Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014, Eagle Vision, Aerosmith, 2015.
Aerosmith is an American treasure. The matter of the fact is four decades into their careers they are still easily one of the top live musical acts around. From their classic songs to their hits, there is something for everyone.
It’s not just the songs, it’s the performance and entertainment that goes along: one of rock’s tightest rhythmic sections, Joe Perry’s too-cool-for-you nonchalance, Steven Tyler’s screams and costume changes. Aerosmith Rocks Donington is not Aerosmith in their prime. It’s or your dad’s Aerosmith. This is Aerosmith today as it should be and if that interests you, good. If not, move along.
There’s excellent versions of classics like “Walk This Way” and “Mama Kin” going up to “Cryin'” and “Jaded”. The way “Home Tonight” blends into Aerosmith’s signature song “Dream On” is so good it’s almost tearful. Steven playing piano and singing on his own (later joined by the band) is one of the best moments of any Aerosmith show
Donington’s setlist covers the grand scope of Aerosmith’s career in 19 songs. I have very few complaints when it comes down to what songs were included. I was disappointed that “Back ln The Saddle” wasn’t performed, but that’s just me nitpicking. It encompasses a variety of the band’s catalogue from beginning to now. I was happily surprised that Joe Perry sang “Freedom Fighter” as it was the one song off Music From Another Dimension! that I wanted to hear.
Why another DVD release so soon after the last one? I enjoyed Land of the Rising Sun, I really did. But it was more of a documentary and some fans didn’t really enjoy that. This time, there are no bits and pieces of interviews in between songs. There is however a short intro by the band members along with a short video montage. This is one of the few concert DVDs that feels as if you’re there.
The production isn’t overblown, but it’s spectacular when it needs to be. The camera fixates on someone or something for more than a split second unlike a lot of concert DVDs. To be brief, the editing is just what it needs to be and then some. What you get is a full, continuous concert that showcases all that Aerosmith has to offer today.
Steven sounds incredible for a man of 66. He still does the screams and hits the notes and his voice has aged well which only becomes more apparent compared to his peers. His clothes remains outrageous as ever and his every move ever so captivating.
Joe Perry takes the cake when it comes to looking the part of the badass guitar player who looks like he couldn’t possibly care less. That’s not to say there’s not good shots of the rest of the band, but the focus here (and as it always has been) is on the Toxic Twins.
Donington comes in separate bundles of either just the standalone DVD or Blu-Ray or either combined with CDs or Vinyl. Should you get it? The one I splurged for is a full package with the concert DVD and two CDs. The digipack packaging it comes in is beautiful and unfolds to reveal each separate disc stored with care. Booklet is complete with liner notes and picture. If I had to be a nerd (let’s face it, I kinda am), I’d say it mentions the release of Rocks as 1975 (it’s ’76).
The concert DVD is an excellent representation of Aerosmith today and a great souvenir of the 2014 Donington show in the U.K. It looks fabulous with nice camera angles and shots. In that sense it’s their best video release in quite some time.
I also personally enjoy the two CDs since there hasn’t been any live Aerosmith discs in some time and they sound great. With the visuals you tend to be blown away and taking it all in. The CDs reveal a little more of the imperfections and rough spots but you also get the full effect by getting the live CDs to accompany the DVD/Blu-Ray in my opinion.
It’s not Aerosmith’s best live effort, rather it’s true to who they are and sounds decent enough. Should you give it a try? I’d certainly say so.
The DVD: 4.5/5