Friday, May 25, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW FLASHBACK: Joe Perry (12.02.09)

The Joe Perry Project
The Joe Perry Project
House of Blues / Orlando, FL
12.02.09
 
Although the dreary, rainy
weather was a likely factor
in the minimal turnout, it
couldn’t dampen the mood
of the 300+ who did choose
to brave the storm. Nor did
it extinguish the onstage,
fire created by The Joe
Perry Project and opening
act, Megaphone.
_______________________________________________________________

Orlando’s Megaphone hit the stage promptly at 8PM. My experiences reviewing Central Florida concerts often involve sitting through countless mind-numbing local, regional, and national bottom-feeding warm-up acts with little to offer. However, Megaphone, truly delivered the goods. Bursting with charisma and energy, the band looked great, sounded great, and also offered what most up-and-coming openers lack — great songs. Despite the longtime, hometown buzz surrounding the band, regrettably I’d never seen Megaphone live. Yet I was quickly hooked by such catchy, guitar-driven, power-pop ditties as “My Favorite New Disaster” and “Bad to Good.” I also found myself being physically drawn closer and closer to the stage with every song by the sonic magnetism. And I wasn’t the only one, as Megaphone received a mighty response from the crowd throughout the band's 25 minute set.
  
The house lights once again dropped at 9:10 as members of The Joe Perry Project took the stage. Dressed in a fitted, floor-length black coat, black boots, black pants, black shirt, black vest, and a white scarf draped tightly around his neck, the legendary Aerosmith co-founder made his grand entrance onstage with his typical ultra-cool swagger. And with his trademark snow white streak running through the front of his fabulous, jet black, layered coif, he resembled a modern day rock and roll vampire.

The band kicked off the gutsy, hard-driving set with the title track from Perry’s 1980 debut record, Let the Music Do the Talking.  Selections from his current solo record Have Guitar, Will Travel soon followed, including “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go,” “Do You Wonder,” “Freedom” and a re-make of Fleetwood Mac's, “Somebody’s Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked in Tonight).” But of course Perry is primarily known to his faithful flock for his 35+ year tenure with Aerosmith and his set was packed with such gritty Aerosmith deep cuts as “Get the Lead Out,” “Bright Light Fright,” “Sight for Sore Eyes” and a quirky, reggae version of the classic “Dream On.”

Along with German newcomer Hagen handling most of the lead vocal duties, “The Project” also featured Perry’s longtime cohorts, bassist David Hull and Paul Santo on guitar and organ. Perry’s classic coolness pinned against the combination of Hagen’s youthful vitality and Hull and Santo’s old school vibe made for a band that was both fresh and experienced.

In short, Perry was amazing, the band was spot-on and they kicked ya where it counts!

-Christopher Long
(December 2009)
 
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