Having aired their dirty laundry -- and folks, we're talking about a lot of dirty laundry -- in Walk This Way, Stephen Davis' 1997 authorized band biography, to say nothing of a recent episode of VH1's Behind the Music, the members of Aerosmith are to be commended for still walking the earth, not to mention remaining together and at the top of their musical game. The band's new two-CD anthology, Oh Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, is its fourth greatest-hits collection (in addition to a boxed set and a handful of live albums). That might strike some as excessive, but once again, this is a band that knows something about excess.
Fortunately, Aerosmith also still knows how to deliver live, and the band sounds as good today as it ever has -- heck, maybe even better, with everyone on the same page creatively and chemically. These days, Aerosmith shows are more often than not a nonstop parade of hits, from early triumphs such as "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way" to latter-day faves such as "Jaded" and "Girls of Summer." It's too bad this Aerosmith date won't feature opening acts Kid Rock and Run-DMC,as did the tour's first month of shows. Instead, we get grunge's designated whipping boys, Stone Temple Pilots. That's not as potent a bill, perhaps, but it gives STP a sizeable forum to prove they're still viable. The headliner's movable feast of sound and sobriety likely won't do STP frontman (and rehab recidivist) Scott Weiland any harm, either.