I had the pleasure of seeing Aerosmith twice on their first leg of their 2019 Las Vegas residency at the Park MGM inside the new Park Theater. I attended the April 21st and 23rd shows with two very different tickets. The first night I was front row on the balcony rockin’ out with an $87.00 ticket and the second night I was front row ON STAGE rockin’ it out with the Bad Boys from Boston!
April 21st, Front Row Balcony Seat
I am so glad I got to see the show from the vantage point of the audience that first night. I was able to see the entire preshow (and scope out everything I wanted to take note of for the next night) and the stage show and it was truly awesome! I loved the preshow because it dug back through their history showcasing how the band came together. It highlighted their roots back to Sunapee, their first apartment all together at 1325 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston, all the way to iconic moments like being on the Simpsons, Wayne’s World, and working with Run DMC. I loved it! I love history and this was a real treat for me. They also had performers roaming around dressed as iconic characters from their albums and music videos. It was the ultimate deep dive for a fan like me that knew all the references.
The show was incredible of course. I loved the props that came down from the ceiling for “Toys in The Attic” and seeing the iconic music video featuring Alicia Silverstone truly brought back memories.
For the finale I couldn’t believe how fearless Steven Tyler was hanging off the ropes of that walkway. My stomach definitely dropped. As the confetti and balloons dropped I promised myself I would snag one of those balloons at the next show.
April 23rd, Front Row Stage Right
I started out the morning heading over to the pop-up merch machine. The band had advertise that some people could win backstage tours with their merch purchases. That sounded like the kind of gambling I could get behind so I bought a bandana. I didn’t win anything and neither did the 25 other people I watched getting merch which was kinda a bummer. Since giving someone a tour doesn’t really cost the band anything I surely thought there would be more winners to show love to their fans who travelled to see them.
That afternoon I walked down the strip for the show with my fabulous friend Jeniece. We stopped at Sephora to pick up a quick makeup item and as soon as the staff heard where I was sitting they sat me down and glammed me up! I felt so fab! We had to document ourselves “in an elevator... livin’ it up!”
On arrival I finally got a chance to see the infamous van in person from their early years touring. It really was a highlight for me! I am bummed though that they made it a paid photo op and then covered it after the show.
When I got to the stage and received my VIP pass there were very specific instructions about leaving for the bathroom. If you did security would have to escort you. We had a private bar and bartender and during the show Steven announced we could all have a drink ‘on him,’ and we were given free shot tickets. There were also Aerosmith pinball machines that cost nothing to play that they said were from their personal collection (I grew up with a pinball machine so this totally rocked). They also gave us an iPod of sorts that could let us hear different tracks of either the band or of Steven. It came with fancy pants THX headphones that we got to keep.
It was unreal just looking around at where I was. I was behind the preshow screen from the previous show! It was insane! I soon realized that my front row seat was way better than other rows on the stage because I could go right up to the guard rail and no one could come behind me. They had to stay in their seated rows further away. I also got to see lots of the preshow performers up close.
Once the show started I was in heaven and was dancing like no one was watching. It was intoxicating how you really could hear the crowd louder than the band! I found this change in experience really resonated with me. (That is what the fancy headphones and iPod were for. They were supposed to correct the sound.) For a moment in time I felt like I got to experience what the band does when they perform. I made sure I was on Joe Perry’s side and it took the concert experience to a whole new level to be right there on stage with the legend jamming out. It felt way more intimate than being in the audience. However, if you want great pictures I wouldn’t recommend these seats. The band focuses on the crowd (as they should) so most of the time they are not performing towards the side of the stage. But does that mean I didn’t get good photos? Absolutely not! Enjoy!
I had such a great time. After all these years front row at shows I finally got a smile from Joe Perry and he gave me his guitar slide. I am basically going to carry it around for the rest of my life as a talisman of rock & roll power. I also got a set list, one of Joe Perry’s picks, and one of those darn balloons!
I then met up with Jeniece and we headed over to the march table. I bought a super cute zip-up hoodie with an Ace card on the back as my souvenir.
We asked the lady checking us out if she had a scissors so we could just snip the balloon to avoid making the big pop noise. She thanked us for being so considerate because she and many others had been at the Las Vegas Shooting in 2017. Honestly we didn’t know we were being considerate. I hadn’t even thought about it. She explained she still didn’t do well with loud quick popping noises and she explained a bit of what she has gone through since then. It is the first time since my own experience being a witness to a fatal shooting that I was able to talk face to face with someone who had been through something similar. Someone who was scared of the same things I was. I hugged her so tight and I started to tear up.
Now looking back I realize this might have been the most important reason for me to come to Vegas. Having the chance to feel like someone understood what I had been through. I am always amazed how when I travel I meet the nicest people. The unexpected interactions and kindness are always something I treasure. This trip reminded me that shared experiences are one of the most important gifts we can have in this life. Sometimes it is a complete stranger who can make you feel seen. And it was great music that brought us together.