WAILUKU - Aerosmith concertgoers said they expected to experience one of the band's best concerts ever Tuesday night, especially since members of the rock band were under court order to perform on Maui after they canceled a concert here two years ago.
"It's going to be a fun show. They owe it to Maui," said Richard Chiasson, a 54-year-old chef from Wailuku.
Twenty-year-old college student Alana Rarick of Kahului said she also felt the band would make an extra effort to give its all for the fans.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The first wave of concertgoers is released through the gates at War Memorial Stadium before Tuesday night’s Aerosmith show.
"I think they'll try harder to make it special," she said.
Chiasson and Rarick were among the expected 10,000 fans who showed up to hear the veteran rockers play at War Memorial Stadium.
The band was ordered to play the Maui show as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit that stemmed from Aerosmith pulling out of a scheduled Sept. 27, 2007, concert on Maui. After tickets had been sold, the band canceled the concert, saying it had to reschedule a Chicago event to Sept. 24, leaving too little time for the band's equipment to arrive for the Maui show. Aerosmith did perform at a private show for Toyota car dealers on Oahu on Sept. 29. Fans who sued the group said they had already bought tickets and incurred travel costs.
Rarick's father, Scott, a longtime Aerosmith fan, was among the 8,700 people who were plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit.
Mr. Rarick said he "wasn't too happy," when the band pulled out of its previous show.
But he was happy and excited Tuesday afternoon as he waited for the stadium gates to open.
As part of the settlement, fans who bought tickets the first time around received free general- admission tickets with the option to upgrade and were also given an option to see the band either on Oahu or Maui. They could also submit claims for airfare and lodging and other costs associated with the canceled concert. (Fans also received refunds for tickets purchased for the 2007 show.).
Mr. Rarick upgraded his several free general-admission tickets for his family.
His son, Zach, 23, expected an awesome concert after watching footage of the band's performance Sunday on Oahu.
"It's going to be a lot better," he said of his expectation for the Maui concert. "They are just going to blast it."
Also excited were the Sugrues of Ocean View on the Big Island who flew in for the concert.
Grace Sugrue said her husband was excited for a week and even packed his bags a week ahead of time.
She said members of the family had also bought tickets the first time around, but never filled out their class-action papers. So, they didn't get free tickets.
But her husband, a die-hard fan, still wanted to make the trip, saying an Aerosmith concert is one of the top five concerts he wanted to experience, she said.
"I told him we can't afford it this time," said Sugrue, 32. "But he wanted to see Aerosmith."
Mrs. Sugrue and her 37-year-old husband, Thomas, spent about $600 to attend the concert. They were also the first in line Tuesday, arriving at the stadium around 1:50 p.m., or about five hours before showtime.
Chiasson said he kept up with the paperwork for the class-action lawsuit and figured he had nothing to lose. He said an Aerosmith attorney told him that he never thought the class action would go through.
"If this will happen, it will happen," Chiasson said he told himself about the lawsuit.
"I think the show will be a blow out for Maui," he said.
The concert even attracted tourists, such as Los Angeles residents Laurie Gregory, 30, and boyfriend Ward Brown, 45, who bought tickets when they found out the band was going to be playing on Maui while the two were here on vacation.
"Surprised it just worked out," Gregory said.
Gregory said she has seen Aerosmith play live about five to six times already.
The couple expected a great show, especially under a Maui sky.
Gregory and Brown said they read in news stories that lead guitarist Joe Perry was quoted as saying that they are under court order to perform on Maui.
With that, Gregory said the show will be "the best one ever."
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.