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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard, Whitesnake &am; Black Stars Riders By Simon Rushworth

#HowayTheLads read the crowd-pleasing hashtag on Rick Allen’s sparkling drum kit: a canny gesture from Def Leppard’s astute drummer and a subtle call to arms in front of a North East crowd that still needs convincing of its prominent place in rock and roll folklore.

Increasingly ignored by the genre’s biggest names (Heart, Black Stone Cherry and Manic Street Preachers are just three of the bands missing out Newcastle next year), it’s little wonder the locals take some warming up when an arena show does eventually roll into town.

And those who have religiously followed the fluctuating fortunes of the co-headliners during the last decade were right to approach this date with a degree of trepidation and, whisper it quietly, a lack of expectation.

The truth is neither Def Leppard nor Whitesnake can lay claim to be the most consistent of live performers but this was the night both bands came good and shook the masses out of their sceptical slumber.

Like a walking, talking Wurlitzer, three (Thin Lizzy offshoot Black Star Riders kicked things off) of the best loved bands on the planet fired out jukebox classic after jukebox classic on a mission to reconnect with their North East brethren.

It was hard rock’s equivalent of the hard sell. Indeed, had Newcastle failed to respond in the face of a barrage of audio-visual brilliance, all hope that the city could retain its fabled status would surely be gone.

Reassuringly, musicians and punters rallied as one to deliver one of the standout shows of 2015. And each band’s genuine affinity with the region was reflected in three emotive, almost immaculate sets.

Black Star Riders conceived their debut album near the banks of the Tyne and frontman Ricky Warwick clearly revelled in that breakout record’s remarkable journey from Ouseburn studio to vacuous arena. All Hell Breaks Loose and Bound For Glory stand toe to toe with the Lizzy standards this band will always be known for and add genuine depth and a refreshing authenticity to the band’s increasingly varied back catalogue.

David Coverdale’s connection with the Newcastle rock crowd stretches back five decades. And it showed. The Whitesnake Choir came together at the City Hall in the late 70s and founding members sang their hearts out before the new recruits swiftly piled in. Coverdale responded with his finest vocal performance for decades – whether belting out the rabble rousing Bad Boys or slowing things down on the deliciously evocative Deep Purple cover Soldier Of Fortune, this was the perma-tanned Teessider at his captivating best. On form there is no better classic rock frontman and for 90 minutes Whitesnake’s wily old ringmaster was in the form of his life.

As a result Def Leppard had it all to do. Allen’s hand-written hashtag and Joe Elliot’s brief yet endearing blast of Fog On The Tyne might have been the extent of their own connection with the crowd but it was the thought that counted. That and the fact that Leppard pen singalong hits for fun – the majority of which were delivered with customary aplomb and smiles aplenty.

Sheffield’s finest love their work. There’s no gloomy posturing, shabby shoe gazing or contrived showmanship. With Leppard every note matters. There’s not a minute wasted. Not an opportunity missed. Let’s Go might be from the band’s new self-titled album but as it ushered in a set to remember you wouldn’t know it. Boasting all the hallmarks of a bona fide Leppard classic its infectious groove and pounding chorus set the standard.

Elliott cruised through the ballads – Love Bites, Two Steps Behind and When Love And Hate Collide exploding the myth that the singer’s best years are behind him. Flanked by best mate Rick Savage and ‘new boys’ Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, Leppard’s bullish leader led this lads’ night out with all the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a tenacious teen. Elliott may lack Coverdale-esque charisma but who else could sound so convincing launching into the hair metal cheese of Let’s Get Rocked?

Newcastle got rocked. Well and truly. Just like the old days. In fact this was the night the North East’s rock and roll heritage was reaffirmed, celebrated and further cemented.

By Rush On Rock 2015.

Media Review - Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders: MetroRadio Arena, Newcastle By Mick Burgess

IT may be only a couple of weeks away, but Christmas came early for Northern rock fans with a triple bill featuring some of the biggest names in the business.

