July 22, 2014
I’ve been an Aerosmith fan for quite some time; maybe beginning in 1975. My husband has been a fan since their very first album and for the longest time was also a member of their fan club. While I’m not a member of the Official Aerosmith Fan Club, I do get emails from from Aerosmith.com. And I received an email on May 15th stating that some “Limited Edition Wheels Up” packages had been added. So out of curiosity I clicked on the link to check it out. HOLY COW! They are going to be in Cincinnati and there are only two more Wheels Up tickets left. So I sauntered in to the living room where my husband was watching TV and presented him with this amazing news. And then I told him what the price tag would be. After a few moments of thinking about it, we decided to pull the trigger. Hey, you only live once and (just stating the facts) these guys aren’t getting any younger and they’ve broken up before and Steven has fallen off a stage already so we’d better get while the gettin's good!
LET’S REWIND! We did something similar to this back in 2004, when they came to Evansville, IN for their Honkin On Bobo Tour. Cheap Trick was the opening act. The VIP package for that tour was called Velvet Rope. We had early access in the arena, got to get up on stage and see some of the behind the scenes things like Joe Perry’s Dollhouse (where he keeps his guitars) and have our picture taken in front of Steven’s microphone with all the scarves. We then were in a back room and got to talk to Steven’s chef and then Steven Tyler came in and we had a Q&A with him.
Plus we were in row 4 or 5 for that concert. It was awesome. So having experienced THAT, we couldn’t wait to do even more with this tour package.
BACK TO PRESENT DAY: Waiting two months from the time we bought this package until the concert date was the L O N G E S T EVER! But finally a week prior, I received the “super secret” email that told us what time we needed to be there.
Riverbend Music Center is located in Cincinnati, OH so it was going to be just over 2 hours to get there. We needed to be there by 3:00PM and since there is ALWAYS construction on the interstate we decided to leave at noon to allow for any issues. Thankfully there weren’t any and we arrived in plenty of time. Signage for where to park wasn’t the best but we ended with good parking for the show. We we arrived around 2:45PM and a line had already formed of people waiting to get in. People watching sure is interesting…I’ll just leave it at that.
Sadly there was very limited shade so we were sweating and cooking out there in that line. Finally they announced for the Wheels Up ticket holders to come to the front of the line and get checked in first. SIDE NOTE: the lower priced option was called Sweet Spot but that only allowed you to attend the Q&A with Joey, Tom and Brad. You would not be getting your picture taken with Steven and Joe.
Once we got into the park, we staked our claim at an umbrella table and then my husband went to get us something to drink. We had to wait about 30-45 minutes before they shuffled us down to the seating area…did I mention that people watching is interesting.
WARNING! The rest of these posts will be heavy on the picture side.
Initially I thought that all three of the guys would be coming out together and the Q&A would be like a panel discussion. But they came out one at a time! First up was Joey Kramer. He came out on the stage but didn’t want to be up there so he came out in the crowd.
They opened the mic so that people could ask their questions. Who was the person in front of me asking a question? It was THAT GUY! You know, the one in every crowd that makes a spectacle of himself but he thinks he’s the coolest. This guy didn’t even ask a question. He just rambled on and on and on and on. Wait, that’s sort of like what my blog does.
Then Brad Whitford came out. My question for him was if he could choose one person as his “dream person” to have a jam session with–dead or alive-who would it be. His answer was Jimi Hendrix.
Lastly it was Tom Hamilton’s turn. I felt bad for him because I think everyone used up all of their questions with the other guys. And I also feel horrible for stating this but – he looked bad. Almost like he had suffered from a stroke or something. Perhaps the throat surgery took its toll on him. My question for him was what does he do during his “down time” to stay healthy and in shape. I wondered if he did yoga or ran. His reply was that he liked to go out in the cities where they are touring and see the sights, so he does a lot of walking.
Each guy was out there for about 30 minutes with us but then it was time for the Wheels Up people to get in line for the photo op with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Sorry Sweet Spot folks…you must leave the seating area.
My husband and I were first in line for the pictures. We had to decide if we wanted one together or for each of us to take a picture with them. We decided to go in together. We weren't allowed to take anything in with us and had to leave our belongings on a table with a security guy watching over them. We lined up, moved a few feet and then we were stopped. Then we moved a few feet and then we were stopped. We were ever so slowly inching our way up there. Just prior to going in, I swear I could hear Steven and Joe fussing at one another. Of course that would NOT be surprise at all.
So we finally get in and there they are standing there waiting on us. I was a little bummed that we didn’t get to spend any time with them and fingers crossed that the picture turns out. But it was basically go in, stand next to them, take the picture and leave. But Steven did comment that my skin felt hot and wondered if “they” had been making us stand in the sun! And that was it…they shuffled us back out to pick up our stuff and then out into the “concourse” area. Everyone that was still standing in line asked lots of questions about how it went as we passed them. I don’t know if we were smart to go first or if we should have waited a bit. I felt like the longer it would take them to get through everyone, they’d probably start getting bored or restless and want to speed it along even more. We’ll never know for sure which would have been better. We each got an autographed 8x10 photo and they are actually signed not “stamped” so we were pleased about that.
My husband took the stuff out to the car (we were allowed one pass out) and then we grabbed a slice of pizza and a drink then waited until time for the show. We looked at some of the merchandise but we weren't really interested in buying anything.
Around 7:20PM we headed in to our seats. 3rd row from the front of the stage and two seats in from the center runway stage….NICE!
…..to be continued in the next post.