Get Updates/News. Updates/News by RSS Feed. Updates/News by Email. Get The Community Toolbar. Get The Community Toolbar.
Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - '80s rockers give fans nostalgic blast By Lynn Saxberg

Def Leppard made good on a commitment to bring the 2008 version of their arena rock spectacle to Ottawa last night with a sold-out concert that was predictable, but oh-so-satisfying for anyone whose guilty pleasure is pop-metal from the '80s.

After the originally scheduled spring concert was postponed due to the illness of singer Joe Elliott, anticipation was at a fever pitch as fans finally got to use tickets they bought back when there was snow on the ground.

Babysitters were re-booked, hair and nail appointments rescheduled. In attendance last night was a full house of 13,000, consisting of men drinking beer and women dressed in high heels and low-cut tops, mostly everyone in their late 30s and early 40s. They were all there to hear the hits of their youth, and the band delivered, despite the fact that they have a new album out and probably wouldn't mind giving the new songs a bit more of a push.

However, even aging rock stars have to respect what made them rock stars in the first place, and that's the emotional connection that people have with their early hits.

In Def Leppard's case, that would be songs from Pyromania and Hysteria, not material from this new Sparkle Lounge project. Things got off to a great start with punchy, singalong versions of the hits Rocket, Animal, C'mon, C'mon and Foolin.'

Witnessing the fully restored power of Elliott's sky-high vocal ability, it was obvious the show could not have got on without him. It was also clear that singing like that takes a toll on one's pipes -- his voice developed a rasp as the show went on though he had plenty of steam left for the final string of huge hits: Pour Some Sugar on Me, Photograph and Rock of Ages.

Otherwise, the band members, who are beginning to hit the age of 50, looked to be in great shape: Elliott strutted around the stage, flinging his long blond hair, while guitarists, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, performed bare-chested and blond bassist Rick Savage pirouetted in leather pants. Hunched behind the drum kit, one-armed drummer Rick Allen appeared to be working the hardest of anyone on stage.

The vast majority of their time was spent pounding through a catalogue of rock anthems. Thankfully, an acoustic segment part-way through the concert provided a nice change of pace, and offered a chance for the band members to connect with the audience.

"For the next six or seven minutes everybody here is an honorary member of the band," Elliott declared, adding that it comes with the responsibility to sing along. Not that anyone needed the encouragement.

The evening's fun started with a high-energy set from another '80s rock survivor, Billy Idol, no longer sporting platinum spiked hair, but still as lean and mean as ever. The singer has aged well: not a microgram of fat could be spotted on the 52-year-old dynamo, who wore tight black jeans tucked into black motorcycle boots throughout the show, but changed the upper part of his attire a couple of times. From black overcoat to black vest to plaid blazer, each outfit revealed a little more of his well-chiseled torso.

Musically, Idol fronted a tight band anchored by right-hand axeman, Stevie Stevens.

Fresh from touring in Europe, they bounced through an efficient, hits-laden set, revving up the crowd with classic Idol songs. Dancing with Myself snapped the fans to attention, eventually followed by equally well known hits White Wedding, Mony Mony and Flesh For Fantasy. By comparison, the keyboard balladry of a new song, John Wayne, from this year's Idolize Yourself disc, received a lukewarm response.

Undeterred, Idol won back the crowd with a cover of the Doors' L.A. Woman and a riveting romp through Rebel Yell.

By Lynn Saxberg @ The Ottawa Citizen 2008.


Media Review - Def Leppard Rock On For Fans By Denis Armstrong

When it comes to Def Leppard, with all due respect, it's hard not think of the Rob Reiner comedy This is Spinal Tap. The veteran British metal band is one of the iconic metal bands of the 1980s.

So it was as if they had stepped out of a time warp, with big hair, dry ice and Union Jacks everywhere around Scotiabank Place last night.

And waiting for them was one of the largest concert audiences at the arena so far this year, most of whom had tickets for the original gig last April that was cancelled when singer Joe Elliott got sick.

No problem this time. Primed by Idol's rambunctious set, the fans were screaming loudly for Def Leppard, who opened the gig with two classics Rocket and Animal before doing C'mon C'mon from the new album Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. The audience sat through it politely waiting for them to play something familiar.

Which they got with Love Bites, a cover of David Essex's Rock On with a bare-chested guitarist Phil Collen and one-armed drummer Rick Allen the instrumental leads, and an acoustic Two Steps Behind. After which, some happy fan threw a bra at Elliott, who seemed unfazed by the gift.

Also included was Bringing On the Heartbreak, Hysteria, Photograph, Pour Some Sugar on Me and Rock of Ages.

I thought Elliott's vocals were weak to the point of being inaudible or off-key. But that didn't faze the rest of the band, who were in superb form, particularly guitarists Collen and Vivian Campbell. The pair traded off blistering bare-chested solos all night.

It was everything that Def Leppard fans had waited for.

By Denis Armstrong @ The Ottawa Sun 2008.


Media Review - Def Leppard Live In Ottawa, Ontario By The Rock Brigade

Ottawa, Ontario and a sold out capacity crowd at Scotiabank Place was the scene for this stop on Def Leppard's current tour. A crowd of a reported 13,000 eagerly awaited for the lads as the crew put the final touches on Def Leppard's stage after supporter Billy Idol finished his set. The stage had a catwalk on the front that extended through the first several rows and a large catwalk elevated behind with Rick Allen's drum in the center. There were several mics placed around the set allowing the band to move all over the large stage, which they did energetically throughout the night.

By The Rock Brigade Blog 2008.