Now in their fifth decade together, Aerosmith is more resilient than most rock bands. They started strong in the early '70s, came back even stronger in the mid-'80s and wrapped up the '90s by scoring a worldwide No. 1 hit with "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."
But for much of the past decade, Aerosmith has mostly played the nostalgia card, issuing almost no new music and, instead, suffering from an almost ridiculous series of injuries (various surgeries, cancer scares, stage falls). Yet just when it felt like it was time to count them out for good, lead singer Steven Tyler landed himself a gig as an "American Idol" judge, instantly introducing himself (and, by extension, Aerosmith) to a new generation.
On Saturday, June 16, the band took advantage of that newfound attention by launching their Global Warming Tour at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis in front of a sold-out crowd of about 14,000.
While it's doubtful Aerosmith will recapture the attention of pop radio with their impending new album "Music from Another Dimension," Saturday night's raucous, entertaining show proved the guys still have some fire left in them. Maybe writing and recording the fresh tunes gave the guys a boost, or perhaps it was Tyler's two seasons of time spent watching other people sing on "Idol." Whatever the case, Aerosmith felt both comfortable and revitalized back in front of a screaming crowd of fans.
The set list bounced between the big hits -- "Love in an Elevator,"
"Cryin'," "Living on the Edge" -- while making room for some album cuts, such as 1974's "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" and "Combination," with lead guitarist Joe Perry on vocals.
Tyler, who turned 64 in March, appeared to be having a blast now that he was back in the saddle, even if the rest of the band mostly struck "semi-jaded old pro" stances. At one point, Tyler hoisted up his shirt and patted his tummy, with a grin that said he was more than happy to be back.
Illinois rockers Cheap Trick proved to be an ideal match as the opening act. They weren't as spry and active as usual, but tore through their hits for the adoring audience, earning the biggest response from the one-two punch of "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police."
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