Bore Up Under Strain(Tarantura TCDAS-2)
Budokan Dai Hall, Tokyo, Japan–February 9, 1977
(76:04) Jaws, Toccata And Fugue, Mama Kin, S.O.S.(Too Bad), Lick And A Promise, Big Ten Inch Record, Sweet Emotion, Dream On false start, Rats In The Cellar, Dream On, Lord Of The Thighs, Last Child, Walk This Way, Same Old Song And Dance, Train Kept A Rollin’, Get The Lead Out, Batman Theme, Train Kept A Rollin’ (reprise), Encore – Toys In The Attic, Announcement
Bore Up Under Strain from Tarantura presents a new tape source from the last date of Aerosmith’s 1977 Japanese Tour. It comes from the Mr. Peach library and is a very complete document of the show with no musical cuts. The sound quality is very good to bordering on excellent in places. It picks up all instruments with the bass a bit muddy in the mix but almost no crowd interference worth mentioning.
An older source was previously issued a few years back on CDR as Whole Place Rockin’ on Power Gate. The new Mr. Peach source is a vast upgrade in sound where the older source is very distant and sometimes hard to listen to. This was Aerosmith’s first visit to Japan and they were supporting their forth LP, Rocks.
Aerosmith are known for some “rough around the edges” performances but tonight’s is very tight and they are solid right out of the gate. Being the last night of the tour, the band sounds more relaxed and confident than in the earlier dates. Tyler’s vocals hold up and the guitars are really locked in for an overall excellent show. This is also perhaps one of the shortest sets they played in Japan where “Write Me” and “Sick As A Dog” were dropped from the usual setlist.
After the taped intro of the “Jaws Theme” and “Toccata And Fugue”, Aerosmith open with “Mama Kin” segueing directly into “S.O.S.” The mix takes a minute to come together but settles in by the second track.
This tour featured some great highlights from the Rocks LP. “Lick And A Promise” sounds inspired with a very fast tempo keeping the band on their toes throughout the track. “Big Ten Inch Record” highlights Tyler’s harmonica skills and features a slightly different arrangement from the studio recording including solos from both Perry and Whitford. Aside from the vocal harmonies being a little weak, the band has a nice groove going during “Sweet Emotion”. Joe Perry’s talk box guitar carries the track and is a great version that has lots of extra guitar licks going on.
Tyler asks for requests and says “we’re gonna slow it down for ya” before a tease of “Dream On”. For some reason they abandon after a few bars for the much faster “Rats In The Cellar” and return to “Dream On” after. The audience is then treated to a nine minute version of “Lord Of The Thighs”, a live staple since the release of their second record, Get Your Wings.
Brad Whitford comes to the forefront for “Last Child” and delivers some excellent playing. He may not get the recognition that Joe Perry sees but is a truly underrated talent both as a player and songwriter. Tom Hamilton’s short bass solo during “Same Old Song And Dance” gets buried under the guitars but is otherwise a very solid version.
During a guitar break in “Train”, Joe Perry leads the band into “Get The Lead Out” and the “Batman Theme” before the coda. Tarantura indexed these tracks accordingly. The sole encore, “Toys In The Attic”, emerges unexpectedly amid some slow blues for a devastating finish.
Bore Up Under Strain comes in a nice glossy gatefold sleeve. The inside has some photos of the band taken in Japan as well as some individual live shots and Mr. Peach’s Sony master cassette. This is the second Mr. Peach Aerosmith title from Tarantura following The Wanderer. The sound quality may be a small notch below The Wanderer but is still an excellent and enjoyable title to own. Classic Aerosmith on silver boot pretty much says it all.