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Aerosmith: Rock For the Rising Sun (Blu-ray)

In 2011 Japan was hit with a devastating earthquake, a tsunami, and a subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, leaving parts of the country in a complete disaster zone. That however didn't stop veteran hard rockers Aerosmith from their 'Back on the Road' tour of Japan, and this Blu-ray features footage from a few of the shows played, as well as behind the scenes & interview snippets from their trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

The live performances are stellar, filmed in high-definition and delivered with superb picture quality and audio. One look at the set list and you know that the band chose the tracks for the tour wisely, as many Aerosmith classics were dusted off for their rabid Japanese fans. Forty years into their career and the band still have it, churning out blistering renditions of staples like "No More No More", "Draw the Line", "Mama Kin", "Toys in the Attic", "Sweet Emotion", "Rats in the Cellar", "Last Child", and of course "Walk This Way", along with more recent favorites like "Livin' on the Edge" and "Love in an Elevator" (curiously, no "Dream On" to be found here). Through it all Steven Tyler is in great vocal form, as are the guitar team of Joe Perry & Brad Whitford, with Perry taking center stage on most of the first half, and Whitford laying down some tremendous lead guitar later in the set. Though Joe has always gotten most of the praise, Whitford is a truly underrated player and really shows some serious chops on "Last Child" and "S.O.S. (Too Bad)".

As good as the live clips are, the main problem here is that too many songs are cut to allow for the inclusion of interview & backstage segments, and footage of the band walking around Japan. Those who really wanted to see the definitive live concert film of Aerosmith are going to be ultimately disappointed, as that's not really what you get here. To add insult to injury, as the band closes out with what starts as a raging version of "Train Kept A Rollin", the film goes to credits and we don't get to see the majority of the song.

That being said, Rock For the Rising Sun is still a fun watch and shows that Aerosmith, as a live act anyway, still have plenty of fire left in the tank.

Track Listing
1) Draw The Line
2) Love In An Elevator
3) Livin On The Edge
4) Hangman Jury
5) No More No More
6) Mama Kin
7) Monkey On My Back
8) Toys In The Attic
9) Listen To The Thunder
10) Sweet Emotion
11) Boogie Man
12) Rats In The Cellar
13) Movin Out
14) Last Child
15) S.O.S. (Too Bad)
16) Walk This Way
17) Train Kept A Rollin (credits)
Bonus Features:
Bonus Performances:
(1) Lick And A Promise
(2) One Way Street

Added: August 25th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2430
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Aerosmith: Rock For the Rising Sun (Blu-ray)
Posted by Joshua Olbekson on 2020-05-25 17:52:00
My Score:

Can't help but agree with this review. Although I'm writing this in 2020, I don't think it's off base. I grew up in New Hampshire in the 1970s, and was 14 at just the right time for sneaking behind the parents to listen to Boston's legendary WBCN. BCN jumped on the original "Bad Boys from Boston" and we wore that first album out (though a 14 year old meathead could have done without "Dream On"). First show at 14 hitchhiking down to the old Boston Garden in 1974 . . . never been able to duplicate that concert experience. They were ferocious and confident with an all out sonic assault.

Kept trying though. Shows all over New England. And as seemed to be too often the case with the bands we loved as high testosterone teens got sloppier and sloppier. The songs became less and less focused. "Draw the Line" was it for me. Still not one that--in my singular view--works well on any level. While it was nice to see them pull out of rehab in the mid 1980s, but other people were writing the songs and they all seemed to be ballads. If they needed to market themselves to teenage girls with songs like "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and "Angel," well who can fault a band that has to pay for developing health care costs and their childrens' college education. All that was left for me was my own children asking me "Dad, what was Aerosmith like back in the day? When "Toys in the Attic" came out?" Like the immortal line from "The Outsiders" -- "Nothing gold can stay."

Accordingly, I have no freaking clue how those fossils could be on stage almost forty years later and pull off shows like the ones documented in this DVD. I kept looking for 20 year olds, lurking behind the amps and playing the bands' parts. But it's clear that Joey, Joe, Tom, and Brad are tearing through their parts accurately and completely absent all that ugly sloppiness of their live shows in the late 1970s. Although technology has undoubtedly helped, the sound is SO much better than I ever heard them back in the day. Tom and Brad in particular--on top of Kramer--have an extraordinary depth and fullness to the low end rhythm parts that sounds like Godzilla stomping on Tokyo. Tyler's voice is remarkable for the mileage on it, as his overall energy level. Joe never makes a mistake. The versions of "Rats in the Celler," "Sweet Emotion," and others absolutely trump the live stuff I remember from way back when. And when they choose to pull out a chestnut like "One Way Street" -- which I never heard in a live set post 1976 -- it's always updated and reworked and delivered flawlessly without losing any of the original rawness.

How the hell did they ever pull this kind of renaissance off? Goat hormones?

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