While the museum (which can be visited without a meet-and-greet for $275) was intended as a unique experience to offer fans, the memorabilia has proved just as special to the band, with Tyler walking in and reclaiming all five old scarfed microphones which were hanging on display ready for opening day (replacing them with newer ones), while Perry reconnected with a bunch of his old gear, “touching every single one like it was an old friend, literally piece-by-piece.”
Almost 50 years after forming in Boston, Aerosmith launched their "Deuces Are Wild" residency at the Park Theater in Las Vegas Saturday amid floating toys, pyrotechnics, revolutionary sound experiences and 230 booming speakers.
Several female fans on stage were also treated to hugs and embraces with Tyler during tracks like “Crying” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” with their gobsmacked reactions played out to the crowd on the screens. Being seated on stage is one of several chances that fans have to get up close to the band at "Deuces Are Wild," which now has a Spotify playlist based on the set list. For $2,500, guests can meet the whole band and get a backstage tour, which includes the Aerosmith Vault, where lie handwritten lyrics to “Walk This Way,” giant paintings of each member created in around 30 minutes by speed painter, Denny Dent, in 1999, an Aerosmith pinball machine and one of Kramer’s drum sets.
Those patiently awaiting more from the group’s extensive greatest hits catalogue were rewarded with memorable renditions of “Crying” and 1993 anthem “Living on the Edge,” with Tyler belting out the opening line, “There’s something wrong with the world today,” as screens showed children sitting on their phones disengaged from each other, a young boy learning to use a gun and protesters holding anti-racism signs.
With the residency presenting the group in a way they’ve never been seen before in their 49-year history, Rudolph believes even hardcore fans who have been to 50 Aerosmith shows won’t hesitate to head to Las Vegas, where the band will perform 35 shows in total, with dates through April, June, July, September, October and November.
Setting out to create an immersive visual experience, THX and L-Acoustics helped create the world's first THX-certified live performance presented in L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound. Presented by MGM Resorts International and Live Nation Las Vegas, the show was produced by Grammy winner Giles Martin, who also worked on Las Vegas’ "The Beatles LOVE" by Cirque du Soleil. Fans who shelled out more than $500 for seats on stage were handed THX-certified in-ear headphones feeding them the audio mix straight from Aerosmith’s sound board.
“And you’ve got to be careful with a band like Aerosmith because they’re so authentic in what they do, so you can’t make it like a Disney show. Every show needs to be organic to the artist that’s doing it.” You have to take what they do and add some really cool, edgy visual production elements and put them together with a band like that. “For many years they’ve just put on a really solid rock show with an amazing performance, but there hasn’t been a lot of production,” Rudolph continues.
1 smash before prompting the crowd to serenade him back. Of course, it was “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” from the 1998 blockbuster "Armageddon" (starring Tyler’s daughter Liv Tyler) which many in the venue had their cameras on standby for and Tyler naturally came through, kicking off the No.
Spears ended her "Piece of Me" residency at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in 2017 and announced a move to the Park Theater for "Britney: Domination" in October. While the show was called off as the singer deals with her father Jamie’s illness, Rudolph said she was ready for a “change of scenery.” However, the appeal of a new theater in a newly-branded and renovated property is what he says helped lead both acts to sign on with the venue.
“Fans who have seen two, 10 or 50 Aerosmith shows over the years will still want to see this one because they’re seeing the band in a new and exciting way.”” />
Laser lights then had the theater feeling like a giant club during “Love in an Elevator,” before giant blow up-style toys floated down from the ceiling as the group launched into “Toys in the Attic.” With that, Tyler ripped off his top, baring ripped abs like one might find on men half his age down the road at "Magic Mike Live," and declared goodnight, but returned minutes later, taking his place on a rising piano for “Dream On,” alongside Perry, the two perfectly displaying their powerful musical chemistry.
By the time the band launched into the 1975 smash, “Sweet Emotion,” from "Toys in the Attic," Tyler had demanded, “Get the f— up, this is Vegas! We’re all getting laid tonight, so stand the f— up!” while a fight had broken out between two men.
From here, they performed songs like “Hangman Jury” from 1987’s "Permanent Vacation," “Seasons of Wither” from 1974’s "Get Your Wings"and the Perry-led “Stop Messin’ Around.” Back on stage it was all love between the smiling bandmates with Tyler and Perry taking seats at the tip of an A-shaped stage, with a pit in the middle for diehard fans to enjoy the show from the center of the action.
The exhibit is backstage at the Park Theater, where an Aerosmith residency was on the cards since 2016 when the band’s manager, Larry Rudolph, did a walk-through of the then-unopened venue to evaluate whether it might suit Aerosmith or Britney Spears, another of his clients.
