Aerosmith’s New Vegas Gig is a High-Tech Reinvention of a Rock Show

Aerosmith (Photos: Ross Halfin)

Can Aerosmith carry the torch for rock n’ roll in Las Vegas? MGM Resorts International hopes so. The resort giant is teaming up with Live Nation to produce “Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild” with shows beginning in the spring.

“We decided to do Vegas,” said frontman Steven Tyler, while making the announcement on the Today Show. “Viva Las Aerosmith.”

The residency includes 18 dates in April, June, and July at the Park Theater inside the new Park MGM resort (renovated from the old Monte Carlo) on the Las Vegas Strip. The 5,200-seat venue has seen extended runs by Bruno Mars, Cher, and Ricky Martin since opening in late 2016. It’s also hosting a series of dates by Queen + Adam Lambert in September, proving that rock is definitely on the table in Vegas.

The Park Theater is fully-equipped with the latest technology and Aerosmith plans to make full use of it while taking things a step further. “We want to bring a show in there that we can’t do when on a regular tour,” said lead guitarist Joe Perry.

Live Nation says “Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild” will “deliver the world’s first THX-certified live performance presented in L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound.” Yes, that’s the same THX founded by George Lucas and used for maximizing visual and audio effects for the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. The “hyperreal sound” is courtesy of L-Acoustics, a groundbreaking French company that leads the industry in mastering crystal-clear fully-synced sound in large-venue settings. “We’re going to get a chance to use some special effects that haven’t been used before,” added Tyler.

If the initial Vegas dates do well, it’s not inconceivable more could be added. A little bit of stability is probably what Aerosmith needs right now. After becoming one of the biggest selling rock acts in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the band rode out some rough waters that threatened their very existence. Bassist Tom Hamilton battled cancer while Steven Tyler battled an addiction to painkillers. Although Tyler never appeared to officially quit Aerosmith, the band threatened to replace him at one point after a series of internal squabbles. More recently, some South American dates were mysteriously cancelled in 2017 due to “medical issues.” It didn’t help that the band’s last studio album, Music From Another Dimension!, was long-delayed and failed to make a significant impact when finally released in 2012.   

Here’s the good news: the band has its classic five-member core in place and is a reliably tight live act. Tyler seemed a little grumpy on the Today Show (especially when a fan tried to take a selfie with the singer), but is still able to hit more notes than should be expected from an 70-year-old singer. Aerosmith will celebrate 50 years as a band in 2019, making the Vegas run a true celebratory experience. “As soon as you walk into the Park Theater in Vegas, you’re going to walk into Aerosmith World,” said drummer Joey Kramer. “Everything about it is going to be Aerosmith, Aerosmith, Aerosmith.”

Tickets for “Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild” go on sale at 10 a.m., August 24 with Aero Force One fan club members getting an early crack on Aug. 16 at 9 a.m.

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