I TANGOED WITH AEROSMITH
Aerosmith Bliss Fit: A Diva Memoir
June 18, 2001
BEACH (Pope Diva I of Aerosmithicism)
June 18, 2001 - The full 411 on Aerosmith (and me) at Wango Tango, the Southern
California Music Festival, June 17, 2001...
THE IMPORTANT STUFF
Aerosmith, though scheduled to take the stage at 7:10 p.m., didn't go on until 7:30 (not their fault -- they took the stage pretty quickly after the "Moulin Rouge" Girls). They played four songs: "Jaded," "Fly Away from Here," "Sweet Emotion," and "Walk This Way."
It was great. The music was great, the boys looked great. Joe's solo at the end of "Walk This Way" was the best live Perry solo ever, according to My Consort, who plays guitar and has seen them live twice more than me (six times -- well, seven now...).
The intro to "Walk This Way" was "Popcorn." Pink took the stage to sing along towards the end of WTW, and was either totally overwhelmed by being in the presence of gods, or didn't know the words. She blushed before she ran offstage.
Joe was looking at Pink when she was singing. I kinda-sorta wanted to scratch her eyes out. (Kinda-sorta, because Joe was looking at her; kinda-sorta not, because he could have been looking at her and thinking, "How in the hell can you NOT know the words to "Walk This Way?")
Steven Tyler (Fabulous) with
Pink (Lyrically challenged).
Steven was not wearing a leisure suit. I was so relieved! He was wearing neutrals, a tank top and pants. They may have been from the FAFH video -- they were certainly the right colors. Steven's arms looked great. Steven's face looked great. When he took off his sunglasses (it was still light outside when Aerosmith went onstage), he looked even BETTER.
The scarves on the mic stand
were the bright "Just Push Play" colors.† [NOTE: There has been some controversy about this.† I am told that the scarves were LAKER
colors.† I did not know that hot pink
was a Laker color.† My knowledge of
current sports begins and ends with BattleBots.† If I got this wrong, my bad.]
Joe was wearing a lunar blue ruffled shirt, unbuttoned halfway (!), black leather pants and a black leather jacket. I totally forgot to check and see if he was wearing his lucky shoes...
Steven Tyler (Foreground)
Joe Perry (Background)
Pink (Laker color?) scarf
Joey was wearing a bright muscle T-shirt (or at least it looked like one on him -- He looked GREAT!), and I totally can't remember what Tom and Brad were wearing (shame on me!), but I do remember that Tom looked great, though Brad was looking down at his guitar, which made seeing his face difficult.
The crowd reaction to Aerosmith was predictably awesome. I did notice that "Walk This Way" got the strongest response from the crowd. "Sweet Emotion" got the strongest response from me. Don't be coy... ya'll know why.
The audience went wild after "Walk This Way." I was standing (no one sits at an Aerosmith show) next to three girls who couldn't have been more than 13, and they were just GUSHING about the boys!
It was fabulous! They asked me if I had ever seen the band before, and when I said I had, several times, they all said in unison, "HATE YOU!"
Isn't that great? Another generation in love with Aerosmith!
As he left the stage, Steven said, "The Best Is Yet to Come," to which I and the people around me (including those girls) started hollering, "Aerosmith! Aerosmith! Aerosmith! Aerosmith!"
No encore, though. I didn't think there was time for one, anyway. I had been told to expect a 20-30 minute set, but a gal's gotta try, right?
THE UNIMPORTANT STUFF
Thanks to everyone who helped me on the question of what to wear. Your selection, the white outfit I ordered (Outfit 1, for those of you who are keeping score) ...
The very elusive,
...didn't make it to me in time, so in the end, I had to go with what I could find at the last possible frickin' minute.
Shopping for Wardrobe:
At 8 p.m. on the night before the show, I went shopping. I hate shopping, and now I remember why! Everything I saw on the hanger made me want to run for the EXIT. I've lost a lot of weight since the fall (long story), so I wasn't positive what size I wore, but I guessed a 5. I was wrong, and right (see below). The first thing I did was grab a pair of jeans in a size 5, and check to see if they fit. They were a little on the snug side, so I grabbed a size 7. They were a little on the baggy side, but they fit, so back out into the racks I went, sort of knowing my size. I grabbed every piece of cool clothing they had without bothering to try anything on under the obnoxious fluorescent lights. I was "shopping at Ross," where everything is dirt cheap, so if stuff didn't fit I could return it, and if I couldn't -- who cares? Once I was loaded up, I headed for the checkout as the store was closing.
It was, as they say, a cluster f***, so I decided to browse a bit to kill time, and am I glad I did.
I picked out a black fabric choker, two pairs of cool shades (I lost mine when I was in San Francisco to give a speech), a black leopard print cowboy hat (they didnít have a metallic silver one, dammit), and... AND... AND...
...a diaphanous animal print
Bill Blass scarf for Steven. (It is all neutral colors, and would have gone
great with what Steven ultimately wore to Wango Tango.)
It had never occurred to me, until JUST THAT MOMENT, when I saw the scarf hanging there on the rack (it really is a gorgeous scarf), that giving Steven scarves might be an Aero-fan tradition.
So, my haul piled high, I eventually went through checkout, and to my car.
Shopping for Extras:
I decided to stop off at the drugstore nearby and pick up some extras a la "Just Push Play" -- silver body glitter, silver lipstick, silver nail polish, silver eye shadow, silver eyeliner, The Lone Ranger's horse, Silver...
No, not really. Well yes, really, except for the part about the horse.
