|Aerosmith performs at the Air Canada Centre on June 27, 2012 as part of their Global Warming Tour. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Seventies rock has aged well judging from the lively, very physical set that veteran Boston rockers Aerosmith delivered.
They rocked out in front of 13,000 fans at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night as part of their Global Warming Tour.
Of course, Aerosmith’s frontman Steven Tyler has recently re-invented himself as an American Idol judge the last two years, reportedly causing some friction with his bandmates, lead guitarist Joe Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford.
But there was no hipchecking, intentional or otherwise, at Wednesday night’s show.
Tyler famously hipchecked Perry during the band’s 2010 stop at the ACC and Perry hipchecked him back, sending him into the crowd. The raspy-voiced and flamboyant singer recovered nicely and got back on stage.
This time, the 64-year-old Tyler, in a top hat and sunglasses with his trademark microphone weighed down by scarves, and the 61-year-old Perry in sequined silver blazer and sparkly black shoes, appeared to be a united front from the get-go, appearing together at the front of their huge catwalk for the show opener, Draw The Line.
“Did you miss us?” asked Tyler, who eventually got rid of most of his clothes, throwing scarves out into the crowd, after the band made their way through such hits as Love in an Elevator and Livin’ on the Edge.
Without a new album to push, their upcoming Music from Another Dimension! was pushed back from August 28 to a Nov. 6 to avoid competing with other high profile releases, Aerosmith delivered a greatest hits set for over two hours.
The Demon of Screamin’, as Tyler is known, was in top form - running, dancing and generally getting as close to fans as he could all around the enormous stage which was dominated by two video screens.
He also let some mighty big notes rip during What It Takes, I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing, Dream On - which saw him emerge from beneath the floor of the catwalk playing a white piano during the encore - and broke out the harmonica during Cryin’ and Big Ten Inch Record.
Not to be outdone was Kramer whose drums solo saw him resort to using his hands and head, with some assistance from Tyler, and Perry’s instrumental guitar work on Boogie Man and lead vocals on Combination were only topped by his playing on No More No More, Sweet Emotion and Walk This Way.
The band also got some additional musical help from two female backup singers, including one on saxophone, and a touring keyboardist.
Frankly, opening act and fellow ‘70s rock survivors Cheap Trick, who narrowly escaped a stage collapse last year at the Ottawa Bluesfest, seemed mild by comparison.
Still, they were in all their glittery glory thanks to the stylish duds of singer-rhythm guitarist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson.
Rounded out by lead guitarist Rick Nielsen, in his trademark black baseball hat, bow tie, and white and black checkered top, and his son Daxx Nielsen on drums (subbing for original drummer Bun E. Carlos who is still a member of the group but stopping touring with them in 2010), Cheap Trick ran through their hits Surrender, I Want You to Want Me and Dream Police. But their hour-long performance was no match for the vital demonstration put on by Aerosmith.
Draw the Line
Love in an Elevator
Livin’ on the Edge
S.O.S. (Too Bad)
What It Takes
No More No More
I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing
Big Ten Inch Record
Walk This Way
Train Kept A-Rollin’