Aerosmith’s live show’s got nothing on its recent headlines

Lame old song and dance
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

The Details

July 31, MGM Grand Garden Arena
two and a half stars

After a year of injuries, health problems, in-fighting, break-up rumors and potential new lead singers, Aerosmith hit the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with plenty to prove. And over the course of a two-hour show, the classic rockers proved mainly that the rumors were more entertaining than what they can offer as a live act, and that maybe they would have been better off going their separate ways.

Singer Steven Tyler jumped and danced and yelped throughout the show, doing his best to demonstrate enthusiasm. His bandmates, however, looked bored to death: Bassist Tom Hamilton and guitarist Brad Whitford in particular were so lethargic that you could practically see them adding up dollar amounts in their heads. The five band members stood mostly apart from each other, although Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry had occasional moments that almost resembled camaraderie.

These guys are experienced enough that they could probably pull off a show in their sleep, but the strain still showed. Tyler’s voice isn’t what it used to be, and he sounded ragged on a lot of the high notes. As cool as it was to hear vintage album track “Lord of the Thighs,” the song’s slide into a listless jam was painful. Whether tackling forgettable late-career duds (“Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees),” “Pink”) or solid classics (“Walk This Way,” “Dream On”), the band sounded dutiful but never inspired. “The rumors are true,” Tyler joked at one point, “I am pregnant with Joe Perry’s baby.” At least that would have been exciting.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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