As classic rock aficionados, we’ve accepted the fact by now – when going to see our favorite rock groups play in concert, we’re more likely to see one remaining band member and a bunch of other guys. Between feuds, deaths, and age, it’s a rarity to see a complete band still together the same way you could’ve seen them 40 years ago. That’s where Aerosmith and Cheap Trick stand apart from the rest.

 

Last night’s show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford was like no other. Cheap Trick, together since 1973, opened the spectacle, knocking through a slew of songs. They didn’t play “I Want You to Want Me” or “Surrender”, which was odd. Just kidding. Of course they did.

 

 

 

 

 

When Aerosmith hit the stage, Steven Tyler was his usual outrageous self. They crushed through an energetic 17-song set list that spanned songs from every decade of their 40-year career, including two new ones from their upcoming album Music From Another Dimension. Aerosmith brought out Darryl “D.M.C” McDaniels from Run-D.M.C. to perform “Walk This Way” with them. They encored with “Dream On” and the audience sang every word with Tyler, who sat at an oversized white piano, Joe Perry standing on top of the piano strumming along.

 

I, fortunately, got to enjoy the majority of the concert exactly like I would’ve 40 years ago – Naked. Not nude in the sense of outerwear, but rather a more 2012 version of naked; I was completely devoid of electronics.  The batteries in my FlipCam were as dead as Elvis, Jim Morrison, and James Dean. Soon after Aerosmith hit the stage, my camera hit the bottle, deciding to take a bath in a delicious cup of hops and barley. Lush. To top it off, somewhere along the course of the night, my cell phone decided to run off with the dish and the spoon for a ménage-trois.

All I have now is a memory of last evening. Few pictures, few videos, but a great, long-lasting memory. I’ll never forget the feeling that swept over me when Tyler started hitting those black-and-white keys telling us to sing with him, just for today. It was pure magic.

 

Do you think cell phones and cameras at concerts destroy the magic? Are electronics preventing us from enjoying concerts the way we used to? Would you rather enjoy yourself now or capture the memories for later?