The Aerosmith guitarist will hit the stage for the NCAA March Madness Music Festival

By Brianne Tracy
March 31, 2017 01:05 PM
Christopher Victorio/WireImage

Even if your favorite team doesn’t make it to the championship round of March Madness, Joe Perry says there’s still a lot to look forward to during Final Four weekend.

The Aerosmith guitarist will take the stage for the band’s headlining performance at the NCAA March Madness Festival’s Capital One JamFest on Sunday, and fans can expect to hear a lot the old classics — but “revamped.”

“You can’t escape March Madness, and to be a part of the show sounded like a great time,” Perry, 66, tells PEOPLE.

The free three-day celebration taking place March 31 to April 2 will also feature performances by Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers, Blink 182 and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

“It just happened to fall right in a spot where we’re all looking around for something to do,” says Perry. “I’m just looking forward to playing.”

Following an incident last year when Perry stumbled backstage and collapsed during a July concert with his other band, the Hollywood Vampires (which also includes Johnny Depp and legendary rocker Alice Cooper), Perry says that “everybody’s good” health-wise now.

“Every time I stand in front of an audience, I get a kick out of it,” he says of getting back out on stage. “I started off being a fan and then slowly shifted over into this other side of the footlights.”

The upcoming performance is “going to be a glimpse” of what Aerosmith will play for their summer Aero-Vederci Baby! European tour, and the band has been busy rehearsing the songs they’re going to switch into the set—some of which they “haven’t played in a long time.”


As to whether the European tour is going to be their last? “I don’t know how many more years we got, but we’re getting up there and we’re going to keep playing until it doesn’t feel right,” he continues. “It’s really about going out and playing and giving it up at every show.”

Perry notes that the band has always been hard to “pigeonhole” because of the different types of music that they play—from hard rock in the 1970’s, to working with rappers Run-D.M.C on “Walk This Way,” which became a massive hit on MTV in the following decade.

“We saw [music] go from a seat-of-the-pants kind of industry to a world-class business,” he says. “The bottom line is, it’s still about a good song and the good songs carry no matter how it’s recorded.”

Aerosmith still has five of its original band members, a rarity in the classic rock world.

“What we’re doing onstage is a culmination of the fact that we’re all together and we came up through different changes,” he says. “It’s definitely a reason for why the band can still play the way it does.”

He adds: “It has a lot to do with the five of us still following the dream.”

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Perry is currently working with Depp on putting together his solo record, and he hopes the Hollywood Vampires will put out a record by the end of the year and embark on a world tour of their own.

If you can’t make it to Phoenix to catch the performances live, tune in to see some of them via livestream on,, and the official NCAA YouTube channel.