Yesterday me and my best friend Cori drove to Cleveland Ohio and saw Aerosmith on their Global Warming Tour at the Quicken Loans Arena. We left Bloomington at 7 am since the GPS and map quest had two totally different drive times for our trip, I wanted to make sure we made it there in plenty of time. During the drive there we listening to an all Aerosmith playlist I had made on my itouch of my 46 favorite Aerosmith songs. We had packed food and bottled water in a cooler so we only had to stop once for a bathroom break.
We arrived in Cleveland a little before 1pm and drove straight to our hotel. Check in was supposed to start at 3 but we hoped they would check us in early like many hotels will do. Turns out they didn't have any rooms ready so we had to wait until 3. In the meantime we drove over to the arena to try and scope out where the east parking garage was located that we had reserved a spot at and also to see what is around the arena to do since Cori wasn't coming to the meet and greet with me before the show. Then we returned to the hotel and wasted time on our laptops in the lobby till 3.
When we got our room we went up and started getting ready for the show. I had planned to wear the amazing leopard print dress I posted in my most recent look on lookbook with those pink heels to the concert. I loved that dress and it took a while for me to get it, and I was so set on it...but ended up wearing the back up dress I had brought. After Cori had taken some photos of me in the intended concert dress I saw how easy it was for it to add weight to me with the smaller leopard pattern if a photo was taken at a bad angle. The original dress is way cuter than my alternate dress that I ended up wearing but the one I ended up wearing had a larger print and elongated my body more therefor I looked smaller in it. I just didn't want to look like a big fatty in my picture with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.
We left the hotel probably around 3:45 because I had to be there for the meet and greet and pre-show VIP stuff at 4:15 sharp. We hit some traffic and the GPS was trying to take us God knows where and almost got us lost. Thank God we found the place in time. At the parking garage though the pre-paid parking attendant wasn't there yet so I had to pay and have them reimburse me once I got in the building. It was about 4:10 when we arrived at the garage and the lady was taking forever to charge my debit card, so once we cleared the gate I jumped out of the car and let Cori park it and I took off running to the scheduled meeting place.
Once I found the meeting place there was a room full of people that were in what was supposed to be a line. It took a while to get through the line, but they gave me the Wheels up VIP Aerosmith lanyard and laminate, a 13x17 tour poster, a lithograph of Steven and Joe for them to sign and my concert ticket. Cori came in and stood with me until it was time for us to leave. I bought two ridiculously priced t-shirts from the merch table and waited around until it was time to go the the Q&A with Brad, Joey and Tom. At the Q&A each of the band members I just mentioned came out for a while and answered questions and brad and tom played a little bit on their guitar and bass. Once the Q&A was over it was time to meet Steven and Joe.
They had us line up in a hallway backstage while we waited. When I get nervous/excited I start talking a lot to people I don't even know...which is funny because I am so socially awkward and shy most of the time with people I don't know well. Anyways I got to talk to some of the other Aero fans back there and hear where they were from and about their previous concert and meet and greet experiences for Aerosmith. When we were standing in the hallway waiting Cheap Trick walked by...I didn't even know who the guys were till someone yelled, "It's Cheap Trick!" haha They stopped and talked to some kids that wanted their autograph, they seemed pretty personable and friendly. As we waited the photographer for Aerosmith came through and told us what would happen at the photo op with the guys. She told us they would sign our lithograph then she would take 3 or 4 photos. She told us to make sure we at least try to look at the camera and smile for one of the photos because a lady at the last show wouldn't stop talking and didn't even have one good photo.
So we are still standing in a line in the hallway waiting and we hear Aerosmith music go on and then people toward the beginning of the line start yelling and clapping and we're informed the guys are there. They had them in this side room with black curtains on both entrances, I kept seeing people walk in and disappear behind the curtain. When I was close enough where there were only like 4 people ahead of me I could see Joe Perry when they opened the curtain and it's like I went completely insane fan girl and started wigging out. I kept telling the couple in front of me I had been chatting with, "Joe is right there, he's right there!" Standing there my mouth went dry and my heart was beating so fast and it was all just feeling way surreal. Then a few more people went in, I got a little closer and then I saw Steven through the gap in the curtain, AND... I lost my mind. I was in full freak out mode. I was just staring, he was in there with a dark grey fitted blazer on over a white shirt and pants and he was wearing this top hat style hat. He looked crazy/amazing as Steven always does. By the time it was my turn I saw he had thrown off the hat and blazer.
