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Watch Aerosmith return for their first show since the pandemic

Joe Perry performing live
(Image credit: Toshi Aizawa/YouTube)

Aerosmith returned to the stage for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, as the rock ‘n’ roll heroes reunited for a show at the Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, on Sunday (September 4).

In a show that also marked frontman Steven Tyler’s first live outing since returning from rehab, electric guitar players Joe Perry and Brad Whitford linked up with their Aerosmith bandmate Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer stand-in John Douglas for a 19-song set that spanned the band’s repertoire.

Fan footage shows Aerosmith making their way through a cover of The Shangri-Las’ Remember (Walking in the Sand), which had followed renditions of Back in the Saddle, Same Old Song and Dance, Rag Doll and Mama Kin.

Multiple clips from the evening captured the energetic dual guitar action of Perry and Whitford, with the former paying thanks to the audience for attending the show – despite the fact “none of us have been on stage for two-and-a-half years” – before launching into Stop Messin’ Around.

The setlist had plenty of room for other Aerosmith favorites, including Hangman Jury, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Love in an Elevator and Dude (Looks Like a Lady). For the first time since 2017, the band also performed ballad Full Circle.

A 17-minute video that shows the entire encore – comprising mega hits Dream On and Walk This Way, as well as a cover of Bull Moose Jackson’s Big Ten Inch Record – has also been posted.

Before the Maine Savings Amphitheater show, Aerosmith had last performed on February 15, 2020 as part of their Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas Residency. Their scheduled European and UK tour appearances for that year were then canceled due to the pandemic.

Though the band didn’t tour in 2021, Aerosmith did announce they had plans to continue their Vegas residency in June of this year, but this was delayed after Tyler was admitted into rehab.

“Our beloved brother Steven has worked on his sobriety for many years”, the band said in a statement at the time. “He has recently relapsed and voluntarily entered a treatment program to concentrate on his health.”

A further delay to Aerosmith’s return came when drummer Joey Kramer announced he would be taking a “temporary leave of absence” from the band. It was announced (opens in new tab) that drum tech John Douglas would take his place for the band's 2022 live shows.

According to NME (opens in new tab), the multiple delays have resulted in Aerosmith’s longest period off stage since their formation.

Aerosmith will perform one additional warmup show at Boston’s Fenway Park later this week (September 8) before resuming their Las Vegas residency on September 14 at the Dolby Live at Park MGM stadium.

For a full list of dates, visit Aerosmith’s website (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.