So, I went to the checkout, and as I was swiping my debit card, the checker asked me if I wanted cash back. I hadn't thought of that! Cash! Yes! Yes, one WOULD need cash to park at a concert, wouldn't one?
So, I requested $40 cash back.
Right then, I realized that I was low on cigarettes (yes, I smoke, I suck, shame on me, blah blah blah), and asked the checker to get them for me, since they were locked up like Fort Knox. The guy went and got them for me, I signed the debit slip, and left.
It was not until I got home at 10:30 that I realized I did not have my wallet. The wallet with my ID's. The wallet I would need to pick up my tickets at the Will Call window the next day. The wallet with all my credit cards, my checkbook, and that would have had $40 in it if the checker had given me the $40 cash back he charged me for -- WHICH HE DIDN'T.
As you might guess, I wigged out. I had a full-on, four-alarm hissy-fit.
How was I gonna go to the show without tickets? How was I gonna get my tickets without ID? How could I have ID without my wallet? How could I buy replacement tickets without a credit card? How could I have a credit card without my wallet?
I went back to the drugstore, which was now closed, and knocked until the checker came to the door. He pretended not to remember me, though I was one of the last people he checked out, and he claimed to have given me the $40, and he claimed that I had not left my wallet there.
I wigged again! I knew he was lying, but what could I do?
So I went home, and dialed the national number for the chain, which forwarded me back to the local store automatically. This time, the manager answered the phone, and he immediately agreed that the checker's drawer was $40 "over," and that that was my money. When I said I left my wallet at the store, he left the phone and I could hear him in the background, first talking to, then YELLING AT, the checker who waited on me.
He came back to the phone, and told me that my wallet was there, too.
CATASTROPHE AVERTED! CATASTOPHE AVERTED!
My Consort, Chuck, went back to the store and got the wallet and money for me. I was too wigged out to go back there a third time.
"The Morning of" Preparations...
Naturally, being in my wigged-out state after a near-miss like that, I didn't ever get around to trying on the clothes I bought for the concert until Sunday morning -- mere hours before Aerosmith and I would be in the same stadium.
Of the six shirts I bought (don't get nuts -- they were about $3 each), four were too tight across my chest.
[NOTE TO SELF: Buy bigger shirts.]
The pants I bought (3 pair -- about $10 each) all fit fine, or so I thought. (It has been so long since I have even OWNED a pair of jeans, that I totally forgot they stretch out as you wear them.)
[NOTE TO SELF: You ARE a size 5 -- at least in jeans, that is.]
So, after determining that what would fit, I got into the shower and began my concert-day preparations.
Ever been to a senior prom? Well, I haven't (READ: nerd), so for me, any chance to get dressed up, I TAKE.
Understand, when I say "dressed up," I don't mean crinolines and opera gloves. I mean hoochie mama. Hoochie-woochie mama.
So, I got out of the shower, did my silver (SEE ABOVE) makeup, applied body glitter to my tummy, shoulders, chest, and cheekbones, and dried my hair. FYI: I do not "do" my hair. My hair is not do-able. My hair has a mind of its own, and it always wins, so resistance is futile.
A good hair day.
At this point, the point where I
actually put on clothes, I made my toilette off-limits to My Consort. He hasn't
seen me in jeans in a LOOOOONG time, so I wanted to surprise him.
Hell, I surprised me.
I think I looked alright -- good enough for an Aerosmith show -- and that is saying A LOT.
[NOTE: Chuck took a picture of me, something I very rarely permit (I am in no way photogenic AT ALL), and if it is not utterly revolting, I will post it here after I get the film back.]
Where I Was Sitting:
DODGER STADIUM - LOS ANGELES, CA
American Hi Fi:
American Hi-Fi, also from Boston, also played Wango Tango.† These young dudes have a bright future, I think, if they can keep it together. They were great live (I got the impression they have played live A LOT), and substantially heavier than their one video would suggest. Chuck is out scoring that CD for me as I write this.
Favorite Songs Live:
"Safer on the Outside"
"Flavor of the Weak"
Giant Video Screens:
I never really noticed before that Aerosmith is the only band I have ever seen live where I am torn between watching the giant video screen, and watching the guys themselves onstage. Has anyone else had this experience?
The Scarf Ploy:
As I said, I bought a lovely scarf to give Steven, if the opportunity presented itself. I even brought along a button/pin from my website (not an "Aerosmith site," though it contains Aerosmith content) to weigh down the scarf so I could chuck it at the stage if I ever got close enough -- which I didn't.
It occurred to me that a way to get the band to look MY way, was to wave the scarf in the air. Have you ever seen the video for "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin? From "Top Gun?" Where the girl singer is holding a scarf that is blowing in the wind? Well, it was breezy at Dodger Stadium, so I went for it.
[NOTE TO SELF: There is something to be said for outdoor concerts.]
During all four songs, and in between, I held my scarf up high (I was wearing platforms) , waving it in time to the music, and let it blow in the wind.
And I SWEAR, for about a nanosecond, I almost believed that Steven looked my way and nodded slowly. Of course, I am a fanatic, so all bets are off on whether or not I was hallucinating.
I also noticed a phenomenon I hadn't experienced before, having never been so close to the stage at an Aerosmith concert: I had no trouble dancing when other bands were playing (I love to dance -- I am a dancer at heart), but when Aerosmith took the stage, I was suddenly horribly nervous, and came down with a bad case of shaky feet. Has anyone else ever had this experience?
All-in-all, this was a great dress-rehearsal for August, when the Just Push Play World Tour will be here in California, and I will be in HEAVEN...
Pope Diva I of Aerosmithicism
"Screamin' and a-hummin' like an old tube amp"