DVD Review: Aerosmith / Rock For The Rising Sun
Being a big fan of Aerosmith for as many years as I have, it surprised me how few live DVDs the band has released over the years. Yes, Live Texxas Jam ’78 is excellent but I only own a VHS copy. Why not release it on Blu-Ray at this point? Clean it up and add some bonus features? There must be a plethora of vintage shows from the early days and on through the late 70’s, early 80’s and into the 90’s that must exist.
Clearly there is a void here and with a band such as Aerosmith that has such rich history it’s a crime that only 2004’s You Gotta Move is my only DVD choice. Well, now we finally have a new choice with Rock For The Rising Sun a great live show shot in Japan in 2011 shortly after their devastating earthquake and tsunami that saw a nuclear plant core meltdown spreading radiation and fear across the country. Basically the band was warned to stay away but the boys decided there was only one way to help the people of Japan and that with their songs.
The set list is loaded with rockers and no ballads. Lots of classics like “Draw The Line”,Toys In The Attic”, “No More, No More”, “Mama Kin”, “Walk This Way” and Sweet Emotion” are the more familiar cuts while tracks such as “Movin’ Out”, “Last Child”, “S.O.S (Too Bad)”, and “Boogie Man” are the tracks not heard as often but really made this show a special one. Add in a few songs from the late 80’s/early 90’s such as “Love In An Elevator”, ‘Livin On The Edge”, “Monkey On My Back” and “Hangman Jury” and clearly there is something for everyone. Also two additional tracks were added as a bonus feature “Lick and a Promise” and “One Way Street”.
I thought a few things about this DVD could have been improved on; one was the fact that the interview features were included in between each song during the concert. Although not totally distracting, there could have been an option on the menu which played the entire show from beginning to end without this or just add these interviews as a bonus feature. Also two songs that were sadly given “haircut” treatments were “Hangman Jury” and “Train Kept A Rollin“ which runs during the DVD’s ending credits. The credits can run as the band bows onstage and we hear the crowd’s applause and then simply fade out. Also it doesn’t seem as if this concert is just one complete show but songs pulled from various performances throughout Japan. There does seem to a lack of flow at times because of this.
Overall this is a must have for the diehard Aerosmith fan and a recommended purchase for the average fan or even a new fan who would like to own a piece of the band’s live history. As mentioned earlier, a DVD box set of various shows or a history of the band is long overdue. KISS, for example, has done a terrific job with their Kissology collections and Iron Maiden has done maybe the best job pulling from different era’s from the bands history with a ton of live shows to choice from. Yet Rock for The Rising Sun at least gives the Aerosmith fan a well filmed live performance to enjoy at home while at the same time hoping that is a step in the right direction and not the lone footprint from one of the greatest Rock n Roll bands in US history.