The rock’n’roll icons (vocalist Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, drummer Joey Kramer and bassist Tom Hamilton) debuted their 35-date residency with their Tiny Bradshaw cover “Train Kept a Rollin.” Before the train got rollin’ an introductory video chronicled the group’s history, from Tyler and Perry’s first meeting at the Anchorage in New England to Perry’s love of Jimi Hendrix, plus memorable media appearances like a cameo on "The Simpsons" and a cooking segment with Jay Leno.
The idea of adapting the epic nature of Aerosmith’s stadium and arena concerts into an intimate residency show for a 5,200-capacity theater was a challenge, with Rudolph noting how production value was a factor he stressed the importance of in his early discussions with the four-time Grammy winning band, who have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They are the biggest American rock band of all time and the most exciting American rock band of all time — you put Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on a stage together and it’s explosive no matter what’s going on.” You’ve got to structure a show that’s more production-heavy than you’re used to,’” Rudolph says. “Aerosmith is the ultimate American rock band. “I said to the band, ‘Look guys, doing a show for Vegas means you’ve got to do it different than you’ve been doing it in the past.
But at 40 minutes long, the introduction had some audience members getting antsy, and with eyes torn between the screens, the stage and what whimsical creature was creeping down the aisle next, at times it was hard to know where to look when you don’t want to miss a thing. While the photos and clips played, circus-style performers roamed the theater on stilts, rolled onto the stage on giant spinning wheels and posed for selfies in bear costumes.
When the screens finally gave way, the band didn’t disappoint, rising onto the stage with 71-year-old Tyler sporting a white hat which would soon make its way onto a fangirl’s head, a flowing white jacket which would be ripped off by the second song and a scarf-adorned microphone he reclaimed from the group’s "Aerosmith Vault" museum earlier in the day.
It was just the type of show-stopping moment which had members of Metallica and Guns N’ Roses singing Aerosmith’s praises and actor Mark Wahlberg declaring them the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in history in the show’s opening video. “It’s not just because they’re from Boston. The pair co-wrote the '70s smash “Walk This Way,” which also made its way into the encore, along with a bridge descending into the theater allowing Tyler and Perry to rock their way up towards the rear section of the venue, whose other musical residents include Lady Gaga, Cher, Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson. It’s a fact!” Wahlberg enthused.

But it is a prideful middle finger of a show, nonetheless. There is a story to it, which involves Gaga interacting with an alien-looking avatar on the big screen whose name is… Enigma. That happens literally, at a point early on in which Gaga encourages her dancers to all taunt her with an upraised digit. Be careful, Gaga.” Trust us, Olivia Colman couldn’t do anything with this kind of dialogue, either. Enigma is supposed to be some kind of spirit guide and manifestation of Gaga’s innermost psyche who is going to guide her to some greater truth about herself over the course of the show. That involves a bunch of self-help bromides, as well as poor man’s sci-fi scriptwriting along the lines of: “One false move and you will be stuck in a simulation forever! That moment doesn’t really make a lot of sense, to be honest, and it’s not the only thing in the putative narrative of the show that doesn’t.
Any few moments of her being in lockstep with her nine male dancers in the show’s sharp, solid choreography are worth a thousand words of script and even a verse or two. It’s not always clear whether the narrative aspects of the show are meant to be taken seriously or as camp. So better to just ignore them (don’t worry, those chats with the computer animation never last for long) and give in to the pageantry. The happy revelation is that dance is the key element of the production; for all the money that’s been spent on sets and production design and things that fly and shoot sparks, “Enigma” isn’t as reliant on those things as some other Vegas shows whose stars need the overpowering distractions.
And, upon touchdown, she and the occasionally shirtless hoofers and five band members are off to the races, rushing through some occasionally condensed versions of songs that haven’t been heard on her stage in a while, like “Dance in the Dark,” “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich,” “Aura,” “The Fame” and even “Government Hooker.” (On top of the usual JFK mention in the latter, there was an aside about Donald Trump, which wasn’t clearly audible — let’s guess it was unflattering.) The show opens with a “just fly” variation on “Just Dance,” as Gaga slowly drifts down from the rafters, and it’s impressive not because we don’t believe a post-Pink superstar can fly but because it affords the audience a better 360 view of a mirrorball of a glittery bodysuit and a pointy helmet that feels like something out of her more avant-garde costuming days. Everybody loves a keytar — hell, Jackson Maine probably loves a keytar. Plus, she’s playing keytar.
Among the many feats of physicality in Friday’s hour-and-50-minutes show, musicality scored some points, too. She does sing live, for one thing, amid a lot of taxing choreography that would cause any other pop superstar to go right to the tape — if there are any moments where Gaga is on Memorex, they’re few and well-hidden — so it’s not as if she’s giving the middle finger to everything Ally ever learned from Jackson, or that Stefani Germanotta picked up from Tony Bennett.
