The Joe Perry Project
House of Blues – Orlando, Florida • 12/02/09
Although the dreary, rainy weather was probably a factor in minimizing the turnout, it couldn’t dampen the mood of the three hundred-plus faithful who did choose to brave the storm. Nor did it extinguish the onstage, rock ‘n’ roll fire created by The Joe Perry Project and opening act, Megaphone.
Orlando’s Megaphone hit the stage promptly at 8pm. Typically, my experiences reviewing Central Florida concerts have involved sitting through a myriad of mind-numbing local, regional, and national bottom-feeding warm-up acts with little to offer. However, Megaphone truly delivered the goods. Bursting with charisma and energy, they looked great, sounded great, and also offered what most up and coming openers lack — great songs. Despite the longtime hometown buzz surrounding the band, regrettably I’d never seen them live. Yet I was quickly hooked by their catchy, guitar-driven, power-pop ditties like “My Favorite New Disaster” and “Bad to Good.” I also found myself being physically drawn closer and closer to the stage with every song by their sonic magnetism. And I wasn’t the only one, as they received a mighty response from the crowd throughout their twenty-five minute set.
The house lights once again dropped at 9:10 as members of The Joe Perry Project took the stage. Dressed in a fitted, floor-length, black coat with black boots, black pants, black shirt, black vest, and a white scarf draped tightly around his neck, the legendary Aerosmith co-founder made his grand onstage entrance with typical, ultra-cool swagger. And with his trademark snow white streak running through the front of his fabulous, jet black, layered coif, he resembled a modern day rock and roll vampire.
The band kicked off its gutsy, hard-driving set with the title track from Perry’s 1980 debut record, Let the Music Do the Talking. Selections from his current solo record Have Guitar, Will Travel soon followed, including “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go,” “Do You Wonder,” “Freedom” and a re-make of Fleetwood Mac’s “Somebody’s Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked in Tonight).” But of course Perry is primarily known to his faithful flock for his thirty-five-year-plus tenure with Aerosmith and his set was packed with such gritty deep Aerosmith cuts as “Get the Lead Out,” “Bright Light Fright,” “Sight for Sore Eyes” and a quirky, reggae version of the classic “Dream On.”
Along with German newcomer Hagen handling most of the lead vocal duties, The Project also featured Perry’s longtime cohorts, bassist David Hull and Paul Santo on guitar and organ. Perry’s classic coolness pinned against the combination of Hagen’s youthful vitality and Hull and Santo’s old school vibe made for a band that was both fresh and experienced.
In short, Perry was amazing, the band was spot-on and they kicked ya where it counts — right in the nuts!
The Joe Perry Project: www.JoePerry.com