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Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 (A Music Review)

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014

Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014


Featuring Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, Joey Kramer, Jesse Sky Kramer, Paul Santo and Buck Johnson.

Directed by Dick Carruthers.

Distributed by Fathom Events.  111 minutes.  Not Rated.

Aerosmith has gone through a lot of changes over their 40 years on the road, but one thing they never strayed from was their terrific showmanship.  Headed by their dueling geniuses, charismatic singer Steven Tyler and guitar heroics of Joe Perry, the American Stones are pretty much a sure thing in concert.

From the hardscrabble drug-hazed early rock days of the 70s to their even bigger middle-of-the-road Geffen period of the 80s and 90s to their recent stint as squabbling elder statesmen and TV hosts, the band has put together a pretty damned good catalogue of songs.

And sure, somewhere along the line they became a band whose lyrics morphed from stuff like “you ain’t seen nothin’ ’til you’re down on the muffin” into things like “life’s a journey not a destination.”  But what the heck, they can still rock it out.

This concert, recorded last year at a rock festival at Donington Park Speedway in England, is getting a limited theatrical release.  The show gives you the best and worst of Aerosmith, all whipped up into a frothy mix.  Tyler prances and preens through two hours of classic rock (and shockingly only changes outfits once) while the rest of the band offers the bedrock stomp that has made the band a name for decades now.

The set list is a canny mix of old, mid-period and new.  The oldest stuff shines the brightest – songs like a rollicking “Toys in the Attic” and a hopping cover of The Beatles “Come Together.”  Yet, the sellout ballad years actually come off pretty well here also, with a drop-dead gorgeous take of “Don’t Want To Miss a Thing,” a throbbing “Janie’s Got a Gun” and rocking shots of “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Love in an Elevator.”

By the time they hit the show-closing triumvirate of classics – the proto-hip hop “Walk This Way,” the swirling hard balladry of “Dream On” and the bratty screech of “Sweet Emotion” – Aerosmith has staked a claim as one of the great surviving rock bands of the last century.  Live in Donington 2014 shows that even a decade on from their hitmaking days, Aerosmith still packs a punch.

Set List: Train Kept A Rollin’, Eat The Rich, Love In an Elevator, Cryin’, Jaded, Livin’ on the Edge, Last Child, Freedom Fighter, Same Old Song And Dance, Janie’s Got a Gun, Toys in the Attic, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, No More No More, Come Together, Dude (Looks Like A Lady) and Walk This Way. Encores: Dream On, Sweet Emotion and Mama Kin.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2015 All rights reserved. Posted: February 26, 2015.

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