Several hours before Aerosmith took the stage for the second annual Steven Tyler Grammy viewing party — which benefits Janie’s Fund, an organization created by Tyler to help underage victims of human trafficking — an energized and animated Tyler spoke to Variety about what it’s like when the band gets together these days.
“Let’s just say we rehearsed yesterday and I wet my pants,” he cracked. “When you’re a big band, you’ll do a tour, then you go off to countries unknown. Everybody goes and sees their wife and goes here and there and I don’t see them for a while. Just did something down at Super Bowl, we rehearsed for four or five days, got back together in good graces, we love each other.”
And their famous fans love them too. Among those in the audience for the Sunday afternoon performance were Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Alice Cooper, Nuno Bettencourt and Duff McKagan.
The band took the stage with a ferocious “Back In The Saddle,” and didn’t let up as they worked their way through a hits-heavy 11-song set highlighted by such as Aerosmith classics as “Dream On,” “Love In An Elevator,” “Sweet Emotion” and the finale of “Walk This Way.” They also performed a superb rendition of the old Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac song “Stop Messing Around.”
Tyler’s role in Janie’s Fund was recognized by Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler and Chief Development Officer Richard Shaw. And 20-year-old trafficking survivor Adriana told Variety, “Me being able to speak today will not only voice my story, but millions of other girls’ stories.”
For Tyler, that’s what the event aims to do. “It’s not even about words as much as heart,” he said. “And if what you’re doing makes you cry and well up inside then you gotta know you’re doing something right.”
The event raised $2.8 million for Janie’s Fund.