Aerosmith: Live at Helsinki, FINLAND

Spread the metal:

07.07 2007

Hartwall Arena, Helsinki


The Boston-based Aerosmith was one of the biggest rock bands of the ’70s. Even then, the band had a unique ability to pull off both ballads and rockers, which brought them numerous gold and platinum albums. “Toys in the Attic,” “Rocks,” and “Draw the Line,” amongst others, are undeniable classics. After a while, though, things started to change. In the early ’80s, the group lost their original lineup, and soon after, their audiences began to disappear. It didn’t help when some of the band members started to suffer from serious intoxicant problems. The band nearly destroyed itself, but somehow they managed to pull their act together. In the mid-’80s, Aerosmith accomplished one of the most successful comebacks in history. The band returned to the top of the charts with a series of albums like “Pump” and “Get a Grip,” they even managed to top the sales of their ’70s album with MTV’s help. To this day, Aerosmith remains one of the biggest live acts in the rock world.

In the summer of 2007, it was a pleasure to see that Hartwall Arena is now sold out with over 12 000 tickets sold. Actually, they now did away better than what they did on their last tour here in 1997, and that’s simply amazing because the band hasn’t released a solid studio album since 2001, “Just Push Play.”

The band’s set started with the 80’s classic “Love In An Elevator” from the “Pump” album at tonight’s show. Right from the beginning, it was relieving to discover that these guys had still “got it.” It was amazing to see how Tyler and Perry, who once were known as the “toxic twins” because of their drug and drinking habits, are still in top shape both artistically as well as physically. Old 70’s gem “Same Old Song and Dance” followed next, and, as it often goes, it was amusing to notice how “MTV generation” didn’t recognize that song at all. But things did change when the band next did a string of their most popular hits like; “Cryin’,” “Eat the Rich,” “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” and “Jaded.” Perhaps those twenty minutes were the highlight of the show for many, but the best part was yet to come.

After a couple of more songs, Perry and Tyler did a great set of acoustic songs, including “Seasons Of Winter” from bands 2004 blues cover album “Honkin’ On Bobo,” a part of “Hangman Jury” from “Permanent Vacation” and rarely played “Seasons of Winter” from “Get Your Wings.” The whole acoustic part was an emotional moment, not just for the audience but for the artists themselves too. A massive power ballad “Dream On,” the band’s first major hit in the early ’70s, was a perfect bridge to come back from acoustic into an electric set. “S.O.S (Too Bad)” continued to series old 70’s classics while “Livin’ on the Edge” bewitched younger people.

It has to be said that Steven Tyler is an extraordinary guy in a positive way. Although his vocals were superb, he can still run and stretch all over the stage like a man in his mid-twenties, enormous! Joe Perry might not be as active as Steven. He’s behaving more like a classy gentleman on stage and looked cool. He played great solos every and proved to be a decent vocalist as well when singing his solo number “Stop Messin’ Around.” Tom Hamilton did a brief bass solo before “Sweet Emotion,” but Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford stayed in the background. They all did a good, solid performance, but who the real stars were on stage was clear.

Overall, the show was really good with a hell of a start, a great middle section, and an even better “grande finale.” The guys were in top shape, the whole band was playing tightly, and there was no sight of tiredness or apathy. The stage was quite simple, but it was looking cool, the band got a long ramp in the middle of the stage, and there was a massive screen on the back of the stage. No pyros or bombs. It was more like “let the music do the talking,” and it did it very well. The setlist comprised equally of hits from the 80/90’s and old 70’s stuff. This time band did rarely played gems like “Think about It” and “S.O.S (Too Bad),” which was more than welcome surprise, but there are always two sides of the coin. For sure, those fans of “hit music only” were a bit of a disappointment when songs like “Dude (Looks like a Lady), “Pink,” and “Janie’s Got A Gun” and” Falling in Love (Is Hard on Your Knees)” were now missing from the set. But you can’t always please everyone, can’t you?