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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - ODYSSEY ARENA, Belfest, December 7th 2015 By Karen Hetherington

Def Leppard launched on to the Stage with Lets Go, the opening track from their new album. An appropriate song title for starting off a gig no doubt, but I felt it wasn’t magnificently well received. Animal and Undefeated followed in quick succession and had the crowd going crazy before Dangerous, which in my opinion is the best track from the latest release, was belted out. This sounds like the Def Leppard of old and went down a treat.

Joe remarked on at least two occasions that it was the biggest crowd Leppard had ever played to in Belfast and was obviously delighted at the huge turnout. Local Vivien Campbell was both looking and playing exceptionally well despite his recent health issues and Rick Allen – who I noticed is starting bear an uncanny resemblance to the aged Robert Plant, put on an amazing drum solo. The words “Norn Iron” scribbled on his tom tom bracket, he was evidently enjoying himself immensely, as were Phil Collen and Rick Savage and the band were tight but loose…. as always.

The rest of the evenings entertainment (or should that be the best of the evenings entertainment), featured classics from the Def Leppard repertoire. Love Bites, Armageddon It, Rocket, Hysteria, Lets Get Rocked to name a few created mass hysteria among the audience who seemed spellbound by the audio visual exhibition. Joe Elliot, who emerged in a high top hat looked rather like the mad hatter as the band performed a breath taking version of David Essex’ “Rock on” and Elliots acoustic performance of Two Steps Behind was quite simply stunning. The band finished off with Pour Some Sugar on me which raised the roof – no surprises there, before playing Rock of Ages and Photograph as encores. This was a band on top form and they knew it, crowd reaction says it all!

In conclusion, a joint gig of Whitesnake and Def Leppard – two bands I love in equal measure for entirely different reasons, was always going to be a major event and to have them introduced by such a high calibre band as Black Star Riders made for an absolute musical extravaganza.

I had slight reservations about the order of the performances, given the musical hierarchy in respecting those who came before. I felt that as Mr Coverdale has the more lengthy career that Whitesnake should have finished off the night. However it is not a competition and the crowd was comprised of Whitesnake fans, Def Leppard fans and all rockers that come between.

Whitesnake have suffered from, or benefitted from – depending on how you view it, several personnel changes over the years, while Def Leppard even though they have had their fair share of misfortune are still the close knit team they have always been.

It would be extremely unfair to make comparisons here as the two bands have unique sounds. I have always viewed Def Leppard as energised, catchy, upbeat, boyish even and Whitesnake as a deeper, more mature emotive sound charged with raw sexuality. Both acts were amazingly good – musical perfection played out in front of the audience, but I felt Leppard owned the crowd in Belfast – well doesn’t everyone love a tune that they can sing along to?

By My Global Mind 2015.

Media Review - Pure arena class on display from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders By Jonny

ARENA shows are devoid of that intense atmosphere club shows have. Right? Not so when you have accomplished performers, seasoned veterans of gigs large and small, and a packed venue.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders took the SSE Arena by the scruff of the neck and electrified the place with consummate and passionate professionalism on Monday, 7th December.

By contrast a week earlier we were at Prodigy and Public Enemy...nowhere near full and little real atmosphere.

Black Star Riders link to Thin Lizzy is becoming ever more tenuous. While Scott Gorham remains prowling on stage left, and clearly still enjoying himself, BSR are developing their own identity as a band.

Sure they pepper the set with Lizzy tunes - and closing with 'Whiskey In The Jar' always raises the roof - but more and more this is Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson's band.

While 'The Boys Are Back In Town' gets the crowd going there is equally the same warm reception for BSR tracks such as 'Bound For Glory' and 'Finest Hour'. Warwick in particular has grown into the role of front man, and on this form there is much anticipation for any forthcoming recordings.

Dave Coverdale is no stranger to shows in Belfast, including two memorable sold out shows in Belfast at the height of the Troubles in the 80s.Whitesnake may see Mr Coverdale a little long in the tooth - and recent hints that his arena touring days are over - but he is still the consummate leader of his band.

Confident, with the right amount of swagger and measured confidence, even ladies who are considerably younger than Coverdale were near swooning to 'Love Ain't No Stranger' and 'Is This Love'.

Given Whitesnake's revolving door of members Coverdale has always been careful to choose well. While long term accomplice Tommy Aldridge remains behind the kit, Reb Beach's been in the band for 13 years. Joel Hoekstra's guitar work compliments Beach's playing. Michael Devin's a solid presence on bass, with newbie Michele Luppi's keyboards giving depth to the sound.

Coverdale's voice remains a potent weapon. He may not be able to stretch it to its roar in his heyday, but he measures himself and uses the massed backing vocals of the band to produce a blend of rock majesty.

As expected 'Ain't No Love in the Heart if the City' had lungs busting throughout the SSE Arena singing each impassioned line; and as expected the run of 'Fool for Your Loving', 'Here I Go Again', and 'Still of the Night' were greeted as old and beloved friends.

It may have been a homecoming gig for Vivian Campbell it seemed to also be a homecoming slot for all of Leppard. Like the 'Snake Leppard played Belfast in the Troubles and rate their gig in the city on the Pyromania tour as one of the best ever in their long career.

But Campbell was applauded as a true troubadour, battling his cancer and battling every night to be the best he can be.

Elliot has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the get go. As with Coverdale he knows how to control and cajole the crowd to ever greater devotion as the set goes on.

'Animal', 'Dangerous', Armageddon It' and 'Rocket' were balanced, loud and proud, but 'Two Steps Behind', 'When Love and Hate Collide' and 'Hysteria' were there to ease back the tempo when needed. [And seemingly to induce mass snogging amongst the couples there...]

Songs like 'Switch 625' may not have been familiar to all, but there was no way that they detracted from the set - for some serving as a break for beers and a smoke.

But when you can finish with 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and encore with 'Rock of Ages' and 'Photograph' you know that even the most hardened of nicotine addicts will be sticking it out, singing along, fists and horns high in the air.

Three bands, a triumvirate of tellingly placed classics. Sure for many there it was a nostalgia night for their memories of the 80s, but that did not detract from the passion and pride in hard rock that still exists in Black Star Riders, Whitesnake and Def Leppard.

By Belfast Metalheads Reunited 2015.

Reviews from the 2015 Belfast, Northern Ireland Show.