Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.

The crowd marched in, about 22,000 strong, to pay homage to Aerosmith in Wednesday's opener of a two-night engagement at the Capital Centre.

Most of the those crushed against the stage or standing in their chairs appeared to be in their teens, and many stared vacantly, their condition generally attributable to beer or smoke.

They roared their favor for the opening act, Golden Earring, a British band substituting for Styx, which was forced to withdraw because, it was announced, the drummer had a case of walking pneumonia.

Then the real noise started. Emerging from behind a black curtain onto the nearly bare platform, Aerosmith launched into "Back in the Saddle" and sent the faithful into a frenzy. Each chord registered on the Richter scale but no one seemed to mind the earthquake.

Tyler is a charismatic presence, an American combination of Mick Jagger and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. But his vocals are practically shouted in a rage and his supporting instrumentalists have never heard of dynamics or subtlety - or melody, for that matter. Occasionally, a steady rhythm or a snatch of lyric surfaced above the din but not often enough to alter the blow-off-the-roof style.

"Walk This Way" was a compelling boogie, and "Dream On" proved tuneful in comparison to the rest of the blitz (despite some technical sound problems). But the selections from their just-released "Draw the Line" indicated that all the group has done in its last two albums is get louder.