Aerosmith rocks in & out

A Tulsa Today Special Review

There were many highpoints and some low points to this night of music industry heavyweights that blew into town on Thursday night.

“Blew” may be the right choice of words as the sets were not very long at all, both ZZ and Aerosmith only played for just over an hour.  Considering the bill, this show could have easily lasted around 4 hours, with two hours for each performer.

Although highly entertaining, it did seem a little short.

Especially after reports from “Live Daily” stated that Aerosmith would be doing a set that included the entire “Toys in the Attic” album.
The show, which was sponsored by Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, was kicked off by two local teens that came to the stage to play the game in front of a massive crowd.
In what had to be a huge thrill for them to play in front of such an audience, they ripped through “Rag Doll” as if playing the song for real, complete with over the head guitar work and Joe Perry-esique theatrics.

After a short intermission, the stage gave way to a stripped down look as the lights went out to thunderous ovation as ZZ Top took the stage.

The “Lil’ Ol’ Band from Texas” kicked into “Under Pressure” complete with synchronized movement from Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill.

Nothing against the Top’s stint, which included staples such as "Gimme All Your Lovin’," "Sharp Dressed Man," "Cheap Sunglasses" and "Legs."

But it’s clear these veteran rockers belong making groove-heavy blues-rock for the fans, not MTV where they gained fans in the ’80s and ’90s.

The group which worked with Jimi Hendrix in the early part of their career did a great cover of “Foxy Lady.”

Gibbons shined on guitar as usual, still one of the best and most underrated guitarist working today.

A good set, but they did leave the audience wanting for more as they left the stage without an encore.

This may have been due to the band having just been here to open up the new Spirit Bank Event Center less than a year ago.

In contrast, it has been over 20 years since Aerosmith has played Tulsa.  In a set up that lasted about an hour and featured a large curtain with the bands logo on it, the crowd began to cheer from behind the stage area, as the band started onto the stage.

With the house lights still up, you could hear guitar chords and drums being struck. Still, there was no darkness in the venue.

It wasn’t until the first drum kick and lick of “Eat the Rich” started that the lights went out.  The curtain actually fell before, it seemed to me, the BOK was ready for them to start.  Which only looks to have added to the haste in which the Boys from Boston wanted to play and go.

One person made comment that the show “seemed like a drive by.”

Meaning that this was not a particularly large venue and they were ready to move on to a more elaborate place to play.

There wasn’t a great deal of audience interaction from Steven Tyler as you would have expected there to be.  Noticeably absent was bassist Tom Hamilton, who is still recovering from surgery.

Guitarist Joe Perry did make mention that he was “doing very well and that they spoke with him everyday.”

David Hull did fill in very well and had a scorching bass solo of sorts that was a stand out of the evening.  Song highlights included, “Dream On” in which Tyler stood on the stage’s catwalk as a fan blew his hair and a wall of steam rose up from the floor.

“Love in an Elevator” was given an added theatric boost as light rigs and a LED screen rose and fell throughout that song as though they were, well elevators.  A very cool effect.

The evening was, as I said entertaining, but like Jerry Seinfeld, left us wanting more.  Only one encore song and they were gone as quickly as they came.

Hopefully, it will not be another 20 plus years to make it back to share another 90 minutes with Tulsa.

About the writer:
Ernie Osborn is a California transplant that has been around the music business much of his life. He has been in bands and currently plays guitar and sings when called upon to do so.