I used to hate Aerosmith. While my high school chums were driving to Dream On, I was scanning the radio for something other than Sweet Emotion.
I just didn't buy what Steven Tyler & Co. were selling, I guess; maybe I was just a Stones guy, happy to take my white-boy blues from a rock band that sold it better. But a funny thing happened on the way to the snobatorium: When the Boston crew comes on the radio these days, I leave the dial alone. If I'm feelin' frisky, I might even tear off a Joe Perry air-guitar riff. It's not that my tastes, my snobbery, have softened. After all, I still despise the Doors and Spandau (shudder) Ballet, to name just two intolerables.
But all of a sudden, I'm hearing something in Back in the Saddle or even The Other Side that now totally does it for me. It could have something to do with Aerosmith's totally awesome Rock 'N' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios; after all, I'm a giant Disney nerd who's willingly manipulated by the Mouse House. But no, I'm thinking it's more than that, something regional, something in the FLA air. Aerosmith is all about loud, swarthy hedonism, a break from the rigors of the grind — and so is a good chunk of Tampa Bay. Tyler's American Jagger impression is totally nuance-free, pure humpy id. You know where they're going — and hey, you might as well go along with them.
Aerosmith and ZZ Top play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa. Tickets range from $35 to $175. Call (813) 740-2446 or go to livenation.com.
Sean Daly, Times pop music critic