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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Concert review: Def Leppard, Vector Arena By Scott Kara

Back so soon chaps? And why not, because although Sheffield's hair metal heroes last visited New Zealand three years ago for a sell-out show at Vector, before that it had been 16 long years since they had leppardised and adrenalised us.

While this show wasn't much different from their last tour in support of their tenth album, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, they were back this time to trot out all the big hits in the name of their new album, Mirrorball, the band's first live album in their 35-year career.

So although Vector was not quite as packed as it was last time, it was classic stadium rock, 80s-style, once again.

And also once again, I found myself with this overwhelming urge to sing, "Rocket ..." and pour some sugar on all these lovely blokes and ladies around me.

Did I really sing: "When you make love, do you look in the mirror?" Crikey.

But more on Def Leppard soon, because up first were 70s and 80s psychedelic folk rock balladeers Heart, led by Wilson sisters Ann and Nancy.

They started with a cover of Zeppelin's Rock'n'Roll, before the rugged folk whimsy of 77's Magic Man (with its pagan-like ritual mid-song breakdown), and the prog-meets-metal gallop and chug of Barracuda, which was dedicated to the All Blacks.

It was a howler of a song, with Ann Wilson's voice at its lethal and steely best, and one the boys in black should be warming up to on Sunday.

Heart, who also played their many epic and over-wrought ballads, including Alone, were an ideal warm-up act for Def Leppard.

Hard-strutting frontman Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, one-armed drumming demon Rick Allen and glamour boy bass player Rick Savage know the score.

So they played all the big hits, and nothing but the hits, with Rocket a highlight thanks to Elliot's Gregorian chant-meets-hair metal vocal midway through.

But first up there's Undefeated, basically a homage to Def Leppard (and why not - it's been more than three decades and still counting).

And on the instrumental Switch 625, written by the band's late guitarist and bad boy Steve Clark, they ditched the hair bit and just played metal (albeit with a fantastical touch).

While Hysteria was a little dreary, with Elliot's muffled and coy mutterings, it was a solid day at the arena office for these 80s survivors.

And you can tell that Joe and his merry band of lads are still enjoying their job.

By Scott Kara @ New Zealand Herald 2011.


Media Review - Def Leppard & Heart - Vector Arena, Auckland Oct. 12, 2011 By Marty Duda

Two rock giants of the 1980s lumbered into town and played to a three-quarters full Vector Arena in Auckland. Although both bands had their biggest commercial success during the pastel decade, Heart had been cranking out hits since their 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie, spawned AOR friendly tracks like Crazy On You and Magic Man.

Of the two acts, it was Heart I was most interested in seeing, mainly because of their 70s output. The lights went down promptly at 8pm to the strains of Led Zeppelin and the band immediately kicked in with their version of Zeppelin's Rock & Roll. The energy level was high and it stayed that way for Magic Man, even if the sound was a bit muddy, with Ann Wilson's vocals getting lost in the mix from time to time.

By the third song, the sound problems had been sorted and it was into the 80s with the band's comeback hit, 1985's What About Love. From there, they chose a rarity, John Farnham's You're The Voice. The song was a huge hit for Farnham in '86 and was released as a live single on iTunes by Heart a few years back, but they have rarely performed it since.

Then it was back to their own 80s hits with Nancy Wilson taking the lead vocals on These Dreams and Ann belting out the power ballad Alone. Their shortened set closed with a thrilling version of Crazy On You and the stinging rocker Barracuda.

When the band returned for an encore, they chose another Zeppelin cover, Going To California, and then wrapped things up with The Who's Love Reign O'er Me. I would have liked to have heard a few more of Heart's own tunes…Straight On, Heartless or Even It Up…but Ann Wilson has one of the best voices in rock and she obviously enjoys wrapping her lungs around some of the great classic rock tunes. After the band's set, I felt like I had just heard Ann Wilson's audition for Robert Plant's spot in Led Zeppelin.

I've never been a big Def Leppard fan, and they did little to change my mind tonight. Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell took the stage at 9:30 and opened with the studio song from their new live album (I know that sounds ridiculous) called Undefeated. The guys looked in pretty good nick, especially Phil Collin who felt that wearing a shirt was optional tonight. The band rocked through a 15-song set of their greatest hits, wheeling out competent versions of fan favourites like Love Bites, Rocket and Animal.

They broke up the stadium rock with a brief acoustic set featuring Two Steps Behind and Bringing On The Heartbreak, before heading back to the generic riffing of Hysteria and Armageddon It. Joe Elliott is not the most charismatic front man or most gifted vocalist and he sounded a bit ragged on 1983’s Photograph. Vivian Campbell played a couple of tasty solos, particularly on Love Bites. Otherwise, there were no surprises. As usual, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Rock Of Ages closed the night.

So, two bands who haven't been relevant in at least 20 years, still cranking out the hits. Of the two, it seemed like Heart was having the most fun, which is probably why they chose so many covers over their own songs, while Def Leppard seemed to be there simply to relive past glories.

By Marty Duda @ 13th Floor 2011.


Media Review - Review: Def Leppard By Bridget Jones

Something very creepy happened in Auckland last night. Without even realising it, Auckland's Vector Arena went through some sort of time portal and found its way smack-bang in the middle of 1983.

But with 1980s lady-rockers Heart and hair-Gods Def Leppard bringing the noise, this trip back to the future really couldn't have gone any other way.

From the moment Heart walked on stage, it was clear this was going to be a night of familiar songs and trips down memory lane, despite this being the band's first trip to these shores.

Now, I cannot claim to be an expert on 80s rock. Far from it. But there is something about a good power ballad that gets the eyes squeezed tight, the fists pumping and the vocal chords in overdrive.

And through songs like Barracuda and Alone, sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson showed the crowd exactly how they have lasted 37 years in the industry. And throw in a couple of Led Zep covers and you've got yourself a good time.

These ladies know exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it. They seemed excited to be here and the fans lapped it up.

Just like the boys on after them. Def Leppard started with a roar and didn't let up.

Luckily for nervous fans, there were only a handful of the new songs - including the opening track and new single Undefeated - with the band instead doing exactly what everyone was there for; cranking out the stadium rock.

This was the band's return trip after a sold-out show at the same venue in 2007, and the fans were undoubtedly excited about the return.

Flying through hits like Rocket, Love Bites, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Hysteria, the band possibly best known for Rick Allen - drummer with one arm - nailed it.

Front man Joe Elliott's voice is in pretty good nick, considering the number of years under his belt, and the band as a whole sounded like a well-oiled machine. And so they should after more than 30 years in the business. The guitar solos have been well and truly perfected, the leather pants worn in and the hair is as big as ever.

Like I said, I am not a natural fan of the 80s but these pros sure do know how to rock.

By Bridget Jones @ Stuff 2011.

Reviews from the 2011 Auckland show.