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Thursday, 28th July 2011

Chicago/Tinley Park, IL - Media Reviews

DEF LEPPARD at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre By Rock On! Press

After previously postponed show, Chicago-area fans could finally see Def Leppard and Heart on July 28th. It was one of those hot and humid days when after being outside for 10 minutes you feel like melting. Not a perfect weather for rockin' party, but with that sort of headlining band nothing could stop thousands of fans, and they eagerly gathered in the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL.

At 7:40 p.m., HEART took the stage and opened the show with Led Zeppelin cover, "Rock and Roll". For over one hour the band entertained already warmed-up by the summer heat crowd. The set list included several old hits with my personal winner "Alone", and one song from their newest album "Red Velvet Car", entitled "WTF".

After the break, it was time for DEF LEPPARD and I could feel the anticipation in the air. Shortly after 9:30 p.m., lights on the stage went dim and the familiar cheer spread through the crowd. Gang from Sheffield started off with "Undefited", one of three brand new studio recordings presented on the new live album "Mirrorball". The initial excitement aroused with successive tracks, "Let's Get Rocked", "Animal" and "Foolin". Elliott was constantly on the move, from the front of the walkway he held his microphone toward the audience and encouraged everyone to sing.

After powerful "Rocket", there was a nice moment when Joe, armed with his acoustic guitar, came to the front of the walkway and asked the crowd to join Def Leppard for the next ten minutes. Phil, Rick and Vivian came to front as well and Joe said, "If you want to be in the band you don't have to fill any forms, all you got to do is just sing the words right back at us; if you know the words - sing them!" And everybody did as they started with "Walk away if you want to ……" With the hands in the air, everyone sang to the next song as well, acoustic version of "Bringin' on the Heartbreak". Pleased Elliott called "Chicago!", and people screamed with excitement.

"Switch 625" with Phil's and Vivian's double guitar attack energized the crowd again. White smoke burst on the stage, and the madness began as they kicked off with "Hysteria". During the next song, "Armagedon It", Joe had some fun juggling with his microphone and believe it or not, he was good.

Another timeless hit "Photograph" and Elliott's jacket flew into the air. Pictures of all band members during different stages of their career were passing on huge screens at the back of the stage. It couldn't be Def Leppard without "Pour Some Sugar on Me". This high energy track was the one to close the performance, but there was no way people would let them go without encore.

With British flag displayed in the background, the guys came back with the last song, "Rock of Ages". Pictures of Curt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy and others appeared on the screens as they played. After that, the band came to the front walkway to say good bye. "See you next time Chicago!" shouted Joe and off they went.

Def Leppard on stage combines both, professionalism and a warm approach, and they know exactly how to make their fans feel special. I have been Def Leppard fan since high school, but after that evening, I like them even more.

By Rock On! Press 2011.


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