Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Rock excess rules with Def Leppard, Billy Idol

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Hedonism was alive and well Friday night as glossy pop-metal outfit Def Leppard enthralled about 8,500 blissed-out fanatics at Van Andel Arena. There were sweaty, shirtless rockers, show-off-y guitar solos, fans making out and much, much more.

What would the queen say about all of this rock 'n 'roll excess? The Brits (and one Irishman, Vivian Campbell) did pay homage to HRH at the show's launch, as a huge British flag rose in the background to the sounds of "God Save the Queen," in stylized, electric guitar format, of course.

"Animal" featured a sideshow of band members morphing into creatures such as gorillas and vipers on enormous video screens behind them as they played.

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Winnipeg review

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

It wasn't quite mass hysteria that greeted hard rock legends Def Leppard last night, but it still came pretty close.

Actually, it came even closer to Hysteria — the landmark 1987 album that spawned seven consecutive hits for the Brit-rockers, six of which were scheduled to be squeezed into last night's set list.

The sequencing strategy was shrewd, given the quintet is already on record as confirming they sometimes have trouble with live shows, since fans — particularly the casual ones — don't always go crazy for their lesser-known tracks.

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Def Leppard not endangered, yet

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Don't put Def Leppard on the endangered species list just yet.

They haven't had a major hit in more than a decade and their relevancy in today's musical climate is practically nil, but the hard-working quintet from Sheffield, England refuse to be put down.

They have never stopped releasing albums and still remain a strong concert draw, as witnessed by the 8,000 fans that turned out at the MTS Centre last night for a healthy helping of hits from days gone by.

And on that front the band — playing a make-up date for a cancelled April show — didn't disappoint, offering the nostalgic audience almost everything they could want to hear from throughout Def Leppard's 31-year career.

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Rock lives with Idol, Leppard

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

So, what's got nine arms and rocks?

That's right. Def Leppard.

The classic 80s rockers played to a nearly-full house at the John Labatt Centre last night, proving that even if their newer stuff isn't their best, they still know how to plan an excellent set.

Fresh off this year's release of Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, the band, featuring singer John Elliott, bassist Rick Savage, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell and famed drummer Rick Allen (who lost his left arm in a car crash decades ago) had something to prove this time around.

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Def Leppard never changes its spots — and fans at Verizon Center love that

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Who: Def Leppard, the latest in a series of (yawn) nostalgia rock acts booked at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. It's a predictable season at the 10,500-seat amphitheater in Pelham, marked by veteran rockers (think 1970s-80s) and sure-shot country stars.

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, after opener Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. The steamy weather resulted in rivulets of sweat, glistening from the bodies on stage. It also prompted Def Leppard's guitarists, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, to perform shirtless. This was NOT a good night for one constant in the heavy-metal repertoire: black leather pants.

Crowd: Nearly a full house, with a few empty rows throughout the third tier. As usual, Def Leppard's fans were loud and lusty, dancing at their seats, pumping their fists or shouting wild approval.

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Def Leppard make long awaited Valley debut

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

It was a memorable night, one that many of us have waited for-for decades.

The British rock band that kept us company throughout High 'N Dry, Hysteria and Pyromania had finally decided to pay a visit to the good 'ol Rio Grande Valley. Where rock runs deep within our tortilla fueled souls.

As the digital red curtain glittered in the background the familiar sound of AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)" brought the nearly sold out crowd to their feet.

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Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Thunder

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Def Leppard and Whitesnake stepped out of a musical timewarp to rock 'n' roll back the years.

The two thoroughbred icons of 1980s stadium bombast provided an unashamed gallop down Memory Lane at a bouncing Echo Arena Liverpool last night.

And indeed the memories did come flooding back; a flurry of dry ice, razor-like guitar riffing, fist- clenching, pompous posturing – and just like way back then, it was a big barrel of fun.

The former monsters of rock would perhaps struggle to fill the bigger venues by themselves these days, but together they fuse into a potent retro double-act which has gone down a storm across the country.

Liverpool has never really been metal territory but on this occasion the arena almost rocked itself off its foundations and into the Mersey.

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Heavy Metal Showmanship Lives With Def Leppard

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

An enthusiastic mostly over-40 crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena Tuesday was treated to a raucous ride in the way-back machine, courtesy of Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon.

One of the top record-selling bands of the 1980s and an icon of the British heavy metal movement of that era, Def Leppard headlined Tuesday's performance.

Fronted by Joe Elliott, the current incarnation of the band — with the exception of former Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell, who joined in 1992 — has been together more than 25 years.

That familiarity with the material and with each other showed as the band sawed through a 90-minute set devoted mostly to songs that sold tens of millions of albums.

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This Leppard hasn't changed its spots

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

For four hours last night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, it was as if punk and hip-hop had never happened. Whether you think that's a good thing is up to you, but the triple bill of Def Leppard, Styx and REO Speedwagon gave a good accounting of the time when rock music was pop music, and at the same time the headliners showed they have at least a little left in the tank.

