|Thursday, April 29, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 141
Tribute to Duke Ellington
Tyler show they still have what it takes
By Matthew F. Tritico
A sold out crowd of Aerosmith fans didn't miss a thing Tuesday night at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion as old pro Steven Tyler entertained them. Tyler's song and dance were still as fresh as the band's newest single.
Full of the traditional rock 'n' roll attitude and intent on delivering the goods, Tyler and his cohorts rocked the house with a 20-song set spanning almost every album in its awesome catalog.
Steven Tyler and his bandmates from Aerosmith belted the hits everyone came to hear Tuesday night, proving why the band has been around for nearly forever.
Ti Truong/The Daily Cougar
The curtains fell, and the crowd went nuts when Tyler appeared on stage and got their feet dancing to the sounds of the classic rocker, "Toys In The Attic." After seeing the crowd in action and watching many of the young fans singing along with the words, it was hard to believe some of these songs came out as early as 1975, proof that the band is timeless.
Looking down most of the night, sporting a new haircut and shredding away, guitarist Joe Perry was in top form from the first note of the punchy "Love In An Elevator," as the crowd sang along.
Also with new cuts and styles, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer kept the bottom end packed with solid grooves as rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford played on, looking smug and comfortable and hardly moving from his side of the stage.
After a lukewarm response to "Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)," the crowd bounced back with "Rag Doll" and sang along loudly to the classic ballad "Dream On," a song that inspired hundreds to whip out their cigarette lighters, giving the pavilion the appearance of a giant birthday cake. After Tyler hammered out the emotional content of "Janie's Got A Gun," the lights went dim.
"I read the newspaper," Tyler said as he twirled his microphone and wiped some sweat from his forehead onto one of his trademark scarves. "Joe reads the paper, Tom reads the paper," he continued as the colorful lights reappeared and cut through the fog machines. As the first few chords of "Livin' On The Edge" echoed through the crowd, it was evident someone was thinking of the tragedy in Littleton, Colo.
After surprising many members of the older crowd with the hidden treasure "Lord Of The Thighs," Tyler, wearing a huge hat and funky shades asked, "Do you know what color this is?" Suddenly, "Pink" blasted through the speakers, and Tyler put his harmonica to good use.
Another song of value was a cool version of the 1977 hit "Draw The Line" that had a nice jam breakdown toward the end.
A special highlight was the chemistry between the band and the audience for the next three songs. After "Draw The Line," Perry took over on lead vocals for a bluesy tune as Tyler pulled out his trusty harmonica and proved why Aerosmith still has a hardcore legion of fans. Every member of the band is extremely talented.
Next came "Walk This Way" and "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," the hit from the movie Armageddon. The song pulled heartstrings and filled the pavilion with even more lighters. Many of the older fans sat down and watched in wonder as the youngsters took over the background vocal duties, but the syrupy ballad still sounded great live, and its thick, rich coating made it a tasty treat.
Before the encore, Tyler, full of uncontrollable energy, belted out "Cryin" and "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)." Then he disappeared backstage with the rest of the band for what seemed like a very long time.
After the screaming, sweaty fans hit their seats and yelled the band's name, Aerosmith reemerged for a killer encore of "Big Ten Inch Record," an awesome version of "What It Takes" and "Sweet Emotion." As Tyler sang his heart out, I noticed a little girl propped up on her father's shoulders and realized how the band has gone through a generation and is still going strong.
Though he's half a century old, Tyler still has what it takes.
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