Aerosmith : Toronto Molson Amphitheatre

The not-so-toxic-anymore twins bring their creaky but compulsive pomp-rock juggernaut to Canada...

With the dawning of their fourth decade together, the duo of Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, better known now as the anti-oxidant twins or something, continue to fight the good fight. In town supporting the ballad-and-miss latest ‘Just Push Play’, Aerosmith still deliver the goods, it just seems the balance between credibility and ability is getting blurred. The fact that ‘Love In An Elevator’ has been beaten to death yet still makes its presence early is cause for concern. But Tyler’s shimmy and the kick-ass riffs oozing from Perry salvage a forgettable start.

It’s only after the new songs are played, including the album’s Shaggy-fied title track, and a move to a much smaller second stage on the back lawns, that the verve picks up. ‘Same Old Song And Dance’, ‘Dream On’ and ‘Toys In The Attic’ start winning the diehards over, while the onstage gadgets – including a superb overhead video screen – compensate for Brad Whitford’s and Tom Hamilton’s typically inert states.

From there, the show gathers speed, but breathers such as ‘Seasons Of Whither’ and ‘Uncle Salty’ look kinda absurd considering nothing is done from their ‘Permanent Vacation’ album. Meanwhile, a drum solo – oh yes – by Joey Kramer seems much too forced to be passable prior to ‘Sweet Emotion’. The encore goes according to plan until Perry smashes his guitar on ‘Train Kept A Rollin”. Trying to retrieve his backup only flusters him, leaving the often under-rated Whitford to carry the load home. The band exits, knowing it’s time to draw the line.

Jason MacNeil