Aerosmith’s current Blue Army Tour will end with a winning touchdown pass when they perform at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural Concert for Legends. Set for Friday, Aug. 7 at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the concert is a celebratory event paying tribute to the legends of the game on the eve of the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies.

Of course, Aerosmith have long been known as football fans. They even allowed the song “Legendary Child,” from 2012's Music From Another Dimension, to be reworked for the New England Patriots. Still, this will be Aerosmith’s first trip to the Hall of Fame.

As Joe Perry told Ultimate Classic Rock during a recent conversation, it’s been a long time coming. Aerosmith would play shows in the neighboring area of Cleveland back in the day, but they rarely left the city limits.

“Really, in the ‘70s when we would play there, pretty much the party went from the gig over to Swingo’s, you know, the [legendary Cleveland-area] hotel,” he says. “That place had a pretty wild reputation too, so that was pretty much it. We never did much else [when we were in town]. As Cleveland grew and then they got the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s definitely moved up a bunch of notches above a lot of the other cities.”

Perry is also hoping to check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame while they’re in town, though he's not sure if Aerosmith's schedule will accomodate a side trip.

“This tour, the routing is a little off the wall, so I’m really not sure when I’m going to get there and how it’s going to be," Perry said. "I’m not even sure how I’m traveling there – because I have a bus and I usually travel on the bus, but if it’s a really long drive from the last show, I’ll go on the plane with the rest of the band. I’d rather be on the bus; that sometimes gives me a chance to do stuff that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was on the band plane.”

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So far, fans have been witness to some choice Aerosmith rarities from the back catalog on this tour, with relative setlist rarities like “Lord Of The Thighs,” “Movin’ Out” and “Seasons Of Wither” finding their way into the show. There are of course, the necessary hits that the band has to play, but Perry says that they do like to mix in a few of the deeper cuts.

“We want to play a set that’s going to get everybody off, and it’s impossible to make everybody happy, but I think that even hearing some of those songs that are not the main ones, I think that we’re finding that people appreciate those tunes,” he says. “So, it’s been a really good tour from that point of view.”

Fans in Canton this August are likely to hear a selection of songs that's part careful planning, part fun improvisation. “You know, we spend a good portion of the time before the show putting the set together,” Perry points out. “But sometimes Steven [Tyler] and I will look at each other at the front of the stage and I’ll start playing a lick and if he nods his head or he starts singing along, all of the sudden there’s a new song in the set."

That tends to give Aerosmith shows a once-in-a-lifetime feel. "You know, some of these songs, they may not come out perfect, but we just try to play ‘em as good as we can," Perry adds. "Some of them end up like a trainwreck, like the beginning might not be as good as it could be or the end might not be as good as it could be. But the bottom line is that you get to hear the song and, certainly, if fans have any [album of ours] from five years ago or 10 years ago – before all of this internet stuff where you could just buy one song off a record – people are going to recognize it, and it works.”

The group’s headlining set from the 2014 Download Festival will offer fans the chance to take a bit of that concert experience home with them. Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 will be released on audio, DVD and Blu-ray on Sept. 4.

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