Still, if there’s an exact opposite to what happened when “Norbit” came out in the midst of Eddie Murphy’s “Dreamgirls” hopes, it has to be the sight of Lady Gaga singing and dancing her well-toned heart out, reminding 5,200 people a night that pretending to be a mousy brunette is, while a considerable skill, just one of about a thousand. Mind you, it’s probably just the luck of the clock that “Lady Gaga Enigma,” the highly spectacular, long-in-the-works show that opened Friday night in Las Vegas, happens to be kicking off in the heart of awards season. Some Oscar campaigns are way better than others. Gaga did blurt out toward the close of opening night that she hopes to extend her residency at the Park Theater from the currently scheduled 11 months to two to three years, at which point the words “for your consideration” will be a very distant memory.
And after all the time she’s spent establishing her bona fides as a crooner and actress, it’s a considerable pleasure to spend this much time in the shallow of fireworks, flying gyroscopes, Transformer-type marching machines, a band that can effectively incorporate industrial metal and funk, and the most spectacular unitards known to womankind. (His tormented ghost will probably have a better time at Gaga’s other Vegas show, the intimately scaled “Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano,” which will be unveiled at the Park on Jan. 20.) Most of the rest of us mortals will do just fine with “Lady Gaga Enigma.” Speaking of issues of authenticity, this really is a back-to-roots move for the superstar… if you consider her roots to be the art and artifice of being spectacular, whether that’s filling a stage or dazzling with just one outlandish costume. It’s a show Jackson Maine would hate, that’s for sure.
Gaga got more animated when she got out of that machine contraption and onto a piano bench for "A Million Reasons," putting her bare leg up on the edge of the keyboard, then eventually playing it from both standing and squatting positions. (And in her nearly all-revealing outfit, she contorts around the keys and bench in ways that would look deeply unflattering if any less physically fit performer were being seen doing them in extreme closeup on the Park Theater's big screens.) It might all seem a bit much, but the fact that she's able to render a musically accomplished performance in the midst of these contortions is no small musical-gymnastic feat. As pianists go, she makes Jerry Lee Lewis' flamboyant way with the instrument seem like a sedate Lang Lang performance by comparison.
From a production design standpoint, the night’s most photogenic element had Gaga atop what looked to be a large Transformer, or maybe one of the robot shells from “Pacific Rim,” its limbs operated by the dancers, puppet-style. It’s a visually inventive bit of business that also services to remind you: However ginormous elements of the show may get, Gaga is both figuratively and literally in the driver’s seat.
The outfit that Gaga spent the most time in, a black corset with bright green lace, gave way to vintage sci-fi pastels for a penultimate boogie of “Bad Romance” and “Born This Way.” Then, although Vegas shows don’t always bother with the encore bit, Gaga had one, disappearing into the dark and then coming back in a simple black logo T-shirt (a Lady Gaga T, because you don’t really think she’s going to wear Metallica’s on stage, do you?) to perform, obviously, “Shallow.” This year’s only absolute shoo-in of an Oscar winner was preceded by a speech about the criticism she’s lived through: “The way I dressed, the way I talked, they thought it was shallow… That shit is deep as f—.” She interrupted her performance of the ballad for an apparently tearful moment of silence. When the chords picked up again, the song was spectacularly sung, but you probably knew that. For someone who’s proven herself as an actress as well as she did as Ally, maybe it doesn’t have to be just one or the other. Was it a performance or an honest moment of on-stage stock-taking?
(No names necessary here.) If they did want to shorten it over the course of the run, we can think of a certain CG co-star who’s no match for Bradley Cooper, whose part could be cut down considerably. She and “Born This Way” were both born to be in Vegas, and to raise the bar for superstar residencies just a little bit higher.” /> Watching Gaga do what she does best — even better than act, still — is all the story or connecting thread a show needs. “Lady Gaga Enigma” is a generous show, by Vegas pop standards, not just by exceeding the standard get-‘em-out-onto-the-slot-machines set length, but because Gaga also happens to do almost two hours more of actual singing than some of her counterparts on the Strip.
She returned to the air, later in the show, in a sort of floating gyroscope that she rocked wildly as it hovered over the ramp into the general-admission pit. This occurred as “Government Hooker” gave way a short, thrashy cover of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans,” the passing political subtext of the night. Then she went over to the tilted, completely circular, wraparound synth setup — something Rick Wakeman might’ve thought up in his most wonderful dream — and crawled underneath and inside so she could enact some wildness on the keys as well. At other points Gaga took to the angular landscape of fantasy mountains that provided the backdrop to the stage (and a cave for the drummer) and, during a burst of industrial rock that alternately recalled Muse or NIN, borrowed a band member’s guitar for a brief burst of modest shredding.