It wasn’t exactly a warm up for Monday night’s blockbuster Aersosmith concert at Kelowna’s Prospera Place but it did give a handful of local fans an unexpected up-close and personal moment — albeit staged – with the band’s front man Steven Tyler.
Tyler took a short stroll on the Kelowna lakefront promenade in Jim Stuart Park just hours before the concert and stopped at one of the five pianos Festivals Kelowna has set outside for the public to play.
With a camera crew in tow recording him — the footage was shown on a huge backdrop screen later during the concert — Tyler played a few bars Dream On as the passers-by stopped and realizing who it was, eagerly started snapping photos. Then, as quickly as he arrived, Tyler was gone.
It was a tantalizing tease for the show that was to take place later that night inside Prospera Place.
Aerosmith, the legendary rock band, already enshrined in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, didn’t disappoint. Running through 19 songs that even the most casual fan would have recognized, they showed why after 40 years they are still a major act.
And, true to their early day roots of the 1970s and early 80s, the band still uses the tell-tale gimmicks of that era in its shows.
Several of them have become rock and roll show cliches – the long hair, strategically placed fans on stage to blow that long hair around, the tight leather pants, the obligatory, elongated drum solo halfway through the show, the thunderous back beat, the face-searing guitar solos and, of course, the the flowing robes and hats to kick off the show.
But visuals aside, despite their age Tyler and Perry are both in the mid-60s, Aerosmith repeatedly showed why they re still a force to be reckoned with in rock.
They had the packed house at Propsera on its feet all night, pumping their fists in the air and dancing to the music as Perry gyrated around the stage, twirling his microphone stand.
In one of the funnier moments, Tyler spotted a small group in the stands off to the left of the stage who were still seated and exhorted them to getup on their feet.
“You’re showing your age,” bellowed the 67-year-old singer, who now bears a distinct resemblance to an aging Capt. Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.
But for most in the crowd, they did not need any urging to get on their feet and sing along.
With a huge high-definition video screen behind them and a crew of roaming camera operators on stage catching all the close-ups of Tyler, Perry and other three members of the band, every move was projected for all to see.
In addition to the footage of Tyler playing the piano in Jim Stuart Park earlier, there were two other nods to Kelowna during the show, one video footage of Perry wearing a Kelowna Rockets jersey and the other, a lasting image of the Dolphins fountain across the street from Prospera displayed as fans left the arena.
Despite the steep ticket price of nearly $200 each, the only complaint heard by the end of the show was how loud it was.
“Hey, I can hardly hear, bellowed one man to his compatriot. “But God it was a great show. Fantastic.”
And that one line summed up Aerosmith’s first appearance in Kelowna.