Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Very good, but could have been better!
on 23 November 2004
In summing up the Aerosmith sound, it was once said "we make music that really speaks to the groin" - that, in a nutshell, is what Aerosmith have always been about, and 30-plus years into their career it doesn't look likely that's ever gonna change (we hope)!
Aerosmith are a pretty polarising group - you either like them or you don't, so you'll either relish the prospect of this first official live DVD or you won't see what all the fuss is about. As I fall very much into the former category this review takes the initial assumption that you an Aerosmith fan wondering whether to shell out for a nice shiny platter of your favourite band?
Well, first things first, the DVD description is a little misleading. This is Aerosmith Live - but it isn't simply an Aerosmith concert, it's an expanded version of the TV special that was shown on A+E in the USA earlier this year. Therefore, the live footage is regularly interspersed with short interviews, behind the scenes footage, the recording of Honkin' On Bobo and other pearls of wisdom from the Boston Bad Boys. Personally I found this method of filming was more distracting than beneficial. With the use of a DVD this footage would have been far better wrapped up into a documentary than cut into the songs - occasionally the songs are even faded down halfway through to drop a bit of split-screen interview into the mix. The most criminal use of this technique was during Draw The Line - Joe Perry's blistering guitar work is suddenly interrupted by.... Joe Perry talking about gigging with the band. In the words of a not-unrelated song, Let The Music Do The Talking!
Musically, the boys are as good, if not better, than ever. Joey's powerhouse nature whilst drumming has to be seen to be believed - particularly during the opening tracks when the band uses the small stage, you can almost hear the drums screaming with the pounding they receive! Joe's guitar work is some of the best I've heard, and Steven seems really energised throughout (watch out for that trapeze)! However, I feel the format of the DVD will leave most people feeling frustrated. It is not in-depth enough to work as a documentary, and the stop-start nature of the concert footage breaks up the flow of live atmosphere.
Aerosmith are no strangers to the live CD - 1998's A Little South Of Sanity was their last official foray into the genre and, as always, proved their mastery or the game. Film of those performances or a complete show from the latest tour would be a much better option, but as live Aerosmith performances are pretty thin on the ground in the UK I guess beggars can't always be choosers.