Joe Perry- Live in Toronto

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THE JOE PERRY PROJECT Air Canada Centre
Toronto, Ontario 2/4/10

     Ten minutes prior to The Joe Perry Project’s emergence on stage, the 19,000-seat-capacity arena is three-quarters full. Impressive for an opening act although unsurprisingly so, as this is the closest we will come to seeing anything worthy from the Aerosmith camp for quite some time. As curtain approaches and the lights go dim, we are treated to the theme from the 1950s television show Paladin (Have guns will travel) as the band take to the stage. The quintet explodes right into “Let The Music Do The Talkin'” from both Aerosmith’s ***Done With Mirrors*** and Joe Perry Project’s debut album. Keeping with the classics, they launch into “Toys in the Attic.” From here on in Joe Perry, who is on tour in support of Motley Crue’s Dead of Winter Canadian tour, introduces each song with a back-story. Perry, who is not known for his on stage banter, makes great effort to enhance each song with historical data but this in my opinion brings the vibe to a screeching halt. Many tracks off of the band’s latest album ***Have Guitar Will Travel*** are performed, including  “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go, Slingshot and Scare The Cat.” The band as a collective however receive high praise for their jam session during “Heaven and Hell” which includes an infectious bass solo by Boston native David Hull. Their new album indulgence is wrapped up with a blistering rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Somebody’s Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked in Tonight.) Not surprisingly, the set is finished up with Aerosmith’s most recognizable favorite “Walk This Way” in which German-born vocalist Hagen Grohe sounds oh-so-close to Steven Tyler. Perry may never be the perfect front man, and his days of delivering instant classics may very well be behind him. One thing is for sure, he has always stayed true to his roots and he delivers his music in an unapologetic fashion. If only only Aerosmith could say the same thing. (Rob Watts)

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