This Boston club gig was the first of two show Aerosmith played almost a year on from the infamous Mama Kin/s Dec 1994 concert that closed their “Get A Grip” Tour.
The classic 1970s material set included several new songs (“Trouble”, “Something”, “The Farm”, “What Kind Of Love Are You On”, “Hole In My Sole”), some which would end up being recorded during album sessions with Glen Ballard in Miami, Spring 1996.
- Make It
- Bone To Bone
- Get The Lead Out
- Remember (Walking In The Sand)
- I’m A Man
- Hole In My Soul
- Sick As A Dog
- Something (Joe Perry tune)
- The Farm
- S.O.S. (Too Bad)
- What Kind of Love Are You On
- Milk Cow Blues
- Last Child
- Mama Kin
- Think About It
- Immigrant Song
The Woodstock Demon Banners:
WZLX’s John Laurenti attended the show and he said that the band used the Woodstock demon banners on both 1995 shows. He described it as “the best show I’ve ever seen Aerosmith play”. These banners were used to use in the early 70’s shows the band played. Apparently, they don’t mean much, but that the band used to put use them during small club shows. If the the demons were facing each other the band was “OK”, if they were looking opposite had internal conflict.
There were no official pro-shot video or console audio recorded for this show. Security was very tight that night, no bootlegs have surfaced. Only a couple of fans were able to take a couple of pictures.
Reviews from fans in attendance:
Lisa M: In November 1995, the band had written some of the songs for their upcoming album and they were ready to “try them out” in front of a live audience. So they booked two clubs: The Middle East in Cambridge and their own club Mama Kin’s in Boston, for back-to-back shows on November 9-10, 1995. They announced the shows under false names; it was “Rayco and the Seat-covers” at the Middle East and “The G-Spots” in Boston.Lisa Martineau (Manchester, NH) & Sherri Landry-Sousa (Houston, TX) on aerosmith50years.com
I found out about this show by calling into the fanclub hotline, where the information had been leaked for only a few hours. Tickets could not be ordered over the phone. They could only be purchased in person at local record stores like Strawberries Records, which was just around the corner from where I lived. The first time I went to buy tickets, I bought two pairs for each show. I think we paid $8 each for them. Then I got a call from my friend Sherri from Texas who wanted to fly up for one of the shows. So I went back and bought several more tickets. By now word had spread and the man behind the counter was onto me. He bravely stated that he knew it was going to be Aerosmith. I just played stupid. I knew that tickets would be sold out very soon. So I bought a handful of additional tickets in case anyone needed some. Sherri’s friend Lisa from California also wanted to fly in for the show so I offered to meet up with her at the Middle East Club with a ticket.
When my husband and I arrived, there were only a few people in line. Lisa was one of them (thankfully) and we managed to find one another pretty quickly. There was an instant connection between us. We were about 5th in line, so when we strolled into the club we made it to the front left side of the stage, directly in front of Tom Hamilton and tried not to move from that spot.
The band opened with “Make It.” It was heavenly listening to the bluesy tunes they cranked out that night, songs that are not usually played in concert like “Get the Lead Out” and “Reefer Headed Woman.” Steven Tyler said something like, “We’re gonna play all the songs we don’t usually play out there,” referring to the arena shows we had grown accustomed to. There was a feeling that we would never get to experience anything like this ever again so we had better soak up every minute. After a blistering set that included songs like “Bone to Bone” and “I’m a Man”, they closed the show with Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. Seeing Aerosmith in a club atmosphere was unforgettable – loud music, raw, gritty, in-your-face, and from the front row! It just doesn’t get any better than that. The band seemed to feed off the intimacy of the club.
The next evening, I met up with my friend Sherri and my new friend Lisa outside Mama Kin’s. It was November so there was a bit of a chill in the Boston air. As we were standing in line shivering, the employees of the club brought out paper cups filled with hot chocolate. We wrapped our fingers around the cups to keep warm, and noted how sweet the gesture was to the freezing fans outside.
Sherri: Funny that you say there was a chill in the air. I’m a Texas girl; it was freezing!
Lisa M: As soon as the doors opened, we walked right to the front of the stage and held our ground. We stood just off center stage, front row. And we did not move for the next five hours. There were two opening bands to stand through and we had to deal with the dangers of crowd surfing as some people got out of hand before Aerosmith took the stage. The club was filled beyond capacity and we were packed in tighter than sardines.
The reward for our perseverance though, was the best rock and roll show I had ever seen live. They rocked us to the core that night, opening the show with a smart ass Steven Tyler remarking, “Good evening. As you already know, we’re the G-Spots.” It was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to see this historic show up-close and oh so very personal.
