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Originally published August 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Page modified August 9, 2012 at 12:56 PM

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Aerosmith stars best buds again at top-notch Tacoma Dome show

Aerosmith, reunited after Steven Tyler's stint on "American Idol," delivered a top-notch show at the Tacoma Dome Wednesday. Cheap Trick opened the concert.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Concert Review |

After performing a raucous version of their current single, "Legendary Child," Wednesday night at the Tacoma Dome, the members of Aerosmith put their arms around each other in a brotherly show of solidarity.

It was a telling moment after a period of public bickering and personal setbacks, which led many fans to wonder if the 40-year-old Boston band had a future.

Even more indicative of healing in the Aerosmith camp was the band's muscular, high-spirited, two-hour set. It featured re-energized versions of such favorites as "Same Old Song," "Livin' on the Edge" and "Rag Doll," as well as a couple of new songs from the band's upcoming "Music From Another Dimension" CD and several powerful blues jams that recalled the band's musical roots.

The concert was the latest stop on the group's Global Warming Tour. Lead singer Steven Tyler's stint as a judge on TV's "American Idol" — a cause of hard feelings among other band members initially — appeared to pay dividends by drawing younger fans to the Dome.

The show began at about 9 p.m. with "Draw the Line" and "Love in an Elevator." Tyler, wearing a long coat, several scarves, tightfitting pants and a hat, exploded into action with his manic moves and howling vocals. Lead guitarist Joe Perry, in black pants, glittery black jacket and plume of jet-black hair divided by a swath of silvery locks, played with impassioned intensity. He excelled on "Stop Messin' Around."

Tyler, Perry, guitarist Brad Whitford and bassist Tom Hamilton (featured on a psychedelia-tinged "Sweet Emotion") made good use of three extended stages — two jutting off to the sides and one slicing through the center of the main floor.

Two giant LED screens at the rear and a massive pan-shaped screen suspended above the stage displayed videos and close-ups of the band. Drummer Joey Kramer, featured in an extended solo, played on a drum platform that slipped back and forth like a motorized barge. Band members were cohesive and engaged — and clearly enjoying themselves.

The main set came to a close with the Beatles' "Come Together" (with Tyler and Perry leaning into each other like best buddies), followed by "Rats in the Cellar," "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way." "Dream On" (with Tyler seated at a white piano) and "Train Kept a-Rollin' " made for an explosive encore.

Opening was veteran rock band Cheap Trick, featuring lead guitarist Rick Nielson and singer Robin Zander on such classics as "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police," "Surrender" and Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame."

Gene Stout: gene@genestout.com

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