The Joe Perry Project at Foxwoods Resort Casino – April 15, 2023
The Joe Perry Project performed at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT for the first stop on their 2023 tour. Robin Taylor Zander’s band, along with Micky James, were the opening acts for this stop on the tour.
Robin Taylor Zander
Robin Taylor Zander has been best known for his performances with his father’s Rock and Roll inducted band, Cheap Trick. When the bassist of Cheap Trick was injured in 2021, Robin Taylor Zander filled in, performing and touring with his father, frontman Robin Wayne Zander.
Now he is getting out there on his own with his newly formed band. He let us know this was his first time on stage with this configuration of his band. The band gelled together nicely, and it was not noticeable that this was their first time performing as a unit. Some of the songs performed have been gaining traction on Spotify, such as “High N Low” and “The Distance”. The band played more mellow, soft rock tracks instead of the faster paced music Zander has previously showcased.
Unapologetically flamboyant, Micky James took the stage in his bright yellow ensemble with big, sparkly boots. His outfit, as well as his voice, had a very 70’s inspired feel. Micky James was previously part of a band, The Karma Killers. After their break up he decided to go solo.
Micky James commanded the attention of the audience at the Foxwoods Resort Casino with his infectious energy. He, along with his drummer and guitarist, played catchy tunes such as “Kings”, “Rest of the Best” and “James Brown”. Micky James does an outstanding job utilizing the stage and making the audience feel like they’re involved in his electric performance. This was a great supporting act to get the crowd pumped for The Joe Perry Project.
The Joe Perry Project
The legendary Joe Perry is most famous for being a founding member and lead guitarist for Aerosmith, but also has another band he formed, The Joe Perry Project. The band has lots of their own material, but also treat their fans to some covers, including some Aerosmith tunes, throughout their setlist.
The band started the night off with lead singer Gary Cherone, of the band Extreme, belting out the band’s original song, “I’ve Got the Rock & Rolls”. Cherone continued to entertain the crowd for the first few songs of the night before Joe Perry himself took over some of the singing duties.
It is worth noting that Perry was not the only person on the stage to have performed with Aerosmith. Bassist David Hull has filled in many times over the years for Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton. Hull has also co-written some of The Joe Perry Project lyrics. The keyboardist, Buck Johnson, has also toured with Aerosmith, as well as with the Doobie Brothers. Finally, rounding out the band is the drummer Jason Stutter. Although Stutter has not toured with Aerosmith, he does have an extremely impressive list of artists he has toured with including: Cher, Chris Cornell, Smash Mouth, Vertical Horizon and Foreigner.
After Perry had lent his vocals to a few tracks he was about to start playing the instrumental song, “Spanish Sushi” and wanted to let the crowd know that he wasn’t entirely sure why they named the song that. He went on to say he thinks the band was eating day-old sushi in Mexico and somehow those words got mixed up and became the title of this song. This was the only song that had some issues with timing, so Perry stopped playing it about halfway through and they moved on to the next song which was a cover of Memphis Slim’s, “Steppin’ Out”.
Before the band played the next song on their setlist, “Flying Saucers Rock and Roll”, Perry took a minute to address the crowd and told them that the US government had released classified UFO documents and were sharing information regarding known space crafts. This led into the fun, rockabilly tune written and originally performed by the late Billy Lee Riley in 1957.
The Joe Perry Project did an excellent job of mixing their songs in with Aerosmith covers. The band rounded out the end of their 19-song setlist with Aerosmith songs like “Lick and A Promise” and “Bone to Bone”. The encores were the icing on the cake with the Aerosmith covers “Lightning Strikes” and “Walk This Way”. Perry let the crowd know Aerosmith plans to tour in the fall which left fans smiling and excited for more!