On January 3rd, 1990 myself and a couple of friends from my residence floor at Carleton University went to see Aerosmith at the Ottawa Civic Centre. I had just returned from my first ever trip home for xmas and this was my first big rock and roll arena show since moving to Ottawa. No doubt we kicked off the evening with a few drinks back at the dorm before setting off on foot for the nearby venue.
I do know we caught all of Skid Row’s opening set. At the time I was still very steeped in hair metal and Sebastian Bach and his Youth Gone Wild bandmates fit the bill perfectly. We weren’t on the floor but we did our best to rage from our seats in the lower bowl. If I recall correctly Skid Row did an admirable job of rockin’ out and so did we.
I was Pumped to see Aerosmith (pun intended – they were touring what would turn out to be their last good album) and they delivered. Of course the obligatory classics like Mama Kin and Dream On were fantastic but the new songs (at the time) were so good I was just as excited for tunes like Love In An Elevator and Janie’s Got A Gun as I was when I heard the opening wah of Sweet Emotion.
Of course the show ended with Walk This Way and we walked out of there bouncing with excitement and going over the highlights of what we all agreed was a fantastic concert. This would be the last time I would ever see an Aerosmith I could be proud of, as the band was about to begin their descent into a sober mockery of their former rock and roll selves. In a Chicago Transit Authority-esque tailspin the toxic twins soon started churning out a phalanx of pre-fab ballads and under-reaching rockers before losing their lead singer to one of the many neo-Gong Show staples of modern prime time television.
Come to think of it, maybe their descent was already well underway by this time and my fist-pumping youthful naiveté – elevated by the power chord fiesta of the opening act – caused me to give Aerosmith a pass. Either way, from my perspective I feel fortunate to have one true rockin’ Aerosmith show in my history.