It was really special to be invited to take part in the celebrations surrounding “Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock” because the hoopla from the game found me at a party where the one and only Joe Perry from Aerosmith was going to be jamming a couple of songs with his sons band. It turned out to be a lot more than this when it came down to it, so the curious are encouraged to keep scrolling past the logo below.
Artist: Joe Perry & Tab The Band
Label: Columbia Records
Event: “Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock” Launch Party
Venue: The Annex (New York, NY)
In celebration of Activision’s launch of “Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock” – Aerosmith’s lead guitarist extraordinaire would be in New York City to help promote the game and sign some autographs for fans who attended the GameStop gala celebration. During the affair Perry would also serve as a judge during a fan “Guitar Hero” competition and even speak to aspiring guitar heroes in the making. Later that evening he would take part in a very special industry only showcase of music with Tab The Band at The Annex. This club is a new hot spot for Rock & Roll down on the Lower East Side and it offers a decent sized main floor and bar with a stage where bands can jam out and let the audience get up nice and close. This intimate setting made knowing about Perry’s jamming on a couple of numbers with this band a lot more exciting. The cool night air in NYC was far from present inside the club tonight and if anything it got many degrees hotter as the band went on. For those who are unaware, Tab The Band is comprised of two of Joe Perry’s own sons. We have Tony Perry on guitars, and Adrian Perry on vocals and bass while Ben Tileston is the groups friend and drummer. They are a hard rocking outfit who delivers an old school sound to a world that sorely needs this type of vibe once again. As the band was getting ready to perform I noticed that everywhere around the stage were Joe’s guitars and this meant very clearly that he would be playing more than only a couple of songs. I’ve never been happier to be right in recent memory than tonight.
The band came out right on schedule and Joe was upfront and acting as the emcee for them as well. He said how excited he was to be here for the event and to jam with his boys who he always heard practicing and they hoped that we would all enjoy ourselves. It got started right away with “Roadrunner” – a classic Bo Diddley track that Aerosmith delivered on their “Honkin’ On Bobo” album a couple of years ago and the guys in the band showed right away that they had chops. Adrian also sang and offered a lot of power to the backing vocals when Dad was handling the main vocal parts during the set. Joe stopped between songs to introduce numbers and also to just chit chat to the crowd about a particular point in time when a song was coming up. It certainly added a lot of personality to the gig and made it seem like this was mostly about the fun that Rock & Roll is designed to deliver. The set that they did was rich with history and included classic Blues numbers, a couple of covers such as “Helter Skelter” and “Red House” (Beatles and Jimi Hendrix respectively) and even a healthy dose of Aerosmith and his own solo music. There was some Tab music played as well and we got treated to “Secretary’s Day”, a song that Adrian said was inspired by his own girlfriend who is not a secretary. The band was very strong on candor to say the least and did not seem uncomfortable by performing with their legendary father. During the night which featured some fourteen songs Perry swapped guitars quite often and this definitely had the musicians in the audience drooling as well since they were some beautiful axes. One of them was clear while yet another had a painting of his wife on its body. He told the audience that it was her and that she was about the room someplace making sure the sound was good tonight. I had trouble picking out any one particular highlight since its spontaneity and relaxed manner of delivery made the whole event special. Perry was amusing for the most part and when he spoke of “By Night Flight” he discussed his love of some of what went on in Punk music and when they did the song everyone seemed off on their own tangent as opposed to together. When they all stopped Adrian posed the question that how about they all do the song differently to Joe’s deadpan answer of “we are Adrian, now lets do it together”. They closed with the original version of “Let The Music Do The Talkin’” from Joe’s solo album but you just knew an encore was coming up after a moment’s breather. Joe and the guys quickly returned and hit us with a smoking rendition of “Shakin’ My Cage”, the opening number from Perry’s 2005 self-titled solo recording. It was great to be able to take part in this tonight and get to bring some photos and words about it to a larger audience as well. I see big things for the guys in Tab and recommend that if you are fans of what Joe gets to do in Aerosmith and as a solo artist then you should give his boys a serious listen. Adrian has a powerful voice and can really deliver in the live sense while playing a solid bass. Tony is a really good guitar player who shows he was paying attention when Dad was speaking while drummer Ben is very simply a slamming dude back there. Hopefully they will be playing around here again so more of their music can be absorbed.
About Guitar Hero: The “Guitar Hero” game has become a blockbuster over the past couple of years and the phenomenon doesn’t show any signs of slowing down yet. It’s played by using a guitar shaped controller and the gamer simply watches the notes on the screen to get their points by strumming the guitar and pressing the proper button on the devices neck. While they play these notes on the “guitar” a song is generated and while it doesn’t actually teach them how to play it does offer them some of the same Rock Star luxuries such as a cool stage, a band and an adoring audience. Perhaps in some sense it will inspire them to really pick up the instrument and in that we can only hope. The game is up to its third release and on “Legends Of Rock” we find Slash from Guns ‘N Roses, Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine and Joe Perry from Aerosmith as part of the characters and whose music is featured. The game itself seems to have become quite the tour bus accessory and can be seen on DVD features of bands like All That Remains and Dragonforce who show their members in competition for whatever spoils they have determined. As the game continues to grow I can almost safely predict that all the more bands will want to take part and cause more and more modules or expansions to be presented to a very hungry audience. The game is currently available on a number of platforms with PS2, X-Box, and Wii being among them.
2. Walkin’ The Dog
3. Stop Talkin’
4. Red House
5. Simple Song
6. Chip Away
7. Hold On Me
8. South Station
9. Secretary’s Day
10. Rockin’ Train
11. By Night Flight
12. Helter Skelter
13. Let The Music Do The Talkin’
14. Shakin’ My Cage