Who needs a press conference when a six-song performance by Aerosmith with special guest Slash can do the trick? Steven Tyler and crew were in fine form for this lunch-time set on an unseasonably hot Tuesday afternoon at the landmark Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip — the first time they’ve played the legendary venue, as Joe Perry noted, since December 3,1973, their debut L.A. performance and first time west of the Mississippi. The band was set to announce that tickets for their upcoming “Let Rock Rule” tour, with Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, would go on sale April 12, the shows set to kick off July 10 at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y. Swaggering onstage with leather jacket, floppy hat and shades, all of which ended up in the audience before the first song was over, a goatee-wearing Tyler greeted the crowd with a hearty, “Ladies and genitals, you love this band almost as much as I do” before stopping to autograph an album, then launching into a raucous “Draw the Line” as if they were playing for 20,000 rather than the 300 or so media and lucky ticket-holders on hand.
Second guitarist Brad Whitford wasn’t around due to a previous commitment, but that didn’t seem to stop Tyler, Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer and a keyboardist, who roared into “Same Old Song and Dance” (featuring a Hamilton bass line that had Tyler draping his arms around him) and “Walk this Way,” the charismatic vocalist mugging for the front row iPhone cameras, even grabbing one for a selfie of his mouth. A muscular, beaming Slash, in trademark top hat and lion’s mane afro, then entered the stage for a raucous “Mama Kin,” Tyler thanking Axl, then pointing out the namesake arm tattoo, before a rave-up version of “Train Kept a Rollin,” as the three – with Perry – huddled around the mic like Jagger, Richards and Wood, the dueling guitars providing fuel to the locomotion.