Aerosmith + Cheap Trick

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Photograph: Ross Halfin & Meliss

Good: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry have kissed and made up—not for the first time, nor likely the last—and the best-selling American rock band of all time is back on the road. Supposedly, this year’s big Global Warming tour might not have happened had the pair continued feuding. Drama ensued when Tyler signed on as an American Idol judge without letting the rest of Aerosmith know (in 2010 the band intimated that it might be looking for a new singer; Tyler responded with a cease-and-desist order). Things were strained until Perry popped up on Idol to sing “Happy Birthday” to his old buddy. Everything’s rosy again, and a new album, Music from Another Dimension, is due next month.

But of course the tour was going to happen. A statement from the band inadvertently reveals why it needs both Tyler and Perry at its core. Quoth Tyler: “The old Aerosmith is back with a new vengeance, and we will kick your ass and make out with your mothers.” And Perry: “Can’t wait to bring this band back home. It feels like we’ve been away too long.”

Perry, you see, is the band’s rock— in multiple senses of the word—where Tyler is its roll. You only have to look back at the names of the bands that the two headed up pre-Aerosmith. In 1964, Tyler formed the Strangeurs: effete, pretentious and highly enjoyable. Perry’s outfit was the Jam Band: solid, snappy and memorable. Aerosmith taps into all those qualities for the fullest expression of its outrageous, grooving rock-juggernaut self. Much as we laugh and call them the Toxic Twins, Tyler and Perry together make something curiously robust and functional. Sweet emotion, indeed.

Cheap Trick opens with its trailblazing power-pop tunes.—Sophie Harris

Follow Sophie Harris on Twitter: @SophieMeve

Preorder Music from Another Dimension on iTunes

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