Aerosmith Embrace Deep Cuts, Early Records At ‘Deuces Are Wild’ Residency

The Las Vegas run winds down at MGM's Park Theatre this June 

Considering Joe Perry once declared Done With Mirrors his least favorite Aerosmith LP and Rolling Stone called it "the work of burned-out lugheads whose lack of musical imagination rivals their repugnant lyrics," it was a little surprising to see the legendary band spark their latest Deuces Are Wild show with the album's lively opening track ("Let the Music Do the Talking"). A bluesy reboot of Perry's short-lived backup plan, its crazy train chords and revved-up rhythm section is about as deep as deep cuts get. 
It's also telling in terms of what Aerosmith is aiming to achieve with its long-running (61 shows between last April and this June) Las Vegas residency at MGM's Park Theatre, which strikes a delicate balance between giving people what they want (smash hit singles like "Sweet Emotion," "Love in an Elevator," and "Livin' on the Edge") and letting the group's most indulgent moments run free while the rest of us wait for an encore "Dream On" performance ever so patiently. (Let's be honest; the only person who wants or needs to hear Joe Perry sing old Elvis Presley and Fleetwood Mac tunes like the leader of a loose cover band is Joe Perry.)
Maybe that's the point actually — that there's nothing more rock 'n' roll than playing what people should hear rather than what they're simply familiar with. That'd be too easy, the sort of sonic comfort food Spotify already provides. What Aerosmith has done with Deuces Are Wild is rewrite their narrative a bit, reminding fair weather fans of such largely overlooked cult favorites as "Last Child," "Chip Away the Stone" and the melancholic power ballad "Seasons of Wither." A history lesson with heroic guitar hooks and massive choruses, albeit one that's sadly missing "Janie's Got a Gun," "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)," and the rest of Aerosmith's iconic Alicia Silverstone trilogy
Photo by Aaron Perry 
They've also presented their past, present, and future in both abstract (a 30-minute intro of interview clips and archival material) and concrete (a pop-up museum of Aerosmith memorabilia) terms, putting the Boston natives' 50 years as a band in perspective far better than a typical international tour would. Where else are you gonna hear about the time a young Joe Perry had his world rocked by Jimi Hendrix or how Steven Tyler's roots as a singer/songwriter lead back to his father Victor Tallarico, a classical musician who trained at Columbia University and Julliard?
Photos by Zach Whitford
It's not like Aerosmith forgot how to slay a sold-out crowd, either. Consummate showmen through and through, the Toxic Twins — rounded out by guitarist Brad Whitford, drummer Joey Kramer, and bassist Tom Hamilton — are as energetic and entertaining as they've ever been. Tyler is especially on top of his game as a mic-swinging, piano-climbing, chest-baring frontman, whether he's screaming "everybody's gonna get laid tonight!" and "put your fucking phones down!" or promising "shit ain't over yet" right before one last crowd-parting catwalk in a Run-DMC-less "Walk This Way."

Know what else ain't over yet? Aerosmith.
Let the Music Do the Talking 
Rag Doll
Last Child
Hangman Jury
Seasons of Wither
Sweet Emotion
Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)
Stop Messin' Around (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Livin' on the Edge 
Chip Away the Stone
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
Love in an Elevator
Toys in the Attic 

Dream On 
Walk This Way