Joe Perry On Who Makes The Final Call In Aerosmith’s Setlist


Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry recently joined The Eddie Trunk Podcast for an interview and revealed the person who decides on the final setlist of the band’s shows.

Before going on a tour or performing in a venue, all bands decide on a setlist that they think will please the audience. However, some bands have a vast music catalog, so choosing the best fit becomes challenging. As a result, one needs to make the final call before hitting the road.

In 2019, Aerosmith embarked on a tour celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary. Their Las Vegas residency lasted from April, June, July, and September through December. Although they planned to extend it into January, February, May, and June 2020, they had to cancel the dates due to the pandemic.

Most of Aerosmith’s shows in 2020 were canceled for the same reason and rescheduled for the summer of 2021 and again to the summer of 2022. In March 2022, they announced their Deuces Are Wild residency would continue and expand from June through December, but they canceled the June and July dates due to Steven Tyler entering rehab.

In a recent interview with Eddie Trunk, Joe Perry revealed who makes the final decision on Aerosmith’s setlist. Perry argued it’s a big issue because they rehearse many songs before a tour. He then said his road manager John Bionelli helps them to decide on the tracks they have to play to make their audience happy. In addition, all members decide on a few rather unexpected songs for their setlist.

Asked who makes the final call, Joe Perry told Eddie Trunk the following:

“Well, we all do. I mean, that’s probably the biggest issue from show to show, figuring out the setlist. We rehearse many songs before we get started, whether it’s a tour of Vegas. So, we have stuff in our back pocket that all it will take is a soundcheck to bring it up to speed.

What we will do is, John Bionelli, who’s been with me, my road manager, and also been around with the band for twenty-five years, he’s one of the ones that did all the cataloging of all of our stuff right until the road starts. So, he has a really good idea about what songs it seems we have to play.”

He then continued:

“It’s not like we feel like we have to play; it’s just that we know those are the songs people would miss if we didn’t play them. And there’s room for some of the deeper cuts, and sometimes we go deep, like one or two of those.”

According to Perry, Bionelli lets them know the songs the audience would be sad about if they didn’t play, and he leaves them room to play some lengthy songs. However, Perry argues they play the songs Bionelli chose because they know it would be the best.