Philadelphia is often referred as "The City of Brotherly Love."
There was plenty to go around Saturday night as Aerosmith and Cheap Trick turned up the heat on the Wells Fargo Center with a sweltering, jaw-dropping display of rock 'n' roll showmanship and musical proficiency.
Cheap Trick, announced as "the greatest (expletive) rock band you have ever seen," got the show off to a rambunctious start. The band sounded tight as they tore through crowd favorites such as "Surrender," "Dream Police," "Gonna Raise Hell" and "The Flame."
During a rousing rendition of the anthemic "I Want You to Want Me," Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler ran on stage, hugging guitarist Rick Nielson and then joined in on the chorus -- only to disappear from the stage as quickly as he arrived.
Singer Robin Zander still has a set of pipes, belting out lyrics with bravado and nary a sour note or botched vocal.
Surprisingly absent from Cheap Trick's set was "That '70s Song," the theme song to "That '70s Show."
But that didn't stop the crowd from feeding off the electricity in the room; an electricity that was almost palpable as the house lights went dark for a second time.
Tyler and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry then rose from the underneath the front of the catwalk jutting out on the floor, enveloped in a thick cloud of fog. The roar of the crowd was almost deafening as the band kicked into "Draw the Line."
"Philadelphia, did you miss us?" Tyler asked as the final note of the song rang through the speakers.
Whatever bad vibes and dissension among the ranks, which nearly caused the band to implode two years ago, were nowhere to be found. Tyler often smiled from ear to ear, as he danced, shimmied and strutted up and down the catwalk; dropping his signature yowl and showing no sign of strain in his voice.
This was Tyler, the charismatic frontman fans have come to know and love; a singer who understands and clearly appreciates the potency of live performance.
Aerosmith's set played like one of its many greatest hits compilations, while tipping a feathered boa-covered top hat to their bluesier, '70s roots (including a boisterous, extended cover of "Rattlesnake Shake" and impeccable rendition of "Last Child").
Late '80s and early '90s MTV staples "Love in an Elevator," Livin' On the Edge" and "Cryin" elicited some of the loudest applause of the night.
Drummer Joey Kramer later wowed the crowd with a impressive solo -- at one point tossing his sticks into the crowd and then using his hands, and head, to pound on the toms.
But fans' eyes were fixated mostly on Tyler and Perry throughout the night. The duo's unwavering drive to deliver a knockout performance was evident. The two have a unique chemistry together that goes beyond hitting the right notes. Perry's leads the ying to Tyler's howling yang.
Once locked into the groove, there was no stopping Tyler, Perry or the rest of the band; hitting the audience hard and fast with "Rag Doll," "Lick and a Promise" and "What It Takes."
The band's performance of "Legendary Child," off of their upcoming studio album "Music From Another Dimension," received a lukewarm response. But the band didn't let the tepid reaction dampen their spirits.
After a run through "No More No More," bassist Tom Hamilton sauntered to the middle of the catwalk and proceeded to let his fingers walk their way into a thumping lead-in to "Sweet Emotion."
The quintet followed it up, naturally, with the other hit off of 1975's "Toys in the Attic": "Walk This Way." Though the band has played the song countless times in concert, it didn't sounded dated, but instead fresh and exciting.
Tyler and Co. thanked the crowd and left the stage, returning minutes later with Tyler sitting at a white piano for "Dream On." Not to be outshined, Perry climbed on top of the piano as the song reached its climax.
But the band wasn't finished.
"Hey, Joey, you hear a train coming?" Tyler shouted back to Kramer, as their set closed in on the two-hour mark. And with that, the group launched into a one-two punch of "Train Kept a Rollin" and "Chip Away the Stone."