When it was my turn to go in the security guard looked to make sure I wasn't taking in anything but the approved lithograph to sign, which he didn't see the necklace I had in my hand behind the photo. (They told us we couldn't give the guys gifts, but I always see people doing it in meet and greet photos from other shows) When I walked in the room a person handed my lithograph to Joe and Steven and they signed it at the same time. Then the guy moved so I could go over to take a photo with them. Joe was the closest and I just stood in front of him for a second and I just remember looking at his tan face and pretty flowing hair and looking in his dark brown eyes and I said, "oh. my. gosh." he kinda smirked at me and then I look at Steven, he was complaining that the audio wasn't right with the music being played in the room. I stood there for a second and then he looks over at me and it was like I was in a haze and all I could say was, "Oh my gosh I love you! I can't remember his exact reply because I was just so overwhelmed with it all, he said, "awe" and something else I am not sure of. Then he pulled me to his side and I remember looking at the camera for the photos. I had all these things I wanted to say to him, things I am sure people tell him a lot but would have still been genuine. I wanted to tell him that I have been a fan of Aerosmith since I was 9, that I loved his raspy singing voice, I love his style, that he wears the coolest clothes and that he inspires me fashion wise with the animal prints and great boots he used to always wear in the 80's and 90's. Wanted to tell him he is hilarious on American Idol and in the Burger King commercial. But with the loud music playing, the rushed moment before the photographer started snapping photos and the haze my brain was in..."Oh my gosh I love you" I guess somehow summed all of that up. How funny/embarrassing. Well at least I know he hears that from fans all the time.
After the photo I somehow regained my conscious sanity and told Steven I made him a necklace and handed it to him and said I hope he liked it. He said something like, "Awe that's sweet." He explained that he couldn't wear it on stage because he might chip a tooth, lol and I'm pretty sure he said he liked it... then HE PUT IT ON! Then it was over and I was leaving the room. The girl that let me out the curtain looked at me and I remember going, "oh my gosh I'm freaking out!" I think she thought it was funny.
The whole photo op and picture signing was so short, but I was already aware of that and it was worth it. Once I was back in the arena I called Cori...I was a little teary and whiny and was freaking out. I think I kept telling her OMG I met Steven Tyler. haha So I met up with her near the merch table and I guess I was in such a state she hugged me. I mean I realize Steven and Joe are just people like the rest of us, but liking them for so long and then seeing them face to face and speaking to them, it's all just too surreal.
My seat for the concert ended up being the 3rd row. It was a good seat, close to the stage. It wasn't as close to the catwalk as I would have liked but I was just excited to finally be there and see them live. Before Aerosmith went on some person gave Cori a much closer seat than her top balcony seat and she then had an excellent view of the stage too! I was so happy she got a closer seat because I was worried with the far away one that she wouldn't even enjoy herself since the band looked like ants from that high up.
Cheap Trick opened the show, I only knew one of their songs but they were good. The Aerosmith guys were in fine form, Steven's voice was in good condition it being only the 2nd date of the tour, the guys played well, their stage ensembles were amazing, the lighting and stage equipment was great, especially the screens on the stage where they showed close ups of the guys performing. They started the show with "Draw the Line" and ended it was two encore songs: "Dream On" and "Train Kept a Rollin" For Dream On a white piano came up out of the catwalk and Steven played it for the intro. This was the set list for the show:
draw the line
love in an elevator
walkin the dog
Livin on theedge
sos too bad
what it takes
I don't wanna miss a thing
walk this way
The guys gave a great show. I'm not sure how Steven has all that energy to run all over the stage and dance around like he does, I doubt I could do that at 27 and he is 64 years old. After the show I was starving so we went to some nearby pub and I got a slice of pizza and a creme soda. I can't tell you how much fun I had seeing Aerosmith live. I've wanted to see them live for so long but never had money when they announced a tour or anyone to go with me. I have been to a lot of concerts because it is one of my fave things to do but this was different. I mostly go to Christian concerts because I listen to a lot of Christian music and those are great because I love the music and that they are glorifying God. And I have been to see the Backstreet Boys, Lifehouse, Mat Kearney and such. But I haven't known those songs and known about the band members since I was a kid. It was so different to hear songs live that you have known and loved since you were 9 years old. I had such a great time and am so thankful I got to go.
Some photos from the show:
(the necklace I made Steven, I wore it as a bracelet till I gave it to him)
Steven and Joe
Joe wearing his amazing gold glittery blazer
Brad and Steven
Tom and his amazing blue glitter bass
Joey on drums
Brad on guitar
Steven on Piano