First Encounter: Aerosmith 1974
(Sheesh is this dopey! Interesting period for these geeks, though, as “Dream On” had just come out and mildly flopped [it would be re-released and hit the Top 10 two years later] and dorky reviewers weren’t above making New York Dolls comparisons. All in all, “very commendable” and “truly a sight to behold”!—dd)
“It was just like playing at home… and they love us in Boston!”
Such were the words of Brad Whitford, rhythm guitarist of the Boston-based group Aerosmith, after Wednesday night’s appearance at the Brewery.
Aerosmith certainly earned its wings in East Lansing. Apparently a favorite of the Brewery management, the group has “almost” appeared here a number of times, but due to unforseen circumstances, has never had the chance to perform locally.
When Aerosmith was finally booked, the Brewery spent a great deal of time promoting the appearance. And it all paid off–Wednesday night’s show was perhaps one of the most exciting performances this area has seen in months.
Before the group came onstage, it was plain to see a very expectant audience was waiting in the house. The pre-show clapping and hooting indicated that the group had already established a definite audience. That, and a fully packed Brewery, proved that something was particularly special about the band.
Their performance was a knockout. Beginning with “Make it,” the introductory song on their debut album, Aerosmith gradually gathered momentum until full-power, hell-spawned rock and roll was delivered.
But it took a while. The first third of the show seemed weaker in comparison to the final two-thirds. The group seemed sloppy at first, even during the performance of their noted single “Dream On.” Only when they began “One Way Street,” probably their best tune, did the group really begin to open up. Suddenly an air of true professionalism surrounded the band, an aura which did not leave for the remainder of the show.
Onstage, the group was visually interesting, basically because of the antics of charismatic lead singer Steve Tyler. Tyler’s mannerisms, partly responsible for the group’s heralded comparison with the early Stones, seemed much more akin to the style of lead singer David Jo Hansen of the New York Dolls. He seemed to be trying to look like a lead singer, which actually made the show that much more interesting.
The dual work of lead guitarist Joe Perry and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford was very commendable. Often switching back from lead to rhythm, each guitarist alternately complemented the other quite well, and together both guitarists formed the musical nucleus of the group.
Though bass player Tom Hamilton was seemingly neglected, Joey Kramer was spotlighted several times on drums, and in his, own way contributed much to the group’s visual show. Jumping up from his seat at the conclusion of several songs; he gave the group some degree of spontaneity that helped the show greatly.
The crowd went wild at the Brewery. They demanded two encores, and Aerosmith was extremely appreciative. Promising to return to East Lansing, the group broke into their best performance of the night. They were truly a sight to behold.
Heading for Detroit, the group will share the bill with guitarist Roy Buchanan this weekend, and then continue their trek of the Midwest.
During the night, the group played several compositions from their soon-to-be-released album, Get Your Wings. On Columbia Records, the disc threatens to be a real monster, if Wednesday night’s performance was any indication. Hopefully, the group’s next single, “Same Old Song And Dance” will do what “Dream On” failed to–that is, break simultaneously throughout the country, thereby promising Aerosmith the national audience they truly deserve.
There is an air of stardom about this band, one that cannot go unnoticed for long. Given a little time, this relatively young band will probably make it in a very big way. No one, after Wednesday night, can argue with that.
(Michigan State News, 2/1/74)