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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Fan Review - By Amy

How 'bout you, Mountain View? Joe didn't need to ask twice, cos the crowd went Hysterical Saturday Night "without even getting High ‘n’ Dry.

After a nice opening set from Stoll Vaughan accompanied by Ross Valory and Jonathan Cain from Journey, plus a Leppard by the name of Collen (Phil this time, not Rory), Journey delivered an excellent 1.5 hour performance that was enthusiastically received by what might as well be considered their hometown crowd. Not surprisingly, "When the Lights Go Down in the City" received resounding applause, and everyone was on their feet to sing na na, na na na, na na na na na, for "Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin." Drummer Deen Castronovo sang lead on several songs and really does sound like Steve Perry as others have mentioned. Front man Jeff Scott Soto seemed very comfortable, even with the older material, and had picked up a few moves from another "nearly legendary" front man whose band would soon take the stage.

Then the lights really did go down in the city, and after the promise of We Will Rock You, the Leps blazed the stage. Yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about. The stage was quickly transformed from Journey’s set to Leppard’s with four "runways" leading from Rick’s drum riser up to a higher platform on which Joe, Sav, and Phil all made frequent trips throughout their set. It was brilliant to see them up in the air in front of the Union Jack and other graphics displayed on the impressive centre screen, but even from our close-up seats in the 10th row centre, a bit more difficult to see the guys when they were on the upper level. Fortunately the monitors overcame the "Nocturne" black-out glitches that appeared during Journey’s set and were working properly to show each Leppard in his full glory on the two side-stage jumbo-trons.

It was a cool, clear evening in beautiful Mountain View, northern California, and the lovely Shoreline Amphitheatre was the ideal place to enjoy the concert on such a perfect late summer night. Having said that, it was at some points downright cold; but that didn’t mean Phil needed a shirt. No way, he even started the show shirtless and remained that way until Rock On, when he donned a very handsome black waistcoat and white shirt – but he still left it open for the females in the audience to admire his bling. Who needs a shirt when you’ve got ya bling to keep ya warm? Apparently not Flamenco Phil.

After rocking renditions of some of their oldest and best hits such as Let It Go and Rock Rock, the boys played two from their new album introduced by Joe as "Yeah!" and repeated until he was satisfied with the crowd’s pronunciation of the exclamation point. YEAH! A special moment occurred when Joe announced we’d be treated to a solo from "a guy I’ve known, worked with - and loved - for 29 years, Mr. Rick Savage on the bass guitar." Sav got thunderous applause as he stood alone in the spotlight, all in white with his striking Union Jack bass. He played the solo which reminds me of “Where Does Love Go When It Dies” from Slang, although I’ve never heard if that’s what it’s meant to be. In any case it was brilliant, and Rick’s left foot was visibly tapping even in the darkness, ready to join in and Rock On with the famous rhythm section for which the Ricks are so well known.

Demonstrating his English pride, Sav later played a white and red St. George’s flag bass. Dear me. Rick’s DW drum was adorned with "Yeah!" Phil had quite an arsenal of axes, including the familiar favourites Bela (got the full effect of the glow-in-the-dark face in the outdoor setting) and his quilt maple top PC1; as well as some newer ones that were Ferrari red, hot pink, and even a clear Lucite/acrylic guitar.

OK, I might be the only person in the US or the UK who will admit this, but I missed the inclusion of MLLAM in the set list. Not because I fancy the song, only because I enjoy Phil’s Cockney rhyming rap vocal solo. Unfortunately Phil did not sing any lead vocals in Mountain View but could be heard loud and clear in the BV’s on PSSOM, the “loosen up” bit after which he played a really cool little jangly riff. Again PSSOM is not one of my favourite songs, but it really rocks live and is the perfect encore to leave the crowd wanting more.

Speaking of vocals, Joe’s voice was a bit strained and perhaps even cut out a few times, but no worries. Sav stepped in nicely, harmonising during BVs and filling in any gaps that may have resulted when Joe needed a break. What a pair -- no wonder he’s loved the guy for 29 years! Sav indeed seemed to enjoy singing, as he was mouthing every word to every song even when he wasn’t on a mic. Both he and Joe were in fine form, full of energy and running all over the stage and even out into the crowd on the wings a couple times. One lucky girl got a kiss from Joe, and a couple lucky ladies got to slap hands with Sav and Phil during these visits.

Haven’t heard attendance figures, but judging from the huge car park (a/k/a open field) which was overflowing, it must have been a nearly full house. Joe addressed “you in the back” a couple times, at one point asking them to stand up and then saying, “Not you lot, him!” pointing at Rick Allen. Rick then stood up to a deafening ovation before he uttered those four famous words to start Rock of Ages.

For me the highlight of an absolutely awesome show were the two songs during which the centre video screen flashed images from all Lep eras. Didn’t see many pictures of Pete Willis except one funny shot in which he’s sat in a bathtub; but there were plenty of the classic lineup of Steve, Phil, Rick, Joe, and Sav. They were very effective and well-timed, as one of the famous pics of Steve pointing out into the crowd would show up just as they were shouting the "yeah" (not Yeah!) part in Rocket. There was also an especially touching series of the well-known Terror Twins in the Loo shots which progressed to show them posing, smiling, looking at one another, then having a laugh. Great to see such happy memories projected behind the guys as they performed some 20 years on.

Rocket was followed by Photograph which, appropriately enough, had images displayed as B&W photos of the band all through their career. I’d much rather see Photographs of the Leps than Marilyn Monroe! All the pictures appeared to be shots from Ross Halfin, and Ross was in attendance that night as he had been on earlier tour dates this summer, so maybe he assisted in compiling the brilliant montage. Whoever was responsible for the graphics and video footage, good on ya.

At the end of the set, Joe asked the crowd to "Smile pretty, this nice man’s gonna take your picture" as Ross lurked atop Rick’s drum riser. He’d already snapped several shots of the Thundergod who posed with a cheesy grin as well as the smile that had never left his face through the whole show. Whilst Ross brought the camera into focus, the guys walked to the front of the stage and posed with their backs to the crowd as they’ve done in previous concerts. I’m anxious to see the photo but hesitant to read Ross’ diary posting for Mountain View. If he says the women in this audience were not attractive, a lot of us are going to be offended!

Another pleasant surprise at the end of the show was when Sav took the mic and said "Good night Mountain View, you guys have been great!" Those of us in Mountain View, whether residents or fans imported from Michigan, would certainly say the same back to the Leps. I’ve probably said this about every Def Leppard concert I’ve ever been to, but I think this really was the best one yet -- definitely worth every one of the 2,100 miles flown to see them on the West Coast. The only thing that would make it better is if they’d played Wasted. Not this time, but maybe next . . . and there will be a next time.


Fan Review - By Lisa

Hmmm. Interesting concert! The stage at this venue is very low and close to the audience. So-oo some took advantage, like the lucky chick that got smooched by Joe. (check out the pic of Joe with "the look") She had been propositioning the guys, with Viv almost taking her up on it right there, and Sav declining ("I don't think so."-Sav). The band and audience were pumped right from the start. The sound was great except a bit too much bass. The guys looked fantastic and were having a lot of fun. It was nice to hear Rock Rock. Awesome as always!!!!.