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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard still rocking By Jay Hanna

DEF Leppard may have reached their peak two decades ago, but that doesn't mean these aging Brit rockers should hang up their washed out denim jackets. It wasn't just the pull of nostalgia that attracted a respectable crowd of more than 9,500 folk to Members Equity Stadium for the band's first Perth show in 16 years, it was the knowledge that although this UK band have been in existence for 31 years, they still know how to deliver the goods.

The buzz was building as Cheap Trick led fans on a journey through their back catalogue. One could almost forget these weren't actually the headliners when everyone was on their feet singing along to power ballad The Flame, but when Def Leppard took to the stage it was clear they were the main drawcard.

Some got into the Halloween fever dressing like singer Joe Elliott in his 80s heyday, complete with mullet wigs, bandannas and sleeveless denim jackets. Others wore generic 80s garb, be it their own or their parents.

From the onset the band made their intentions quite clear. They were here to rock and that they did, kicking off with Rocket from their enormously successful, multi-million selling 1987 album Hysteria.

Still what's rock n roll without some theatrics? So as he stood in the spotlight frontman Joe Elliott called for "guitars" and Phil Collon immediately sent a chord flying out into the night. "Drums," Elliott bellowed and Rick Allen responded without missing a beat. Elliott was clearly enjoying the fact that at 49 he was still the focus of plenty of adoration from the crowd. While he didn't exchange many words with the audience, it was clear he was putting his all into the performance.

Following the opening track it was an immediate rock onslaught of hits new and old including Animal, C'mon C'mon and the gloriously cheesy Make Love Like a Man.

The band employed few gimmicks and little technological trickery besides some impressive light displays, instead they relied on their skills as entertainers and musicians. Sometimes that is all you need.

Guitarist Phil Collon, who didn't take long to shed his shirt and prove that his lean frame has not suffered from years of rock n roll excess, was a standout. Although Rick Allen's drums were initially too high in the mix, the problem was soon smoothed out and the legendary one-armed drummer put on a dynamic performance.

Energy levels were high both on and off stage. Punters were out of their seats the minute the band appeared and didn't sit again for the rest of the night.

Musically the band were on top of their game as they played a short but sweet set that spanned two decades, reaching back as far as 1981 for Bringin' on the Heartbreak from High 'n' Dry and extending to the present with the Tim McGraw collaboration Nine Lives from their recent album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge.

Mobile phones were raised aloft for the ballad Love Bites, but the change of pace didn't seem to suit the tone of the evening and songs such as Hysteria, Armageddon It and Pour Some Sugar on Me were met with a far more vigorous response from the crowd. The latter in particular had everyone on their feet yelling: "come on fire me up!".

And fire us up they did, putting on a show that outshone those of many younger bands gigging around today. Which just proves that there is no age limit when it comes to rock n roll.

Before exiting the stage Elliott promised the crowd there "would be a next time". "Do us a big favour," he continued. "Don't forget us and we won't forget you."

Of course we promised, but let's just hope we don't have to keep that promise for another 16 years.

By Jay Hanna @ Perth Now 2008.


Media Review - Def Leppard@ Members Equity, Perth By Leannyn

It's been nigh on 16 years since Def Leppard has graced the stages of Perth. Some might also say that's when they really reached their peak as the Brit's brand of heavy metal trash rock. Redundant music genres aside though, they packed the Member's Equity Stadium on Halloween, and it can't have all been just for the memories.

What a night they chose to kick off their Songs From the Sparkle Lounge tour! Perhaps it was the spirit of Halloween or perhaps some people misheard that it was a themed night but there were a few punters dressed in eighties getup sporting mullets and what appeared to be mum or dad's Def Leppard branded leather jackets from back in the day.

A band this big needed a sufficiently big band to be their supporting act and warm the crowd up for their arrival. Cheap Trick was their choice of band and as far as blasts from the past go these old men were all alright. It would be fair to say that they looked sufficiently ancient up there on stage, after all, they had their hey-days in the seventies and eighties and therefore have been around for a good long while. As such, they command a certain respect for their years of rock service. So it was no surprise that the crowd went wild when they played some of their most notable hits like The Flame and I Want You to Want Me.

Soon it was goodbye Cheap Trick and hello Def Leppard. The stage is set. The eerie blue and red lights foreshadow the arrival of the main act and as the giant screen lights up with an enormous Union Jack, and as pictures and song titles from their very impressive career shoot through the centre of it, the five members of the band take the stage. Rocket and Animal are the first songs played back to back and it sends the crowd into a screaming frenzy.

It's a testament to the sound production that their style of very album oriented music translates so well to the stage especially as their songs are so incredibly multi-layered with vocal harmonies and guitar riffs. But they are quite impressive rock stars, it must be said. The audience was on their feet from start to finish despite the ever so comfy lawn chairs that must've beckoned the majority of middle-aged fans to take a seat.

Somewhere in the middle of the set all five members left the stage and only lead and rythym guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell returned, shortly joined by front man Joe Elliot. To titillate their fans they began an acoustic version of one of their very first hits, Bringing on the Heartbreak. But it was when drummer Rick Allen began his booming drums and the electrics came back to play that the crowd reached fever pitch. Then it was all swaying alcoholic singing and sloshing beer as the punters joined their front man for the chorus and for follow up track Love Bites.

Things to note; each costume change had Campbell matching his shirts to his guitar which can't be said for Collen who couldn't wait to shed his shirt so all the ladies could admire how hard he's worked over the years to keep his muscles despite the excesses of being a rock god.

As a stage band, they have retained their charisma through all the years, and they had the crowd staring at them in awe. Maybe it's the Aussie battler in all of us, but it was the drum solos of one-armed drummer Allen that really had the people cheering the loudest.

There's nothing more annoying than a staged encore but bands of Def Leppard's calibre pretty much require it. So it was no surprise that it began with Elliot posing the question, "Do you wanna get rocked?" An excellent choice for their exiting number as it pumped the crowd up one last time and made it all the more apparent that Elliot had this crowd wrapped around his little finger.

Before leaving, Elliot promised the masses of still screaming fans that he wouldn't wait another sixteen years to come back to Perth. "Do us a big favour," he yelled. "Don't forget us and we won't forget you." Leaving us with the image of a 50 year old man milking a microphone stand, It's pretty safe to say we won't.

By Leannyn @ Fasterlouder 2008.