Walk this way if you must, Steven Tyler, but at your own peril. Seemingly harmless roughhousing during a sold-out Aerosmith concert Tuesday at Toronto's Air Canada Centre resulted in the flamboyant, floppy-hatted singer Tyler being pushed by guitarist Joe Perry off a catwalk and into the crowd.
The consensus was that the incident was mere horseplay, but where the fractious Perry and Tyler relationship is concerned, it's hard to write off the stage fall as something less than significant.
The pair, who are the chief members of the legendary Boston rock quintet, have endured a testy relationship of late. Earlier this year, Tyler considered a possible solo career before entering rehab for a prescription-drug addiction. Perry, meanwhile, released a solo album and discussed his intention to replace Tyler, 62, with a new Aerosmith vocalist. More recently, Perry objected to hearing about the singer's possible new gig as an American Idol judge over the Internet, rather than from Tyler himself.
The stage incident, which can be seen at TMZ.com, occurred early in the hit-laden performance, during the band's lewdly grinning Going Down/Love in an Elevator. Tyler had lightly hip-checked Perry, who, after completing his guitar lick, looked over his shoulder before backing into the unsuspecting front man. Tyler, the Get a Grip singer, briefly teetered on the lip of the protruding walkway before falling into the throng. Eventually, with half-hearted help from Perry, Tyler climbed back on the stage.
The occurrence was a dicey one for Tyler, who one year ago made headlines when he fell from the stage during an Aerosmith concert in South Dakota. That tumble left the strutting singer with a broken collarbone, which resulted in the cancellation of a series of summer tour dates, including five Western Canadian concerts.
Once composed, Tyler remarked: "It ain't gonna happen again, baby," undoubtedly referring to last year's South Dakota debacle. "You'll pay for that, my brother," he then said, directing his remark to the smirking Perry.
Though the pair have seemingly reconciled - the band's current Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock tour includes September shows in Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver - tensions linger. After his topple at the ACC, the screechy-voiced Tyler altered a line from Livin' on the Edge to "We're seeing things in a different way/And Joe knows it ain't his."
The robust 17-song performance of crowd-stirring ballads and rugged blues rock included the radio hit Falling in Love, which contains the line "falling in love is hard on the knees." Falling off stages, Tyler and Aerosmith know too well, comes with its hazards as well.