It was a brave move putting Black Star Riders in the special guest slot. Forged out of the previous touring line-up of Thin Lizzy and including members from Alice Cooper`s band, The Almighty, Ratt and Megadeth, this was a group with a high pedigree and a collection of songs to rattle the cages of the headliners.

A 40-minute slot featured highlights from their two studio albums with a scattering of Thin Lizzy classics. Jailbreak and Are You Ready rubbing shoulders with Bound For Glory and Kingdom of the Lost, a song cut from the same epic cloth as the Lizzy classics Emerald and Black Rose. Guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson recreated the classic Lizzy harmonies to perfection while lead singer Ricky Warwick brought the genuine Celtic touch to the band.

David Coverdale was plucked from the obscurity of a Redcar boutique and thrust into the world spotlight when he made his debut with Deep Purple in 1974. Now more than 40 years later he has revisited those days with The Purple album, a collection of reworked Deep Purple classics with his own band Whitesnake. The firestorm take on Burn was kicked into life by new guitarist ex-Night Ranger man Joel Hoekstra and long-time sidekick Reb Beach.

Energetic takes of Mistreated and Gypsy and the reflective highlight of Soldier of Fortune showed Coverdale`s voice may have a more gritty edge, but his role as a star frontman remains undiminished.

Although this was a co-headlining tour, Def Leppard closed the show and for almost an hour-and-a-half delivered a greatest hits set featuring the fan favourites from Pour Some Sugar On Me, Animal, Hysteria, Let`s Get Rocked and Armageddon It.

Kicking off their set with a new song Let`s Go was a bold move but it`s forged in true Leppard spirit and sat well alongside their more well-known material.

A cracking, guitar heavy take on David Essex`s Rock On paid tribute to singer Joe Elliott`s love of 1970`s Glam Rock and a cheeky version of Lindisfarne`s Fog on the Tyne, complete with a Yorkshire-tinged Geordie accent, brought a light-hearted edge to the show.

The welcome return of guitarist Vivian Campbell after his treatment for cancer brought a cheer that could be heard on the other side of the Tyne. The ten-million-selling Pyromania supplied the encores with a thunderous Rock of Ages and Photograph bringing the evening to a climatic close.

By The Northern Echo 2015.

Media Review - Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders rock out at the Metro Radio Arena By Mick Burgess

Christmas came early for rock fans as three of the biggest names in the business joined forces for a gig to remember

It may be only a couple of weeks away but Christmas came early for northern rock fans with a triple bill featuring some of the biggest names in the business.

It was a brave move putting Black Star Riders in the special guest slot. With a reputation as a red hot live band, this had the potential to give the co-headliners a real mountain to climb.

Forged out of the last touring line up of Thin Lizzy and including members from Alice Cooper’s band, The Almighty, Ratt and Megadeth, this was a group with a high pedigree and a collection of songs to rattle the cages of the headliners.

With a 40 minute slot their set was short, sweet and straight to the point, shorn of any fat mixing the highlights from their two studio albums with a scattering of Thin Lizzy classics. Jailbreak and Are You Ready rubbed shoulders with Bound For Glory and Kingdom of the Lost, a song cut from the same epic cloth as the Lizzy classics Emerald and Black Rose, with guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson recreating the classic Lizzy harmonies to perfection while lead singer Ricky Warwick brought the genuine Celtic touch to the band. The music and passion of Thin Lizzy now lives on in the Black Star Riders.

David Coverdale was plucked from the obscurity of a Redcar boutique and thrust into the world spotlight when he made his debut with Deep Purple in 1974.

Now over 40 years later he has revisited those days with The Purple album, a collection of reworked Deep Purple classics with his own band Whitesnake.

This evening’s set drew heavily on his Purple days opening with a firestorm take on Burn, kicked into life by new guitarist, ex-Night Ranger man Joel Hoekstra and long-time sidekick Reb Beach.

Fans of his Purple material were well served with energetic takes of Mistreated and Gypsy while the more reflective side of that era featured the major highlight of Soldier of Fortune, where Coverdale excelled.

While Coverdale’s voice may have lost some of its smoother edges with a more gritty edge in its place, his role as a star frontman remains undiminished. Here is someone who know exactly how to work a crowd and few do it better.

