April 20, 2023 Des Plaines Theatre in Des Plaines, Ill.
Review by Tom Antonson
Photos Rob Grabowski
This past Thursday, hundreds of people braved downpours and even hail to see the legendary Joe Perry at the Des Plaines theater. The Aerosmith guitarist embarked on a 7 date tour with his solo band, The Joe Perry Project. While Perry is primarily known for his work with Aerosmith, the guitar God makes even more of a name for himself solo.
The show started with a bombastic set from Ricky James. James warmed the crowd by combining the styles of Luke Spiller of the struts, David Bowie, Steven Tyler and more all into one glamorous package.
Next up were hometown heroes Enuff Z’Nuff, who blazed through a set of glam hits and covers. They even played a rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Jet.” Chip Z’Nuff and company also treated the audience to hits such as “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing,” which was fitting as the show was on 4/20.
Finally, Joe Perry took the stage, and while he could have easily held his own on stage, he brought along a village of rock n roll all stars to put on a true show. Vocals were covered by none other than legendary Extreme and Van Halen vocalist, Gary Cherone. If there is anyone on this planet that can come close to replicating Steven Tyler’s stage presence and chemistry with Joe Perry, Cherone is a perfect fit. Joe was also backed by Buck Johnson on keyboards and vocals, Jason Sutter (Cher, Chris Cornell) on drums and David Hull on bass. The band was dialed in all night and gave fans a true show.
The 21 song set contained the perfect blend of solo material, blues covers and a mix Aerosmith’s legendary songs and deep cuts. The show started off with “I’ve Got the Rock n Rolls Again,” one of his popular solo songs. The band also played songs from the new record, Sweetzerland Manifesto MKII, which will be released on May 26th. Perry was able to demonstrate all kinds of guitar goodness through wailing solos, slide guitar, and more. The band even went into a chilling cover of “Beck’s Bolero” in tribute of the late Jeff Beck. Of course, any Joe Perry show would be incomplete without a few Aerosmith songs. Perry and company delivered by playing songs such as “Let the Music Do the Talking,” “Chip Away the Stone.’ “The Train Keep A-Rollin’,’ and of course “Walk This Way.”
Even at a pristine 71 years old, Joe Perry takes command of the stage and the audience like no other. Joe did an amazing job showing that rock n roll is still alive and kicking, and will be for quite some time. Hopefully, we will be graced by one final Aerosmith tour because that is exactly what the world needs-some loud and proud rock n roll!