Monday, June 29, 2009

Concert Review: Aerosmith And ZZ Top 'Come Together' At Mohegan Sun

The similarities between Aerosmith and ZZ Top are uncanny. ZZ Top is a "little ol' bar band" from Texas who hit it big on their third album (Tres Hombres) with catchy lyrics and powerful guitar riffs. Aerosmith is a "little ol' bar band" from Boston who hit it big with their third album (Toys In the Attic) which also had catchy lyrics and powerful guitar riffs. Both bands made comebacks with their MTV era music videos and both bands are currently working on new albums. But, it's been 33 years since Aerosmith and ZZ Top have shared a stage together. Sunday night brought the two bands together at the Mohegan Sun Arena for a night of rock heights.

Two of the most famous beards in the music business belong to ZZ Top. Both Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill are known for their long beards and fuzzy guitars. Many times, the two would appear as one as they performed their solos in unison. The two traded verses of the night's opener "Got Me Under Pressure" before proceeding in the dirty blues of "Waiting For The Bus" and "Jesus Left Chicago". Gibbons commented about the stores at the casino, "knowing what you get for your money, unlike the slot machines", which lead into "Cheap Sunglasses". Gibbons was never shy about displaying his skills on the guitar ripping off one solo after another, but it was their big-selling eighties hits that got the attention of the audience. The songs "Gimme All Your Lovin", "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs" found the crowd singing along, while the set closers "La Grange" and "Tush" saw many fans playing "air guitar". The fifty-minute set was not enough, as all in attendance wanted more.

More would come, but it would come in the form of classic rock legends Aerosmith. The band had mentioned at the beginning of the tour that they would be performing one of their classic albums in its entirety, but it seems like that idea is slowly changing. In the first few shows of the tour, Aerosmith performed their classic 1975 album "Toys In The Attic" from start to finish, but last night's performance started off with the title track of that album. Their 1997 hit "Cryin" slowed the momentum of the opener to a sway. Throughout the night, their setlist seemed very choppy with up-tempo rockers and swaying ballads and never reached the onslaught of classic rock until the end. Steven Tyler's dancing and Joe Perry's guitar licks would became the main focus of the evening. Tyler tried to get the other band members involved by drawing the spotlight to them, but none of them strayed too far from their safe zone. The giant stage came alive on "Love In An Elevator", which featured different levels of lights and screens being lowered and lifted over the band. The night's first rarity of the evening was "Walking The Dog" which was followed by their breakthrough ballad "Dream On". Both songs are from the band's 1973 debut album.

Aerosmith ended up going back to their original plan, performing the rest of their "Toys In The Attic" album. Steven Tyler seemed frustrated by the sound and plagued by mic troubles which caused him to disappear under the stage and miss his cues.  Joe Perry  controlled the spotlight and covered for Tyler's misfortunes. The pounding of Joey Kramer's drums on "Walk This Way" and Tom Hamilton's bass groove on "Sweet Emotion" worked the audience into a frenzy. Songs like "Uncle Salty" and "Round And Round" pleased long-time fans, while others waited for what was to come. The band finished strong with "Livin' On The Edge" and the up-tempo "Draw The Line".

The missed cues continued into the encore. As the band prepared for The Beatles' classic "Come Together", Tyler appeared, stating he "hears a train a comin'"  which convinced his bandmates to perform the crowd pleaser "Train Kept A Rollin'".  Soon the tide shifted and Joe Perry called out for everyone to "Come Together" and the arena sang chorus to this 1969 Beatles' classic.

With almost eighty years experience between the two bands, expectations were very high for a great show. While both bands delivered hard-rockining and hit filled sets, restrictions of time and equipment seemed to overshadow these legends performances. Upcoming shows at Mohegan Sun feature Styx with REO Speedwagon, Jay-Z and Stone Temple Pilots. Visit for more information.

ZZ Top Setlist:
1. Got Me Under Pressure
2. Waiting For The Bus
3. Jesus Left Chicago
4. Cheap Sunglasses
5. I Need You Tonight
6. Just Got Paid
7. Gimme All Your Lovin'
8. Sharp Dressed Man
9. Legs
10. La Grange
11. Tush

Aerosmith Setlist:
1. Toys In The Attic
2. Cryin'
3. Love In An Elevator
4. Walkin' The Dog
5. Dream On
6. Combination
7. Uncle Salty
8. Adam's Apple
9. Walk This Way
10. Big Ten Inch Record
11. Sweet Emotion
12. No More No More
13. Round And Round
14. Livin' On The Edge
15. Draw The Line
16. Train Kept A Rollin'
17. Come Together


Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing the setlist. Always nice to know. Sounds like last years (?) Aerosmith show in hartford was better.

Jeff L

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