Steven Tyler peeled off his shirt at Park Theater on Tuesday night, which is common late in Aerosmith’s “Deuces Are Wild” residency shows.
But he then made an unexpected move by shouting, “Where’s my T-shirt!?”
Tyler then pulled on a black, sleeveless shirt emblazoned with the glittering, golden message: “Vegas Strong.” He also requested, or rather implored, the crowd to hold their smartphones aloft with the flashlight glowing. “This is going all over the world tonight, and I want them to see how strong Vegas is after two years.”
Tyler asked that the house lights be dimmed, and the theater twinkled like giant jewel. He continued, “This is for all the people we’ve lost in Vegas, and for all the people we’ve lost around the world! For them, we gotta … we gotta …”
Tyler then vaulted into one of his favorite Beatles classics, “Come Together.” The crowd sang along in a full-throated tribute to the Oct. 1 shooting victims.
This is part of an ongoing series observing the two-year anniversary of the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. See all of our coverage here.
Leading to the show, Tyler had wanted to honor the tragedy’s second anniversary properly, while maintaining the show’s rocking pace and elevated energy (as he spoke, a giant red balloon floated past). He asked manager Larry Rudolph for some direction about the sacred and momentous day, but otherwise put the entire moment together himself.
At the conclusion, Tyler pulled off the shirt after that single performance. It would look good under glass in the band’s museum display at the theater, or even again on Tyler himself, as an annual tribute.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.