The band had claimed the tour will be their last, but told NME “we changed our minds” and that the band may continue indefinitely.
The show at Munich’s Königsplatz auditorium opened with an intro tape of Bo Diddley’s ‘I’m A Man’ before the orchestral doom-mongering of Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ accompanied Aerosmith’s history flashing across the stage-back screen. Then singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry emerged on a secondary stage at the end of their traditional ego ramp, adorned with a wind machine, as the band piled into the bar room boogie rock of ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’ on the main stage.
With ‘Young Lust’ upping the pace, complete with a bout of Tyler’s manic harmonica, Aerosmith piled into an early string of massive hits, taking in 1993’s slow dance classic ‘Cryin’’, the epoch rock of ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ and a stomping ‘Love In An Elevator’, for which Tyler rolled on the floor pulling his raunchiest lift-love moves.
After the slicker ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’ – the distilled and concentrated essense of the 1980s – Aerosmith rolled out a couple of blues-era Fleetwood mac covers in ‘Stop Messin’ Around’ and the legendary ‘Oh Well’ before delving into the lesser-known corners of their catalogue, tackling the airy ‘Jaded’ from 2000 and with Tyler and Perry taking to stools centre-stage for 1974’s truck stop blues tune ‘Seasons Of Wither’ and the more bombastic ‘Hangman Jury’ from 1987’s ‘Permanent Vacation’ album.
Their psych-tinged calling card ‘Sweet Emotion’ gave way to their biggest hit ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, with the crowd singing the opening verse. The main set closed with a glammed up ‘Rag Doll’, their signature cover of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ and a euphoric rock-out on ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’.
For the encore, Tyler appeared at a white baby grand piano out on the secondary stage for an epic ‘Dream On’, the track sampled by Eminem on ‘Sing For The Moment’ – both Perry and Tyler took turns standing on the piano before the song was over. The show closed with a celebratory ‘Walk This Way’, possibly Munich’s last chance to head-bang along to the song that broke rap into the US Top Five and popularised rap rock. Although speaking to NME earlier in the day, Joe Perry explained that the band had had a change of heart over their farewell tour.
“We thought it was gonna be a good idea when we first started plotting the European run,” he said. “We’re gonna do South America and the States for five months and we thought ‘well, we’re getting near the end here, we don’t know when the tour is gonna end but we know there’ll be a last gig of this tour. We all have lives outside of the band. We grew up together, went from being kids in the apartment to a long and storied career, so we thought ‘it’s time’.
— Aerosmith (@Aerosmith) May 26, 2017
“Then we were in South America doing interviews and we couldn’t fuckin’ say it, that there was gonna be a last gig. We were looking at each other going ‘really? Are we really gonna say this is the farewell tour?’ So we kinda changed our minds. Will the band be together in a year? We’ll do everything we can to make sure it is but God may have other plans. Judging by how he’s treated us over the last 48 years I’d like to think he’s gonna let us see 50 but you can’t guarantee that.”
Words: Mark Beaumont