Living on the Edge in Las Vegas (with Aerosmith)

Yes, that’s just what I’ve been doing! Aerosmith (my favourite rock band, if anyone’s a) interested or b) sick of hearing that fact, see a previous blog post here) had a residency for 3 months at the Park MGM, to celebrate Aerosmith’s 50th anniversary. Someone said that if I wanted to go, it’d better be now while they’re all still around …

Mind you, nobody would guess that Steven Tyler is 71 years old from his appearance, bouncing joie de vivre and occasionally gasp-inducing athleticism. And the rest of the band look pretty darned cool as well.

My friend Jenny and I bought extremely good tickets way back in October when they first went on sale. 25 years ago, we went on a trip to the West Coast of the USA to see 5 gigs in 8 days, and this was a bit of a reunion, meeting up with some of our American friends and fellow fans. When we met again on the first night, although we’ve not seen them since and have only communicated via social media, we all felt like old friends. The afternoon before our first show, we were taken on a tour of the Aerosmith resident museum and shown around the stage by their chief technician, who rejoices in the name of Haystack (they wouldn’t let us take photos of this, apart from this one of us in front of the show’s special logo).

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Our first concert was on 2nd July, and we were actually on the stage – yes, on the stage. Here I am at my post, before the band came on.

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You can see how close we were. I was wearing this hat in the hope that Steven would want to wear it (we Ariens love a hat!), and indeed he did – he came running over and grabbed it off me, as he sang a verse of ‘Last Child’. Then he ran around the stage and it fell off his head. At this point all I was thinking was, ‘I want my hat back!’, but he returned, put it on his head again, and gave it to me. This made my week, as you may imagine, and for the next few days fans kept coming up to me and asking if they could touch the hat. Even the guy who did all the lasers for the show came to talk to me, and gave us a set list. (Here I am with the hat, and Steven singing to me with it on.)

The second concert on 4th July was equally terrific (how do they do it, I wonder!) and this time we were in the few front rows of seats, so we had a different view, which meant we were able to enjoy the show without seeing so much of how the huge machine worked (all the black-clad technicians racing around and busting a gut to make sure everything went smoothly). At the end, the stadium was showered with red, white and blue balloons and confetti.

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If you haven’t been to Las Vegas, all I can tell you is that it is just like you see it on the TV – constant lights, noises of slot machines and gamblers whooping, completely crazy themed hotels, extremely hot and dry (it’s in the desert) and dedicated to self-indulgence. This is why, the few times that I have been, I really want to go home after about 5 days. Which we did, just ahead of the second earthquake in Ridgecrest, CA, the first one of which we’d felt the repercussions from on 4th July. Our plane took off before our hotel started shaking, so I’m told, which is just as well, as we were on the 25th floor – yikes!

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So – back to Blighty, my green and pleasant land, and back to normal life, which I’m very happy about, as there are few things that I enjoy more than sitting at my desk, proofreading. (Yes, that’s true, otherwise I’d find something else to do!) But very occasionally, my inner and outer rock chicks join hands and go out to party.

(My grateful thanks for the photos go to my friends Becky Heald-Freeman, Nancy D, and of course my partner in crime, Miss Jenny Aero Smith!)

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