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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - By Leslie Silverman

Def Leopard continued their 46 plus show tour with a stop on July 23 at the Nissan Pavilion. Attending the show with some trepidation, I wondered how would this latest salute to the power of 70s'/80s' rock n' roll fare. So many of the bands from that era have returned, or have never gone away...The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Page and Plant of Led Zeppelin fame, and of course, those icons of 70's glitz, Kiss, are back on the road again.

But fare well Def Leppard did. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, a full set of rock n' roll with the same energy that this tenacious group first exhibited in 1979, but with a grown-up attitude befitting a 90s' tour.

Def Leppard is on tour to support their May release, "Slang." "Slang" provides the catchy, pop melodies so well remembered, interplayed with Def Leppard's signature hard rock line.

During the show we were treated to such Def Leppard hits as "Music from Queen; Rock! Rock! 'til you drop," "Hit and Run," "Hysteria," "Love Bites," "Do You Wanna Get Rocked," and "Rock of Ages." These past hits were remembered en-mass and word for word by the audience and Def Leppard delivered them with the same characteristic deluge of sound they provided so long ago.

Also interspersed was new Leppard, including "Work It Out" from "Slang" and a very interesting acoustical number "2 Steps Behind." From "Slang" and played on this tour, "Work It Out" is the first release that drummer Rick Allen has played on an acoustical drum kit since losing his arm in a car crash in 1984.

Aside from Allen's crash, Def Leppard is a band plagued by misfortune. Guitarist Steve Clark died in 1991, and was replaced by Viv Campbell mid way through the bands recording of "Adrenalize" after a long battle with alcohol.

Most of the show was inkeeping with the early 80s' music through which Def Leppard reached the status of being the first band to sell 9 million consecutive albums in America alone. "Pyromania" was released in 1983 and is certified for sales in excess of 9 million, while the release "Hysteria" tops that record with sales exceeding 11 million copies.

The Nissan Pavilion crowd was a mix of young folks, many of whom where still toddlers when Def Leppard first assaulted the stage. As one of the few of the 'older crowd,' most of who were a motley crew including long stringy hair, halter tops and polyester hot-pants, providing a visual flashback to a best forgotten fashion era, I felt oddly old and a bit out of the scene, particularly as this was the first mass collection of smokers I have been around in a long time.

Leaving the Pavilion it was obvious that some enjoyed the liquid refreshments as much as the stage fare, as they toddled, much the way they did when Def Leppard first appeared, out of the Pavilion.

In keeping with their grown up attitude, guitarist Phil Collen was a new man on stage. Memories of concerts in the 80s' have Colleen as a shy, abashed artist who took refuge behind his music. Now Colleen, after only a song and a few well played riffs, stripped off his shirt and strutted the stage as the icon immortal that Def Leppard is.

Joe Elliott appeared in black, long sleeved tee-shirt and black leather pants, despite the warmth of the Southern summer evening and the hot-lights. His tee-shirt proclaimed "Lost in the Pack" and was decorated with row upon row of Afghan appearing hound dogs. Joe Elliott could not reach the high notes the same as he used to, but I was pleased to hear him come close on past hits "Photograph" and "Hysteria," which though not as elevated as they used to be, were still pleasing to the ear.

Def Leppard has survived a 17 year career in rock n' roll which, they would have to admit, has been anything by easy. With music changing, personal tragedy, and advancing age all working against the boys from Britain, the road has contained many peaks and valleys.

With the release of "Slang" and the 1996 Tour, Def Leppard is reintroducing itself to old fans, finding new fans and, with the emotional release that only comes from surviving, still appear to have as good of a time on stage as they did back then.

By Leslie Silverman @ Pop Art Times 1996.