Aerosmith and ZZ Top Prove They're Real Guitar Heroes at Cricket Wireless Pavilion

Categories: Concert Review

Luke Holwerda
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. See more shots in our Aerosmith slide show.

A funny thing has happened to the recording industry lately. Video games have begun to influence to music sales. Don't believe me? Consider that the re-release of the entire Beatle Catalogue is scheduled for the exact same day as the release of The Beatles Rock Band, a music simulation game featuring The Beatles music and instrument-shaped controllers. Consider also the latest tour from the fab fivesome, Aerosmith, is presented by Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, a similar music simulation video game featuring classic rock.

No doubt the thought of video games driving music sales seems as unsavory on the surface to you as it did to me. Rest assured that any unease I felt about watching a concert presented by a video game was squelched during Aerosmith's encore performance in which Joe Perry squared off against a virtual representation of himself from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith in a guitar solo duel. Virtual Perry struck first sending a blistering stream of notes into the air at Cricket Wireless Pavilion. Real Perry sent a down-and-dirty riff back. The two traded riffs of brilliant technicality back and forth until the genuine article ended the sortie by blowing his virtual counterpart to bits.

"Every once in a while, someone comes up and tells me they beat me [in the game] and we have a good laugh," Perry crooned through a mic. "Well what's better? The live thing or that thing?" A roaring applause was all the answer he needed.

But don't knock the games just yet. At the very least they've sparked a renewed interest in classic rock. You remember classic rock, don't you? It harkens back to a distant time when men worked on cars, set things on fire and could score chicks just by being sharply-dressed.

Luke Holwerda
ZZ Top. See more shots in our slide show.

Nothing exemplifies the classic rock spirit more than living legends ZZ Top. As Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard belted out "Legs," "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Tush," and "Sharp-Dressed Man," screens behind them bombarded the audience with images of hot chicks and hot rods. Hell, the trio even layed down a cover of "Foxy Lady."

For a band that got its start in 1969, you'd expect ZZ Top to show more of their age. Sure, their dance moves boiled down to toe-tappin', but other than that they proved they have remained consummate performers with each muddy guitar solo and each instance of southern-accented vocals. Maybe it's the beards, but their age just makes them seem wiser. They're like a couple of uncles who'll teach you how to get high and give you advice on getting laid pulled from 40 years of experience and sweaty, blues licks. Now listen here, boy.

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