The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world



SHOCK ENTERTAINMENT | Release Date: September 4 2015


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

First shown in selected cinemas back in February this year ‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014’ is a great concert film of the bands fourth appearance at the Leicestershire venue (in 1990, 1994 and 2010) that hosted both the legendary Monster of Rock shows and the later Download Festivals – UK’s biggest Rock events.

Having seen the band almost a score of times over the years I’ve never been disappointed with a performance live, and whilst the band continues to play it safe with a set-list heavy on classics from both the seventies and the eighties/early nineties revival they have at times tried to mix it up. As recently as 2009 they toyed with (pun intended) playing ‘Toys in the Attic’ in its entirety and talked about playing ‘Rocks’ though in reality the ‘Toys’ experiment lasted just eight shows and ‘Rocks’ never happened (I had tickets to the tenth and twelfth shows) – now that was an expensive trip! But I digress…      

'Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014', gives you 20-songs spanning a 5-decade career though is noticeably centred on both their early career and the chart hits of the late eighties and mid-nineties run from ‘Pump’ (Janie’s Got a Gun’ and ‘Love in an Elevator’); ‘Get a Grip’ (‘Livin’ on the Edge’ and ‘Eat the Rich’); and ‘Just Push Play’ (‘Jaded’)

What you want with any concert film of course is to either be transported there or taken back (depending if you attended or not) and 'Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014' manages just that. The film focuses on the younger members of the crowd before a note is played and Tyler walks out in his Native American headdress sporting a moustache last seen in the ‘Rock in a Hard Place’ days. It’s ironic that in the seventies when I grew up in the UK I was about the only person I know who actually owned Aerosmith albums

The stage is beautifully lit, and the cameras get some nice angles though at times some of the framing is wasted on the rapid fire scene shifting. Indeed I don’t think, guitar solos excepted, there is a shot that lasts five seconds in the entire show. Now I know people’s attention spans are supposed to be diminishing year by year but c’mon… at times you wonder about the editing and you sigh – just because you have a hundred cameras doesn’t mean you have to use them all in every shot. What’s really lost is the sense of interaction on stage – almost like watching Football on TV and only ever getting a close up of the player with the ball and the odd fleeting glance of his surroundings. Others may think it looks good and that’s fine some people love action movies and find plots largely irrelevant. I just find it kind of lazy – not the sort of film we’d have it it had to be hand cut!

Quibbles aside, musically this is full of power and extreme showmanship. Aerosmith are cool in the way The Stones are cool and yet these days are probably even less dangerous but still manage to look as good. Tyler these days may be manicured and TV friendly but we still remember back in the day, Perry may be clean but he still plays as well, and Hamilton, Whitford and Kramer have always been consummate professionals. 

Any set-list by a band that has released albums in 5 decades is bound to be up for debate - you could of course argue for so many tracks that are missing here: from later songs like ‘The Other Side’ and ‘What It Takes’; to earlier overlooked albums – how about anything other than ‘Last Child’ and ‘Home Tonight’ from ‘Rocks’; or anything at all from ‘Draw the Line’ – Aerosmith’s gloriously sloppy follow-up to that album.

Of course ‘Dream On’; ‘Toys…’ and ‘Sweet Emotion’ will always deservedly get a look in, as will the Yardbirds’ ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ which really set the template for the band but in truth I could do with a set that rested songs like ‘Jaded’ once in a while, and certainly ‘Eat the Rich’, heck if they dropped ‘Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ tomorrow I’d be happy. Conversely it’s great to see songs like ‘No More No More’ and ‘Come Together’ clinging to the set-list.

And that I guess is the beauty of a band like Aerosmith you can dissect the set a wish for more all night, but whatever happens they always deliver sonically.


TRACKLISTING: 1) Train Kept A-Rollin' / 2) Eat The Rich / 3) Love In An Elevator / 4) Cryin' / 5) Jaded / 6) Livin' On The Edge / 7) Last Child / 8) Freedom Fighter / 9) Same Old Song And Dance / 10) Janie's Got A Gun / 11) Toys In The Attic / 12) I Don't Want To Miss A Thing / 13) No More No More / 14) Come Together / 15) Dude (Looks Like A Lady) / 16) Walk This Way / 17) Home Tonight / 18) Dream On / 19) Sweet Emotion / 20) Mama Kin

Out on 4 September 2015.   




by Mark Rockpit


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