2007 was the year Aerosmith finally gave in and did a World Tour after a long time. I'd been waiting for a concert outside the US-Canada-Japan for a long time. Of all the concerts they did, I chose to go to Munich, Germany, for many reasons. It was closer to home, I wanted to see Germany and tickets were available. So I enrolled in the fan-club after a 10 year absence and I got the whole package for the concerts: the before-party, the tour of the arena before the concert and the ticket to the show with early entrance.
I chose to travel by bus since I find it more confortable than the train and cheaper than a plane ticket. I paid 80 euros for the round trip cos I booked it in advance, so that was nice. The hotel I'd booked was the closest to Olympia Park, where the Halle is (the hall where the concert was scheduled). I got myself checked into the hotel then went for a walk in the park. I went back to the hotel, got my special t-shirt and then left for the arena. I have to mention here that my t-shirt was a gift from my friend in England, a picture of the guys where Steven is much bigger than the others, being closer to the camera.
I was one of the 135 AeroForceOne members waiting in queue for their pre-show backstage tour. Needless to say, I was excited. I've never seen them live in the 13 years I had enjoyed their music. The girl in charge of taking the tour with us arrived a bit late but it was all fine. The backstage tour showed us the stage and the dressing rooms, plus all the techie stuff behind such a concert. We got to meet the guy in charge of graphics and video and he made a comment on my t-shirt. He said the guys in the band won't like my tee. I asked why and he said it was cos Steven was bigger than everybody else. I told him it was just like in 'Almost Famous' and he said "yeah, I didn't make the t-shirts, man". Then I bugged him for a few seconds asking which would make a better capture device, a Matrox or Canopus card, while the group couldn't advance and started wondering what the heck I was doing.
We saw the stage and got a photo taken that I saved off the Aerosmith website:
We visited the dressign rooms but couldn't walk in. They were decorated with classic Aerosmith stuff. We were told about the food they eat and what they do before concerts. It was a great experience but it ended too quickly. I could've spent 3-4 hours back there, checking every details. Hey, I'm a fan, what'd you expect?
When we returned outside the arena, we formed the queue waiting to go back in for the actual show. As we were waiting in line, a german guy in charge at Olympiahalle came and told us they had this ceremony where Aerosmith would put their hand prints in a cement slab. Steven Tyler had asked for an audience and he thought of the fans waiting outside so we were all invited to the ceremony!
No photos allowed! We gathered in a circle around the fresh cement and the ZDF crew that filmed the whole thing. Everyone was anxious to see the band. And they finally got there: Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. Brad Whitford wasn't feeling well (stomach bug, i reckon) and didn't attend. They were so close, my life's dream! Absolutely fabulous, I was tongue tied. With his hands in cement, Tom Hamilton started playing moving his hands like he was caressing a pair of boobs. I wanted to shout "those are not breasts, Tom" but they bodyguard the size of Shaquille O'Neil made me think twice. About 20 seconds later, Steven said "Tom, those are not your wife's breasts". I was like: "Heey, wait a minute!" hehehe. Anyway, they washed their hands and signed a flag. After that, I shouted to Steven to give us autographs. He came over to where I was and told me "I like that shirt". I replied "I know", that's about all I could say. I was tongue tied once again, not so many emotions but thoughts in my head. I felt like a virgin on her wedding night, so many questions, so little courage. Joe Perry left early, while Steven, Tom and Joey stuck around, shook my hand and signed my shirt. Seeing them for a few minutes made me realize a few things I had been asking myself for years. I learned they are human, they're nice guys and humble people. Steven is a ladies man, but I kinda knew that. I remember he was asked in a live interview by this MTV VJ chick where he wanted to be at that time and he replied "Uranus". Heh!
The concert was excelent, I heard "Dream On" live, it's their best song. I was up front and managed to leave with an unopened bottle of Evian water (cap writes 'ST"). I can't describe what I felt cos it's just hard to. It was a great experience and I got to see them live. Their music (strings, lyrics, shows) influenced me as a person. Steven Tyler's humor was so in tune with the universe I grew up in, it felt natural. The only difference is he had more women than I did Maltesers!
The next day, this video ran during the news on ZDF:
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. My life-long dream to shake the hand of a man who influenced my childhood had been fulfilled. Everything was quiet now. Fans were leaving the arena, the night embracing everyone as they walked through the park. Magical.