Fans of Whitesnake material were certainly not short changed either with a spine-tingling rendition of Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City giving the “Whitesnake Choir” the chance to join the band for a moment before a full throttle romp of Fool For Your Loving, Here I Go Again and a storming Still Of The Night ended their set on the peak of a crescendo.

Although this was a co-headlining tour, Def Leppard closed the show and for almost an hour and a half delivered a greatest hits set featuring the fan favourites from Pour Some Sugar On Me, Animal, Hysteria, Let’s Get Rocked and Armageddon It.

Kicking off their set with a new song Let’s Go was a bold move but it’s forged in true Leppard spirit and sat well alongside their more well-known material as did Dangerous, the second of the new songs aired during the show. No one expects a Leppard to change to change its spots so it’s no surprise that this bears all the hallmarks of their signature melody and harmony heavy style.

A cracking, guitar heavy take on David Essex’s Rock On paid tribute to singer Joe Elliott’s love of ‘70’s Glam Rock and a cheeky verse of Lindisfarne’s Fog on the Tyne complete with a Yorkshire tinged Geordie accent brought a light hearted edge to the show.

The welcome return of guitarist Vivian Campbell after his treatment for cancer was a real highlight of the night and the cheer he received when it was announced he has been given the all clear could be heard on the other side of the Tyne.

The 10 million selling Pyromania supplied the encores with a thunderous Rock of Ages and Photograph bringing the evening to a climatic close.

With three bands and almost four hours of music there were few complaints as Newcastle were treated to an early Christmas present by three genuine legends of rock.

By Chronicle Live 2015.

Media Review - Def Leppard and Whitesnake at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, UK on 09-Dec-2015 By Adam Kennedy

‘Do you wanna get rocked?’ asks Joe Elliott to the packed out crowd at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

The answer is a very enthusiastic yes, as tonight the Geordie faithful are fortunate enough to have a triple bill of rock legends bestowed upon them, and don’t they know it. Black Star Riders who have become frequent visitors to the region in recent times opened the show, taking to the stage with all guns blazing.

Frontman Ricky Warwick commands the stage, Damon Johnson has the flare in abundance. Scott Gorham adds those trademark licks that we’ve all come to know and love, and of course, there is room for some Thin Lizzy numbers in the set with both “Are You Ready” and “Jailbreak” featuring. Although the likes of “Killer Instinct” and “Finest Hour” from the band’s latest album are met with equal adoration from the crowd. Closing their set with the classic “Whiskey in the Jar” the arena is turned into a mass singalong.

A homecoming show for David Coverdale, born and bred in nearby Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Over the years, the city has developed a strong connection with Whitesnake, including many memorable nights at the iconic Newcastle City Hall of which David reminisces during the show. A special night in the making and the band most certainly rose to the occasion.

Some personnel changes since the band’s last visit to the region, with guitarist Joel Hoekstra and keyboard player Michele Luppi replacing Doug Aldrich and Brian Ruedy respectively. Whitesnake has a long history of having world class guitarists in their ranks, and Joel most certainly fits that bill, forming one of the best guitar partnerships in rock with Reb Beech. The pair playing off each other all night long, no airs and graces, each taking their moment in the spotlight.

Whitesnake’s latest offering The Purple Album pays homage to DC’s time in the classic Deep Purple MK3 lineup. Several tracks from the album featured in the set tonight including opener “Burn”. “Gypsy” with it’s pounding bass line from Michael Devin and some nice twin guitar harmonies from Beech and Hoekstra. Of course, the set would not be complete without Coverdale’s signature track “Mistreated”.

David Coverdale mutters the immortal lines “Here’s a song for ya” as he leads the Whitesnake choir into hit after hit. The back of his shirt bearing the words “Make some f*ckin noise”, the crowd only too happy to agree. They hung on every word of the likes of “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City”, “Fool For Your Loving” and “Here I Go Again”. Tommy Aldridge got his moment to shine with a superb drum solo. The band brought their set to a close with the classic “Still of the Night” from their seminal album 1987. After five decades Whitesnake is still going strong.