Sherri: I remember waving to some friends across the room, but standing my ground at the front of the stage. The stage was only like three feet off the ground, the band was an arms length away. It wasn’t like front row was fifteen feet from a ten-foot high stage at all. It was a nightclub, I tell ya! But my fantasy of what it would be like wasn’t perfect. It was too crowded to dance! If I could have had room to dance, it might have been the perfect G-Spot fantasy! One thing is for sure, there was plenty of body heat.
I was wearing my “Who the heck is Joe Perry” guitar pic which I had made into a necklace. I swear I saw Joe looking over at that necklace. I had guitar pic earrings too, one for Brad, one for Tom. I remember there were lips printed in lipstick on Steven’s butt. You could see it because there was a huge rip across the backside of Steven’s jeans. We all wondered whose lips kissed Steven’s ass that night. It was during this show that we first heard “What Kind of Love Are You On?”
Of course, the Mama Kin’s G-Spots show rocked. It was rock and roll raw and heavy on the blues, the show that many of us longed for, and oh boy, did they deliver! For those of you who can imagine, yeah, it was THAT good.
“Joe played his Custom Shop Strat Gold Sparkle!. I am sure we paid to get in to the show. The security was tight. NO cameras or video. I had to sneak a small plastic camera to take the pictures!. I have no clue how the song ‘Trouble’ went that night. I remember Hamilton and Kramer were very impressive that night. Don’t remember the song ‘Something’. Tyler read his handwritten lyrics on Hole in My Sole!. NOBODY was allowed to take pics there. People were getting their camera’s smashed. It was a fight just to take them!. I not only went to the Middle East show, I stole the set list. I was in the front facing Joe Perry!…”Lou Campione from the DMAAT mailing list
“At the Middle East ( first night) Steven played a white tape recorder that had a baby crying as an intro to one of the songs, can’t remember which one though (maybe The Farm?)…… The band wore almost the exact same clothing both nights. I distinctly remember Steven’s blue coat with sequins or some kind of embroidery and his ripped jeans, and Joey wore the same shirt both nights. Joe was real casual in jeans and t- shirt. As I’ve said it was a highlight of my Aero life. We never received tickets for the show.”Fan “Bone to Bone” from the old AF1 forums
“I was at the Middle East. I sat on the bar and watched the show. I imagined that perhaps I was experiencing what it must have been like to have seen them in ’73 or ’74 at a place like “My Father’s Place”(now defunct) in Old Roslyn, LI. Mama Kins was the next day I believe, packed like a sardine I was lucky to get to the bar too. I don’t recall the riffs from the outtakes. I do remember watching them do Think About It and messing my Levi’s when they did. If I were to remember anything about the outtakes, it would be the riffs. It was a very casual night. The floor of this small club was packed, but in the back by the bar , about 25 feet from the stage and one or two steps up it was completely empty. We watched the show along with the barkeep. Sick as a Dog… what can ya say?Fan “aeroknows” from the old AF1 forums
No tix…they had a list at the door and we paid cash. Fan Asylum had called me on the phone 24 hours before the show. I think around 150 to 200 people in the place.”
Press & crew reviews:
“The last time Aerosmith played in Cambridge, Mass was November 9th 1995 at a great rock club called The Middle East. I remember that night well because they were playing a few songs that never saw the light of day. A song called “Trouble” and a Joe Perry song called “Something.” They also played “What Kind Of Love are You On” and some other chestnuts like “Make It” and “Think About It.” Led Zep’s “Immigrant Song” was also in the set. Everybody was ‘wanded’ as they entered the club to assure that no one would bootleg the show before those songs were released. I guess the club did a great job because I have never heard of a bootleg of that show. “John Bionelli Report from the Road 2/24/03
Here’s a Boston Herald article from November 11, 1995, “Incognito Aerosmith packs a Wallop”, by Dean Johnson:
NO SURPRISE: AEROSMITH ROCKS, By Jim Sullivan Globe Staff.Article from the Arts and Film Section of the Boston Globe, Nov 11 1995
Cambridge – “Good evening” said singer at the start of the set. “As you already know, we’re the G-Spot’s” Chuckle chuckle chortle chortle. As pretty much everyone in the Boston rock scene knew, the G Spots were Aerosmith, and they were onstage at the Middle East Downstairs Thursday night in front of a packed house, playing their first gig in about a year. Prediction: This band is going to make it out of the clubs.
