Aerosmith performed at Maine Savings Amphitheatre on Sunday (September 4), marking the band’s first concert since the start of the pandemic, and their first since vocalist Steven Tyler returned from rehab.
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Aerosmith last performed as part of their Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency in February 2020, before their European and UK tour appearances were cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The band did not return to the road in 2021, but announced that their residency would resume in March of this year.
They later cancelled the residency’s first set of prospective dates, citing Tyler’s relapse and commencement of rehab. “Our beloved brother Steven has worked on his sobriety for many years”, the band said in a statement at the time, “he has recently relapsed and voluntarily entered a treatment program to concentrate on his health”.
The delays, which also included drummer Joey Kramer’s leave of absence from the band earlier this year, added up to what was Aerosmith’s longest period off stage since their formation in 1970.
Referencing the absence at their Maine show — which saw Tyler return to the stage after leaving rehab in July — Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry declared to the crowd that “this is our first fucking gig in two and a half years”, before joking that “all we’ve been doing is lying on our backs and watching Netflix”.
In the spirit of their return, Aerosmith’s 17-song setlist included the revival of their ‘Nine Lives’ album song ‘Full Circle’ and cover of The Shangri-Las’ ‘Remember (Walking in the Sand)’, both of which they hadn’t performed since 2013 and 2017 respectively.
The band opened with their ‘70s staples ‘Back in the Saddle’ and ‘Same Old Song and Dance’, before closing out the show with ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’ and ‘Sweet Emotion’. For the encore, Aerosmith performed ‘Dream On’, ‘Walk This Way’ and their cover of Bull Moose Jackson’s ‘Big Ten Inch Record’.
Aerosmith’s Maine performance came ahead of an additional show at Boston’s Fenway Park this week (September 8). Afterwards, they’ll resume their Vegas residency with a string of shows at the city’s Dolby Live stadium scheduled through to the end of the year.
Drum technician Jack Douglas will take Kramer’s place at the shows, following Aerosmith’s announcement that the founding member and drummer will “sit out the band’s concerts in 2022 so he can focus his full attention on his family”.