*cut to a month+ later*
At this point I had talked myself into and out of the tickets NUMEROUS times, to the point I had missed out on the VIP Brad/Tom meet & greet. The reasoning behind this was complicated, but mainly boiled down to me being so overwhelmed with life, that the idea of traveling to a city I didn't know and going to a concert alone was too much for me to process. One night, I had enough of life trying to kick me while I was down, and decided I was fighting back, and fulfilling my promise to myself. Without letting myself think twice, I got online, booked one of the last remaining floor seats available, and a hotel for the night.
Once I got everything booked, I started thinking about the fact that I had to be in Rockwood (East TN) that weekend. Did it really make sense for me to drive back to Memphis on Thursday, and then over to Rockwood on Friday? So the wheels started turning again, and suddenly I had an entire road trip planned. Memphis --> Evansville --> Gatlinburg --> Rockwood --> Memphis. More on that to come.
The day of the concert arrived. I drove up to Evansville that morning/afternoon. Got checked in, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then went back to the room to get ready:
You remember here where I not only showed you the shoes, but told you about a ring I was ridiculously excited to wear to an Aero concert? Now you know why.
Had every intention of walking to the concert, because I didn't want to fool with moving my car, waiting on valet, etc. When I got outside the hotel, there happened to be a large group of people boarding a shuttle bus. I asked, and sure enough, AEROSMITH! "Sweet!", I thought. Save me the walking in heels. Had I known how that ride was going to go, I probably would've walked. The shuttle bus was packed, and I was one of the unlucky ones who had to stand. Let me tell you - trying to balance while standing in 4" heels in a moving shuttle bus when the driver is taking corners like she's in a friggin NASCAR race... not as easy as it sounds. Doesn't sound easy? Correct. Difficult. By the time we got there, my knees and calves were burning like I'd just done 3,000 squats.
After making my tour merch purchases and waiting in a RIDICULOUSLY slow line at the bar, I made my way to my seat. As I walked in the direction the usher pointed me to, I noticed I was getting closer... and closer... and closer to the stage. I knew my seats were good. I had no idea how good! I was two rows back from the center stage extension. So at this point I was shaking (literally) with excitement. To the extent that I had to put one of my drinks down (the only plus to the slow line - they DID let you buy two at a time) so I could hold the other with both hands so it didn't spill. Haha
Living Colour was the opening act, and very entertaining, considering I only know one of their songs, Cult of Personality. Corey Glover was having a blast interacting with fans. To the point that after taking numerous selfies while singing, he jumped down from the stage and headed into the crowd.
They, of course, closed with Cult of Personality. And then left the stage for the crew to begin preparing for Aerosmith. During our wait, The guy next to me began chatting about how long it had been since he'd seen Aerosmith (Original GNR was their opening act, if that tells you anything) and that he was so excited to be bringing his daughter to see them for the first time. If I were to guess, I'd say his daughter was maybe 10 or 12. Super cute.
The moment finally arrived, and Aerosmith started their set. Not only did they start their set, they started it RIGHT. IN FRONT. OF ME! I Periscoped this part, so I don't have a video. The show was awesome. HOWEVER: there were many oddities during the concert. I'll admit many of my Aero concerts I've been a bit inebriated. That being said, I remember a couple of shows that Joe was frustrated with the sound of his guitar. This show however, was different in that EVERY guitar change he did, he messed with the guitar for a long time. Almost like he hadn't bothered to do a sound check before the show. Several times during the show, Steven was calling for him to come join him center stage/stage extension, and JP was nowhere to be found. One point we could see JP, but he was messing with his guitar so much that Steven finally said "It sounds fine damnit, come play!" Given their toxic relationship, you always wonder how much is good-natured ribbing, and how much is tension. But the rest of the show they were giggling and grinning at each other, so I think it was all in good fun.
The JP guitar issues aside, there was also a LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNG delay between end of the concert and encore. Once they finally came out, Steven apologized for being late on the encore because he was on the phone wishing his daughter (Mia, I'm assuming?) a happy life because she just got married. Well, a couple things: 1) why schedule a concert on your daughter's wedding day? 2) you only had 2 songs left - since you're not there, can you not wait 10 more minutes to call?
When they went into Sweet Emotion as the finale, Steven said something about Brad getting off the phone. Well, lo and behold, you look over at Brad, and he's on a cell the entire first part of the song. Given I've seen them enough, I found this a smidge annoying, but mostly funny. However, I'd imagine first-time goers might've been more annoyed by it. The whole experience was just... odd. Like they were enjoying themselves so much that they thought they were in a casual environment where they could do whatever.
That being said, most of the concert was what they've done for the last couple of tours. The drum solo by Joey, where Steven comes out and plays over him. Dream On with the piano that JP gets on top of, etc etc. Awesome for first time goers, good/great for those of us that have seen it numerous times. One fun part that was different for this concert: it was Joey Kramer's birthday. The below video was right after he and Steven had finished the drum part I was talking about.
If you'd like to see the rest of the videos, just go to my YouTube (you'll see a bunch of other craziness, too).
And here are the rest of the pictures I took from that night (click image).
Leg one of Buggy's Road Trip: in the books. Or blog. Whatever.