- Jill Warren, Indianapolis Star, 8.3.88
If A count of tour T-shirts was any indication, Guns N' Roses' fans accounted for the greater share of the 16,800 attendance at Tuesday's Aerosmith concert at Market Square Arena.
It's hard to say which band "won" in a contest of heavy metal prowess, but the headliners performed with a spirit and drive not seen in years.
Aerosmith dug back into the catalog to open its 90-minute concert with Rats In The Cellar and Same Old Song And Dance before sampling its current Permanent Vacation album.
The band performed a number of tunes from that year-old disc, notably Rag Doll , a rocking gem that recalls the band's Toys In The Attic period.
Singer Steve Tyler, who paused from his near-constant movement only long enough to sip from a bottle of Perrier, sounded particularly strong on the ballad Angel. He was equally impressive, however, on a screamer like Back In The Saddle.
As expected, guitarist Joe Perry's fiery technique was awesome, but drummer Joey Kramer surprised fans by stepping away from his kit and playing a flashy electronic solo that allowed him to band his sticks on the stage, himself and even the palms of his hands.
Aerosmith wound down its set with strong versions of Walk The Dog, Dream On, Walk This Way and Sweet Emotion, but was called back to the stage to encore with Dude (Looks Like A Lady) .
Guns N' Roses - two of its members, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin, hail from Indiana - opened the evening with a 45-minute set that served to whet one's appetite for seeing them perform as headliners.
It's hard to imagine that the crowd could have been screaming as loud as the band was playing, but fans worked hard to display the intense level of devotion the group inspires. This was not lost on Rose, who termed the audience "the most responsive we've ever played to."
Guns N' Roses earned the applause for both its exciting performance and its knack for storytelling. Rose amused fans with details on his 20-odd arrests in this state, all of which he alleged were on false charges.
Seven or eight years ago, he noted, he was nabbed while trying to enter MSA to see and AC/DC concert. "I haven't been back since then," he said, "but it's always been my dream to open an Aerosmith concert right here at home. This is the most important gig in our career."