Now that Steven Tyler won't be leering creepily at the next crop of nubile young hopefuls auditioning on the upcoming season of American Idol, perhaps the raspy-voiced singer can turn his attention to making Aerosmith great again. The irony is that, although the Boston quintet hasn't released a consistently strong album since Jimmy Carter was president, the band is still a lot better in concert than it should be, thanks in no small part to the less celebrated ministrations and tangled interplay of ax-wielders Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, sweetly emotive bassist Tom Hamilton and relentless drummer Joey Kramer on such surprisingly engaging live albums as 2005's Rockin' the Joint. Cheap Trick were still mixing up the set-list medicine and releasing brilliant, underrated new CDs like Rockford and (especially) Special One as recently as 2006, but, puzzlingly, they've curled up into the fetal position since, sticking mainly to the obvious hits live. They get away with it, though — even on the ghastly, Frankenstein-cobbled monstrosity "The Flame" — because Robin Zander still sings like a mother.
Mon., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m., 2012