online outlet and as result selling out stadiums everywhere. My advice to Hagen is to start working out on the catalog of Aerosmith tunes because they might have some need of you if things don’t pan out the way that they should.
A very rocking and almost “punkish” number was the steaming “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” and I believe that Joe referred to this as a cover tune but I might have been mistaken. I do know that it is on the new release as well and he would follow this one with the albums next single in “Do You Wonder”. They would do a slightly Reggae tinted “Dream On” which was interesting and soon do a song that was called “Scare The Cat” because it very simply scared his cat when he first played it at his home. “Toys In The Attic” was to be the main sets rousing closing number and everyone was singing along and some where dancing as well but as the night drew to its apparent close the air was not only buzzing from the electric Rock an Roll that was shaking the room but from the secreted to the stage guest that some fans saw coming in. Yes believe it or not the one and only Steven Tyler was at The Fillmore NY and soon on the stage after surprising everyone in the place by walking right in the front door with a ticket in his hand. A contact at the front gate said that the singer walked right in and said “where is he?” to replies of right upstairs. Security and the singers own bodyguards made sure that he made it up there unstopped by the fans that were having coronary at the sight of him and at one point my own vantage point found me pretty much standing right next to him. I thought I was imagining things and wondered if I had been served something a lot stronger instead of the light beer I had ordered but I was not mistaken at all. Tyler was up on the stage with Perry and took the microphone saying “New York City, let me use my big mouth to tell you all that I am NOT leaving Aerosmith”. This was obviously met with a crescendo of applause and they slammed into a kick ass version of “Walk This Way” together. Hagen joined in with Tyler for a couple of bars and the screams went into overdrive as Tyler bared his chest to the crowd. After the song he hugged Perry and was gone in a flash that was faster than he has even arrived. Joe would close out the night with “Stop Messin’ Around” which was originally supposed to come before “Walk” but swapped when Tyler made his grand entrance.
Outside of Joe’s previously released solo material, the evening would deliver a set that included six Aerosmith classics and a total of five numbers from the new album. It was a very quick moving night and the Steven Tyler walk on seemed like a dream as the house lights came on. The news would be a buzz over the next few days after the show and the bands future together is still not etched in stone. Perry would be opening up for Motley Crue on one of the short touring adventures and no further words as to Tyler remaining or leaving or anything for that matter had been heard but let’s hope for their opting to remain as working together colleagues. While a number of bands had and have moved on from each other, there is one unit that I feel would not be able to work through it and that is Aerosmith. At this point in their career if Tyler quits for whatever reason then the band will not be the same at all and its fan base will respond to a new face much worse than the KISS diehards do to a band that put legacy makeup on new players. My fingers are crossed even though Hagen does an amazing job at Tyler’s material as well as Joe’s. Overall the night sounded great and Joe, when he did choose to speak did this humbly. He gave a shout out to his wife who was in the audience and also to one of his sons who performs in the band Tab. A bunch of guitar picks were tossed out and I caught view of one of them and noted that they bore his name. That was sure to make some of the collectors in the audience happy tonight.
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PiercingMetal.com caught Joe Perry performing a special set of music with his sons in Tab The Band at a club called The Annex a couple of years ago and this was done in celebration of some Aerosmith music being used in the “Guitar Hero II” video game. Needless to say it was a great night of fun for all involved. Check out our words and images from that show by clicking HERE.
Official Web Site: www.joeperry.com
Official Web Site: www.aerosmith.com
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