Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 2 a.m.
Aerosmith returned to the stage at Park Theater last night to start the second leg of its “Deuces Are Wild” Vegas residency, a rock-and-roll voyage starting with the Boston band’s original roots almost 50 years ago.
The group came to the Strip in April with more than just guitars, drums and hits. With the help of Epic Rights, a Hollywood-based company that works with artists on tours, retail licensing and the creation of fan experiences, Aerosmith established a temporary museum of its own musical artifacts in a backstage space at Park Theater and sold VIP packages granting some of their fans access to this special experience.
Starting this week, the Aerosmith museum is accessible to everyone, regardless of whether you have a ticket to the show. Tours of the space are available on “Deuces Are Wild” show days from noon until 3 p.m. for $49 and tickets can be purchased at aerosmith.com/vip.
“This is really cool because in order to do something like this, you need to have that access and that trust from the artist,” says Amanda Ayre, Epic Rights vice president of VIP ticketing and fan experiences, who has been working closely with Aerosmith on tours for 15 years and pillaged the group’s Massachusetts warehouse to create the exhibition. “I’ve been doing their VIP stuff for a long time and we’ve done some great stuff with onstage tours and meet-and-greets, but this was a way to do something totally different and it’s exclusive to Vegas. It works here because you can’t really travel this. If you want to see it, you have to come to Vegas.”
It’s not a large space but it’s absolutely packed with memorabilia, musical instruments and gear and items from the band members’ personal collections gathered over an iconic career in rock. Check out Aerosmith’s first gold record for 1976’s “Get Your Wings,” Steven Tyler’s own Grammy Award for 1993’s “Livin’ On The Edge” and one of Joey Kramer’s decked-out drum kits. There’s a display of each member’s instruments (scarves on mic stands for Tyler, naturally) and five mannequins wearing hand-picked outfits selected by the band (Brad Whitford relinquished an orange spaceman jumpsuit from the “Armageddon” soundtrack’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”) Other highlights include the original handwritten lyrics for “Walk This Way,” a 13-foot neon sign used in the Honkin’ on Bobo tour and “the Marley,” the stage flooring used on multiple tours.
It’s the largest collection of Aerosmith stuff ever assembled, even bigger than the band’s display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“They didn’t really know what to expect when I said I wanted to make a museum,” Ayre says. “The night before their first show, they came through with family and friends as a big group and saw it for the first time and they were pretty taken aback by it. There’s a lot of stuff they haven’t seen like this.”
While the museum is more accessible, there are still special VIP packages available for “Deuces Are Wild” that include the museum tour, meet-and-greets with Tyler and Joe Perry and pre-show Q&A sessions with Kramer, Whitford and Tom Hamilton. The production also has opened up the onstage VIP experience by adding a standing-room-only GA section on the stage during concerts, getting fans even closer to the action.
Aerosmith continues its run at Park Theater on June 22, 24, 27 and 29 and July 2, 3, 7 and 9. For more information, visit parkmgm.mgmresorts.com.