Live Shots: Aerosmith and Cheap Trick at the Oracle Arena


Photographer Allen David was front and center for Aerosmith and Cheap Trick's joint concert at the Oracle Arena. Check out his photos and read his thoughts on all the good time rock'n'roll -- and action in the pit -- in the story below.

Last week I was asked to shoot some photos of Aerosmith and Cheap Trick at the Oracle Arena. I was quite excited at the prospect of hanging out back stage with some of the great rock stars of my youth. When I was 13, I had the privilege of experiencing Cheap Trick in their prime at Six Flags Magic Mountain. And I remember as a kid watching Aerosmith's cameo in one of my favorite films; Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978). They played rock'n'roll villains, who nearly destroyed the the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, with their rendition of Come Together.

After shooting some photos elsewhere, I jumped in my VW Bus and hit the pedal to the metal. I was running a little late, and worried that I wouldn't get into the show. Thankfully, I arrived just in time, and was escorted backstage, where I exchanged glances with Robin Zander.

Next, I was put directly in front of the stage, in The Pit. Which was a great place to view the action, as the rock stars were perfuming their jests within arms reach. Without earplugs, I snapped away, as Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, and Robin Zander rocked out right in front of me. Sadly Bun E. Carlos escaped my camera, by hiding behind his drum kit. It was amazing to watch these guys live, 30 years after my last experience with them. They still played the same music, and rocked equally as hard. I would have loved to talk with them about what it's like to spend so many years reliving their classic tunes.

After the first three songs I had to leave the pit, to give the front row peeps a better view. So for the rest of the Cheap Trick show, I ventured around the tunnels of the Oracle 'till I found the snack booth, and made it into the audience.

Just before Aerosmith came on stage, I was allowed back into The Pit to click photos for their first three songs.  Steve Tyler and Joe Perry are super great for shooting photos. They dress, and move like true rock stars, making my job as a photographer super easy. Steven Tyler's presence on the edge of the stage seemed to mesmerize every person that he came close to.

He had complete control of the audience. I got to click away as they played three of their classics: “Draw the Line,” “Love in an Elevator,” and “Same Old Song and Dance.” I couldn't help but nod my head like a parrot, as the rock'n'roll rhythms moved though my body. Sadly after three songs, I was ushered out of The Pit, to give the audience a better view of what they paid to witness. I walked out of the back door, and found my VW Bus still there at the edge of the parking lot, and drove home, while reminiscing about the good old days of rock'n'roll.


It is Tom Peterson, and Bun E has not been touring with CT since March 2010. It is Dads Nielsen on drums. But you are a photographer and not a reporter so you are forgiven :)

Posted by Guest on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

Tom Petersson is correct spelling for the bass player for Cheap Trick, as is Daxx Nielsen the spelling for their touring drummer. And he is Rick Nielsen's son.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

steve perry is not in aerosmith!

Posted by Guest dave on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

Holy crap… Do you need an editor? I'm available. Get your Rock Stars and their names right, okay?

Posted by Guest Dytzeeblonde on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

Yikes, I always liked Cheap Trick even though we wondered why the Japanese were so enthralled with a band whose first record we'd heard of was playing live for enthralled Japanese.

The other curiosity about Cheap Trick was that there were two new wave nerds, Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen on one hand and two rock poodles, Robin Zander and Tom Petersson (whom we thought was a cast away from Abba) on the other hand.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Nice photos, and a bit more should be devoted to Cheap Trick, IMHO. I saw them in Reno and they rocked pretty hard like you said, but Robin Zander still hits those high notes of his with the same verve as on the recordings from the 1970's and 1980's. Sadly, not even Freddy Mercury did this (live) and Billy Joel even hires a high tenor to sing his high parts live. You're going to see a lot of the Rick Nielsen collection on stage as well. Fantastic show, and I hope to see Cheap Trick again soon.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Bun E..Is not touring with cheap trick! Hes done with the band and its shame but! Get your facts straight..Nice photos!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 9:51 am