MANILA, Philippines—They’re proud to show off the wear and tear of physical age.
The members of the rock band icon Aerosmith, led by 65-year-old frontman Steven Tyler, wore only open vests and trousers for the most part of their SM Mall of Asia Arena concert on Wednesday but appeared mighty proud to be “slaves to their music.”
Guitarist Joe Perry, drummer Joey Kramer, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist David Hull, percussionist Jesse Sky Kramer and lead vocalist Tyler, old rockers that they are, had screaming teenage fans, professionals and senior citizens all waving their arms to the sound of their hard rock music, and paying as much as P20,000 each to see them in the flesh.
Aerosmith performed in front of 10,618 Manila fans at the 11,800-capacity arena, doing what made them global hard rock icons.
The Manila concert was the only Asian stop (aside from playdates in Japan later this year) in its grueling “Global Warming Tour” that would see the 43-year-old band perform in over 58 venues around the world since the tour began May last year. It had earlier canceled its Jakarta, Indonesia, concert because of “security concerns.”
Demon of Screamin’
Tyler, who has been dubbed the “Demon of Screamin’” for a vocal range rarely matched in rock music, reasserted his singing style in virtually all of the 19 songs the band performed Wednesday night. The man had boundless energy, although visibly tempered by decades of performing and living the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
His showmanship was shared, in particular, with Perry and Kramer, the latter performing a five-minute drum solo that brought the crowd to its feet. During the show, Tyler would often walk up to Perry and sing inches from his face, the two men’s long, wavy locks intertwining while Tyler’s screams and Perry’s guitar riffs would seemingly meld.
Tyler’s moves onstage were fascinatingly unconventional, reflecting dance residues of long-drawn out Woodstock festivals of the ’70s. He gyrated, shuffled, shimmied and pirouetted playfully, like the other iconic rock frontman Mick Jagger. This time, though, the crowd must have been thinking “moves like Tyler.”
The MOA Arena concert stage that jutted out to the front at the standing room VIP crowd with a 50-foot elevated walkway, and side ramps that connected with the lower box section, must have been set up to accommodate Tyler’s unpredictable stage antics. He took a skullcap from a fan, wore it for a few dance moves, and threw it back out.
He walked up the side ramps, dragging his mike stand wrapped in his trademark brightly colored scarfs and hugged a throng of surprised and shrieking female teenagers, all the while not missing a beat. He crawled over the monitors and speakers on the edge of the main stage and for 15 seconds stared at a male spectator who was visibly too stunned to do anything back.
Later on, a white grand piano was carried up on stage and placed on the edge of the walkway. There, Tyler performed one of the band’s earliest hits, the 1973 power ballad “Dream On,” with the dramatic effect of Perry standing on top of the piano doing his thing, and four smoke machines erupting steam around the duo during the song’s climax.
The “Global Warming Tour” promotes the band’s new album “Music from Another Dimension!” released November 2012. Expectedly, Aerosmith received the loudest applause when it performed its greatest hits “Jaded,” “Crying,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “Livin’ on the Edge,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Walk This Way,” “Dream on,” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
Tyler began the night screaming “Manila, mabuhay (Long live Manila)!” and ended it with “Mahal ko kayo, Manila (I love you, Manila)” amid raining white confetti.