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  • Aerosmith is as much a force of nature as it is a band. If you like them you will like this documentary DVD. If you don't... well you still might find it interesting, even enjoyable, as long as you follow the technical advice below.

    The DVD is set up so you can watch just the songs, with no breaks between them, or so you can watch the whole movie, with documentary bridge segments leading into each live performance. CHOOSE THE SECOND OPTION! (It is the first option on the menu.)

    I made the mistake of choosing to watch just the songs first. I had never seen Aerosmith perform, and had not heard their music in years, so it all seemed to be a jumbled frenetic blur.

    But I felt that I must have missed something, and I did have the DVD for the weekend... so the next night I watched the whole movie, as it was meant to be viewed.

    Suddenly it all made sense. Each song worked on its own, like pictures in a frame instead of a busy collage, and the pace was perfect. I began to understand what this band is about, and why it has endured for three decades. I liked the movie so much that I watched the whole thing again.

    I still cannot grasp exactly how three guitar players and one drummer can build up and sustain such a rich and complex wall of sound behind Steven Tyler's stupendous vocals (and 20,000 screaming fans) -- although seeing them rehearse and record in the the studio -- working up the various parts, then pulling them together -- did help me begin to understand. Other bands need to add keyboards and a horn section, or a fiddle section, plus a few extra percussionists and backup singers, to achieve that sort of high intensity.

    * A curious footnote. On the "Willie Nelson & Friends..." concert DVD, noteworthy for its many badly mixed and evidently unrehearsed performances, the very best thing on it, inserted at the end to leave the viewer with a good last impression, is a pair of improbable but brilliant duets sung by Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler, the first in Willie's style, the second in Aerosmith's. Shows what great vocalists both men are (in case you didn't already know).
  • Aerosmith: You Gotta Move (2004)

    **** (out of 4)

    From their early records like Toys in the Attic and Rocks all the way up to P.U.M.P the boys knew how to deliver a high energy concert full of sexual innuendo plus a crowd full of beautiful women who certainly didn't mind showing off their sexuality. In 2004 the boys went back to their roots and released Honkin' on Bobo, which was a blues album---done Aerosmith style of course.

    Aerosmith: You Gotta Move originally aired on A&E but this DVD release features more interviews, more loud music all in a glorious 5.1 package. In interviews Aerosmith said they wanted their first live DVD to be something memorable and this certainly is.

    The features works perfectly as a documentary, which mixes in the concert cuts perfectly.

    If you ever wanted to know what goes on back stage before the concert then this film gives you a wonderful look. Everything from the pre-concert rituals to even arguments over what songs to include on the set list is here for fans to see. The most interesting stuff is the talk about the making of the blues album and how it almost didn't get released because they didn't know if they could make it strong enough. Also mixed in is some scenes with the boys meeting fans plus the likes of other rock stars who are just as star struck as the actual fans paying for the tickets.

    I've seen Aerosmith nine times since that show in 1997 but unfortunately didn't catch this last one. I had high hopes this DVD would capture the spirit of an Aerosmith show and for the most part it succeeds. The show starts off with the always welcomed Toys in the Attic, which they can't do any wrong with. The version is played just the same as previous tours but it's a good way to get the crowd going. The raunchy Love in an Elevator follows and if you've ever seen these guys live, you just know this is a song to bring the roof down. Up next are Road Runner and Baby, Please Don't Go, which are from the latest album. I first came familiar with the band with their Get A Grip album, which of course featured Cryin'.

    Out of the nine shows I've been to this one has been played at each and I can't wait to hear it for a tenth time. The harmonica solo towards the end of the song is worth the $100 price tag for tickets.

    Up next we get The Other Side from P.U.M.P. followed by classics like Back in the Saddle, Draw the Line and Dream On, which are all incredible songs for the show. The guitar solo by Joe Perry during Draw the Line shows why he's one of the best in the business and can anyone top Tyler's vocal performance from Dream On? Another highlight of seeing the boys in concert is hearing Perry take the microphone and do a blues number, Stop Messin' Around. The encore then kicks in with recent crowd favorites like Jaded and I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, which, depending on the show, can sound great or bad. As silly and as sappy as I find IDWTMAT, I can't help but fall for it each time I hear it. It's probably due to the vocals by Tyler but the concert version also has a nice piano solo, which sets the song up nicely. Finally the boys hit the climax with a rocking variety of classics and recent songs. Sweet Emotion kicks things off followed by the new Never Loved a Girl, which fits in perfectly. The greatest hard rock song, Walk This Way follows with Train Kept A Rollin' closing the show out.

    As with The Making of P.U.M.P, this feature here will be a huge delight to fans as well as though who haven't experienced an Aerosmith concert before. The band perfectly blends the sexuality of rock with the blues and performs one of the best live shows out there. Plus, it never hurts when a band has played together for such a long time.