Def Leppard was preceded by a montage of their history and the legend "That was then, this is now" and a mention of their new record, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. They started off, however, with blasts from the past – "Rockit," "Animal," "Let's Get Rocked" and "Foolin'," straddling the line between classic '80s rock and occasional dips into proto-adult-contemporary.

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Def Leppard tops bill at rocking show

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

After Ace Frehley, Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer rocked the House of Blues Thursday night, '70s and '80s nostalgia weekend continued Friday night at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa with a triple bill of REO Speedwagon, Styx and Def Leppard.

Before Borgata came to town, these three acts would easily headline on their own. In other words, the fans got their money's worth on Friday night.

The sold-out concert may have been the biggest arsenal of hits released on Atlantic City in one night. Of the 33 songs performed throughout the evening, not only were 23 of them hits, they were absolute smashes. Instead of unnecessarily prolonging the night with obscurities, openers Styx and REO both played tight 50-minute sets – mostly full of Top 10 charters.

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Def Leppard rocks Germain Arena

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Def Leppard, a guitar-blazing, one-armed drumming and bass-thumping heavy metal band filled Germain Arena on Sunday night.

The fans, starved for a big-name concert in town, packed the place to see Styx, REO Speedwagon and then Def Leppard put on a show that rocked the ages.

Returning to Estero for the first time in five years, vocalist Joe Elliott and company played a 90-minute set list largely comprising their greatest hits.

They opened with four songs of sonic fury: "Rocket," "Animal," "Let's Get Rocked" and "Foolin'."

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Uneven work by other bands doesn't dampen Def Leppard's fire

Friday, April 4th, 2008

A thousand pairs of tight jeans and at least a dozen heads of crimped hair turned out to Germain Arena on Sunday night.

They came for Styx and REO Speedwagon, which both put on decent 45-minute sets, but neither of those opening acts held a swaying lighter to the headlining band.

The first two groups merely warmed up the arena for the band concert-goers wore the Union Jack for, Def Leppard.

"That was then, this is now," appeared on a giant video screen as the group took the stage. The screen showed several photos, notes, album covers and clips from the band's decades of history. Then: "Welcome to the Sparkle Lounge," as the packed arena screamed.

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Def Leppard, Styx, Foreigner offer a musical time machine

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

The past caught up to the present Friday night when Def Leppard, Styx and Foreigner came to town — H.G. Wells would have been proud.

The four-hour concert was a musical time machine as the three bands played their hits, some of which were originally released some 30 years ago.

In fact, the only new song played during the night was "Everything All the Time," by Styx. And even that song complemented the other Stygian hits such as "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "Come Sail Away."

Foreigner started things off right.

The band now consists of founder/guitarist Mick Jones, vocalist Kelly Hanson, bassist Jeff Pilson, keyboardist Jeff Jacobs, saxophonist/guitarist Thom Gimbel and drummer Jason Bonham (although Bonham was replaced by the band's drum tech during Friday's show). But the lineup difference didn't stop the band from playing one of the best shows of their career.

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Rock bands stir memories at zoo show

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Styx and Def Leppard were in true rock ‘n' roll form Wednesday on the Oklahoma City stop of their world tour. Celebrating their 30th anniversaries, the bands proved that they can still rock and still draw thousands of frenzied fans to their shows.

Styx opened the show with "Blue Collar Man,” one of the band's 29 hit singles. The audience, an eclectic mix of 30- and 40-something professionals, their kids and air hair-band members galore couldn't get enough of Tommy Shaw's sizzling guitar solos and Lawrence Gowan's swiveling keyboard and DeYoung-esque vocals and flamboyant choreography.

The September night air was cool and dry, perfect for an outdoor concert. Styx rocked the Zoo Amphitheater for about an hour. With only half of the original founding members, the band managed to sound better than ever. Todd Sucherman kept perfect time with his dynamic drumming, having replaced Styx' original drummer, John Panozzo, who died in 1996. Also missing from the mix was Chuck Panozzo, the band's original guitarist, whose ongoing battles with AIDS and cancer have turned him into more of a health advocate than rock star in recent years.

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Def Leppard brings timeless show to Smirnoff

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Call them dinosaur rockers if you like, since these bands' heydays were a good 20 years ago. But there's no denying the showmanship of Styx, Foreigner and Def Leppard. Playing for 17,000 fans Saturday night at Smirnoff Music Centre, each group had its classic moment on the platform.

For Styx, the magic came together by the end of its 45-minute set. Keyboardist and occasional lead singer Lawrence Gowan appeared solo center stage and began to belt the opening lines of "Come Sail Away." Before long, he was behind his rotating organ doing the tune's familiar ballad intro. Then it went full band.

Mr. Gowan and his musical mates swooshed through the progressive rock staple. They cranked it out as if their futures depended on it.

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