Aerosmith; Hard Rock Café, London: Monday February 19

Ya-ya-ya-ya-yeow! Stadium rock stripped to 150-strong secret gig

So they might be 100 years old, hiring models to fill the front rows and using autocues for the lyrics, but there’s nothing quite like seeing Aerosmith rip through the likes of ‘Walking The Dog’ bare-chested about three inches from your face. Add to this the fact that they last played London at Wembley Stadium in 1999 and that they’re stripped down to equipment as basic as the Mitch Mitchell drumkit that hangs over the door and you have some very excited punters indeed. Punters, it must be said, who are divided into silver-haired bejewelled Saxondales whooping for Fleetwood Mac cover ‘Rattlesnake Shake’ on one side, and fresh-faced debutantes screaming “don’t wanna close my eyes” during ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ on the other.

To give the band credit though, this Armageddon-soundtracking atrocity is the only nod towards latter-day ’Smith, and the rest of the set is full of the likes of ‘Sweet Emotion’, ‘Train Kept A Rolling’ and a still-saucy ‘Love In An Elevator’. We get flying solos, we get funky breakdowns and ‘Cryin’’ sung suggestively to a pretty blonde, we get the lot. “Going down, Mr Tyler?” Not anytime soon.

Tim Chester

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