It’s almost a year to the day since Joe Elliott’s last visit to the region for an intimate show with his band the Down ‘n’ Outz. Def Leppard showing their fondness for the city, drummer Rick Allen’s drum kit emblazoned with the Geordie phrase #HowayTheLads. Joe Elliott even managed to squeeze an impromptu solo acoustic rendition of “Fog On The Tyne” by Newcastle’s own Lindisfarne into the set, before launching into the beautiful “Two Steps Behind”.

Sheffield’s finest are back with their self-titled eleventh studio album, from which only the opener “Let’s Go” and “Dangerous” featured in their show in favor of a greatest hits set. The band sounding tight as they wheel out fan favorites from “Hysteria” including the likes of “Rocket”, “Animal” and “Love Bites”.

Joe Elliott leaves the stage, as the rest of the band launch into the instrumental “Switch 625” in memory of the late great Steve Clark, which climaxed with a monumental Rick Allen drum solo. There is such great stage chemistry between Phil Collen and Northern Ireland’s own Vivian Campbell, who according to Elliott ‘put’s the fast in Belfast’. The band brings their main set to a close with the brilliant “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, leaving the crowd wanting more. Only too happy to oblige they return to the stage to bring the night to close with “Rock Of Ages” and “Photograph”.

A dream bill for classic rock fans, which more than lived up to it’s expectations.

By National Rock Review 2015.

Media Review - Whitesnake & Def Leppard – Newcastle 2015 By Let's Go To The Movies

Black Star Riders

I made a bit of a mistake before heading to the concert and not actually listening to the music from these guys before hand. Although I will defend myself and say that I have listened to a little bit of Thin Lizzy and that is who these are, but don’t go under that name anymore out of respect to the members who have died. Thoroughly enjoyed Whiskey in the Jar as grown very fond of that song after hearing it on Classic Rock radio station (seriously that is all I have on in the car).

Whitesnake

Lead by the very charismatic David Coverdale who certainly puts in a shift during the course of the gig. He is showman and really does entertain from start to finish, he worked the stage and certainly covered all of it spending the majority of his time in the middle part of the stage. His voice may not be what it once was when it comes to the more screaming/shouting parts but he really is still very good. I thought in the slower songs he was much better.

Here I Go Again is one of my all time favourite songs. It’s one of those songs that has gotten me through so many tough times and very dark days. Seriously if you have never heard it before please go listen to it now. The lyrics really are inspiring if things haven’t been going your way as you have to go again even if it is alone. So another one I have now been able to tick off my list as seeing it live, it certainly was a great moment singing along.

With their most recent album release being the Purple Album a throw back to Coverdale being in Deep Purple and a re-recording of those songs they did have quite a lot from that one on the set list, I wish I had bought and listened to that album prior to going as I think I would have enjoyed those songs even more.

Def Leppard

Fronted by the fantastic Joe Elliott who I have now seen live for the second time, I managed to catch the Down ‘n’ Outz at a very small venue in Newcastle last year. Yes he did mention it and yes I did jump up and screaming I was there, as he poked fun at himself saying only four people turned up. A hell of a lot more than that were packed into the arena on Wednesday night. He also knows how to work the crowd and put on a good show. In a slightly different way to Coverdale though.

Pour Some Sugar On Me . . . Probably the most well-known of Leppard songs? Well maybe I am not really too sure in all honesty, but that was a great one to jump around too. Well kinda rock from side to side in all honesty as my legs had well and truly gone by this point. But that didn’t really matter as the hits kept on flying out and Elliott even gave us his version of Fog on the Tyne which was a pretty cool moment! The pacing was good with different songs being put together in a very good order, with some very high intensity and slowed right down for Elliott to sing Two Steps behind acoustically which I think was one of my favourite parts!

A truly incredible line up and set’s which have to be more than worth the £50 per ticket that it cost. Very hard going on the legs in the standing section, but it certainly was well worth it and you somehow manage to power through the pain! Maybe more rock bands should co-headline like this?

By Let's Go To The Movies 2015.

Reviews from the 2015 Newcastle, England Show.