Dude looks like an old lady.

I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to go and see Aerosmith in concert. A few notes on that experience:

  •  It’s the oddest thing. This crowd was much older than the crowd the first time I saw Aerosmith, in 1994. Back then, everyone else there was my age. 
  •  That show in 1994 was at the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park. This show was at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, which is the same building. I still think of the place as the World Music Theatre, despite the fact that the name has changed thrice since then.
  •  Same goes for the Rosemont Horizon, by the way, even though it has been the Allstate Arena for fifteen years and “Rosemont Horizon” is a stupid name for an event center besides. 
  •  There was a sports-jersey style t-shirt at the show that said “AEROSMITH” across the yoke and had a big “70” under it. It turns out this is in reference to the band’s formation in 1970 instead of my initial assumption, that it was the band’s average age. 
  •  Whatever Steven Tyler is taking, I need some. Four of the band members look like the aging rockstars that they are: Middle sixties, high-mileage. Despite being the oldest of the group, the fifth, lead singer Steven Tyler, has more energy and less grey hair than me. 
  •  He also looks eerily like Captain Jack Sparrow.
  •  Concert t-shirts go for $60 now. I have no words.
  •  The crowd was fascinating. There were a lot of people dressed with charming sentiment, by which I mean they were clearly wearing something they wore to a fondly-remembered Aerosmith concert of many years ago. This look always works, even if it doesn’t, because it’s just so sweet.
  •  It’s the next house over from my hands-down favorite look, which you see a lot in places like Las Vegas and Miami, but also occasionally downtown at a nice restaurant. It is a proud-nervous-delighted look that says, “I have a beige job, and a beige life, and I’m generally okay with that—but not tonight. Tonight, I am wearing this outfit, and these boots, and I am rocking them.” Grown-ups playing Dress-Up. I love that look. I root for those people.
  •  Even the guy I saw wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt and smoking a joint, who otherwise looked like he might be cast as Kindly Old Grandpa in a children’s film.
  •  Speaking of old guys, Steven Tyler is 66. This is in my father’s age zone. Despite this temporal commonality, it is challenging to imagine them swapping jobs for a few hours at any point in the last forty-five years.
  •  I can’t decide which image is more delightful to conjure, Steven making notes on a yellow legal pad with a pencil regarding the order in which the cars needed to leave the driveway the next morning, or Papa humping the stage during “Love in an Elevator.” (My wife suggests that Steven would have scarves tied to the pencil, which is just perfect.)
  •  I was all set to write a little item here about “Dude Looks Like a Lady” not having aged terribly well as far as progressive thinking goes, but a little Googling turns up several credible articles on the incorrect perception of the song as transphobic. So we’ll skip that bit of reflection, and I will instead share with you that startling tidbit that the song was inspired by the flowing blonde locks of Vince Neil, the lead singer of Motley Crüe.  
  •  You know that moment at a concert when the band begins to play some of their new music, and everyone sighs and goes to get a beer? For me, Aerosmith’s “new stuff” is “Cryin’.” You may remember the video, which features an adorable Alicia Silverstone giving a cheating ex the finger just before she got really famous. The video is otherwise notable for being the last music video that ever got onto my radar, and “Cryin'” is notable for me (and many of you) thinking of it as Aerosmith’s “new music” even though it was released in 1993. 
  •  That’s correct: During one of those new-song-beer-breaks, “Cryin'” is 21 years old. That’s old enough to buy its own beer. And on that depressing note, I am off to catch a nap. Motley Crüe is playing the World tomorrow night, so I have to rest up. 

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