Tom Hamilton - bass; Joey Kramer - drums; Joe Perry - guitar; Steven Tyler - vocals; Brad Whitford - guitar; Scott Cushnie - keyboards
Watch out New York - Aerosmith is coming to town! These notorious bad boys swaggered out of the Boston night like the bastard sons of Mick and Keef to become one of the world's top stadium acts. Their triumph in the face of self-inflicted adversity is little wonder when taking into account their potent cocktail of bluesy riffing and proto-punk attitude, plus the liberal application of scarves.
With the release of 1975's Toys in the Attic, 'Smith had upped the ante by introducing a dreamy, Beatle-esque whimsy into their hard rock-solid sound. The result was perhaps the finest studio accomplishment of their entire career and included the funky Top Ten hit "Walk This Way," as well as bassist Tom Hamilton's crowning achievement, the intro to "Sweet Emotion."
Due to the excessive consumption of whatever came their way off-stage, the band's reputation for erratic performances grew steadily throughout the '70s, though none of that is evident in this Central Park set. Steven Tyler's unique talent for thinly veiled sexual innuendo is on full display during opener medley "Walking the Dog / S.O.S. / Somebody" in which Perry and Whitford's one-two guitar punch propels "Somebody." Up next is "Big Ten Inch" before the mandatory "Sweet Emotion" and then the Bic-flicker opus "Dream On." They end the hour-long set with "Toys In The Attic."
In the coming decades, Aerosmith would do just about everything to destroy their renown as true-blue, workhorse rock 'n' rollers - from countless repackages of their greatest hits and lame soundtrack ballads to television commercials and rehab. But when you strip all that away, they're still the same five guys playing the same sleazy music - and for that they should be celebrated.