O.K. their not youngsters and, for goodness sake, the singer is Liv Tyler’s father, but if sassy, raunchy, swaggering, high energy blues rock in the Yardbirds vein is your cup of tea, these five guy’s provide. We’re jesting, of course, but that might have been your take if you knew Aerosmith only from this 90 minute set. The poppier, more balladic, more – let’s face it- middle of the road AOR/Top 40 side of the band was absent. No Janie’s Got a Gun, no Crying. And of course no Dream On. This was not the hit machine that played Woodstock. The closest things to hit’s were probably Sick As A Dog, Last Child and Mama Kin. Oh and Led Zeppelins Immigrant Song, played as an encore. Said Tyler, “we’re gonna play all the song’s we don’t usually play out there” – meaning the arena rock world Aerosmith usually inhabits.
Boston’s biggest band – and one of America’s – Aerosmith was here to work out some new song’s (four), flex some muscle, pay back the scene, (the band played Mama Kin’s, last night) and raise cash for some local charities. The tickets were all of $7. Fan’s had to go through a major league security checkpoint. It wasn’t so much a fear of weapon’s as of DAT recorders. If Someone bootlegged this set, well, there’d be money to be made. Aerosmith is fronted by Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, neither of whom are the world’s fastest songwriters. It’s been a long time between albums, and their new label, Columbia (the one they began with in the early seventies), is patiently awaiting an album. If Aerosmith didn’t sign, as rumored, the biggest deal in the biz, they did sign a whopper of a contract. “All kind’s of numbers have been thrown around” say’s a label spokeswoman. “It is a major deal.” Thus expectations are high and pressure has to be palpable. Plan’s are to begin recording in January for an autumn 1996 release.
There’s no guarantee that any of the four new one’s will make the disc, of course, but a first impression is that they’ve got some good stuff here, especially “Hole in My Soul”, a biting but graceful mid tempo number that’s about as grown up as the band get’s. While Tyler proudly proclaims he makes love with his boots on and will “sleep when I’m dead” ( Hello Warren Zevon!), he also tears into a lyric about how it must “feel to be the one who turns the knife inside of me”, Ouch. It was a towering, arcing song with substantial crescendos from Perry and rythym guitarist Brad Whitford. Tyler, sporting torn jeans but not a single scarf – cribbed some of the lyrics from a sheet on a music stand – but hey, even Lou Reed does this. Tyler even commandeered Tom Hamilton’s bass during Sick As A Dog, when Hamilton shook maracas and sang. Indeed , some of the set’s high points were the stretched out blues rock standards I’m a Man and Milk Cow Blues. Tyler wailed on harp and the guitarists churned out guttural, gritty riffs- old pros in the groove.
Aerosmith remains something of a 70’s time capsule of a band. Various 12 step recovery programs are primary forces in their private lives, but what they project onstage is sexual abandon, hedonism and braggadocio. “If I didn’t have trouble, I wouldn’t have nothin at all” wailed Tyler in a new one, Trouble. He discussed the G spots moniker. He liberally tossed around rock’s favorite cuss word . He danced up a storm and semi-lasciviously feigned a homoerotic adventure with Perry. The set was played in the key of good ol’ down n’ dirty fun: more basic-value than progressive minded, and that’s no surprise or knock. This was a kick. And Aerosmith got to unveil a few tunes and work out the kinks.
Two of the scene’s happiest men had to be Middle East booker, Clay Bushong, and Mama Kin booker, Chris Porter. Early in the night, Bushong threw his arm’s around Porter, beamed and exclaimed, “We love each other!”. Added Middle East co-owner Joseph Slater, “It’s an honor to host them, It’s a nice surprise for the scene, and one of the biggest things we’ve ever had”.
AEROSMITH AT THE MIDDLE EAST. You’ve got to hand it to Aerosmith: suburban punters have been gathering at Mama Kin every night since it opened in hopes of catching a secret Aerosmith show, and last week the band went ahead and played one at their club’s main competitor, the Middle East (they did hit Mama Kin the following night). The not-so-secret gig was a fan’s dream show, since they threw out all the usual hits (save for “Last Child”) and instead played 90 minutes of blues jams, surprise covers (Led Zep’s “Immigrant Song”), and seldom-heard album tracks like “Bone to Bone,” “Make It,” and that eternal high-school anthem, “Sick As a Dog.” A handful of new songs were introduced, the best being a ballad, “Is It Over” (Hole In My Soul), and a Joey Kramer song with the deathless title of “What Kinda Love Are You On.” (The other new numbers tended to push the “I’m still crazy since I stopped doing drugs” lyric angle too heavily.) Best of all, Aerosmith proved how hot they still sound when they play as a five-piece band, without the keyboards, backing vocals, and tape effects they use in official shows. Any chance of their taking this approach on the next tour?“The Phonix Archives” by Brett Milano