Claim: Aerosmith once decided to play their set list in reverse, then opened a concert with their encore and mistakenly walked off the stage.
Example: [Uncut, February 2007]
Origins: The pop music concert industry has come a long way since the mid-1960s, when groups like the Beatles would undertake tours during which they played for less than half an hour, performing the same rigid set list of a dozen recent songs at each stop. Now concert tours are much more elaborately staged productions, with established artists sometimes playing for upwards of two or three hours and performing music drawn from the breadth of recording careers that have spanned multiple decades. And although some artists stick with relatively unvarying set
A legend which plays on the subject of set lists holds that during one of their shows in the 1970s, Aerosmith, for reasons unknown (one assumes the influence of recreational substances), decided to shake things up by playing their set in reverse, beginning with the encore and ending with the opening number. However, after getting on stage and running through the first song (i.e., the encore), the group, for reasons unknown (one assumes the influence of recreational substances), thought their set was over and walked off stage after having performed only a single tune.
As amusing (and perhaps believable, among some quarters) as this tale might be, according to Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry, there's nothing to it:
Wilde, Jon. "An Audience with Aerosmith." Uncut. February 2007 (p. 8).