For fans of Joe Perry, a chance to see the legendary Aerosmith guitarist in such an intimate setting at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom was surely a treat, however, even the most die-hard Perry fans couldn't have expected Joe's new incarnation of The Project to be such a tight, cohesive unit in a short period of time.
The Joe Perry Project band has been together less than six months.
Featuring a new German vocalist Hagen (uncovered by Perry's wife Billie on YouTube), original Project bassist-extraordinaire David Hull, drummer Ben Tileston (of the band TAB, which features two of Joe's sons) and utility man Paul Santo on piano, Hammond organ and percussion, Perry and company successfully pushed the pedal to the metal with a nearly two-hour set that featured 18 songs spanning his entire career.
After a half hour opening set from long-time Boston, garage punk rockers Neighborhoods (ironically, this reviewer also saw them open up for Aerosmith way back in 1987), Perry hit the stage and pulled out all the stops from the get-go, opening the show with original Project staple "Let The Music Do The Talking", then Aerosmith favorites "Walkin' The Dog" and "Get The Lead Out."Proving early and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that young Hagen could successfully pull-off a Steven Tyler vocal!
From there, The Project proceeded to generously touch upon every phase of Perry's catalog including, from his latest release Have Guitar Will Travel, "We've Got A Long Way To Go", "Slingshot", "Scare The Cat", "Do You Wonder" (lyrics by Billie Perry) and "Somebody's Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked In Tonight)", an old Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac cover.
From the original Project band in the early 80's, there was the fan-favorites "Discount Dogs" and "I've Got The Rock And Rolls Again", and from Joe's 2005 self-titled solo effort, a smokin' cover of Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man".