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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard / REO Speedwagon / Tesla By Dave Gray

Last week, it rained all night at Dallas' GEXA Energy Pavilion, yet the fans still stayed on the lawn to witness a rock and roll show. Tonight, the weather was different, hot and humid, but that still didn't keep the fans away from a rock and roll bill for the ages. Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon and Tesla blasted hit after hit for over 3 hours, and to be honest, I didn't see anyone leave their seat during any of the bands' sets.

Sheffield, UK's Def Leppard show was totally electric. From the opening cut "Let's Go," from the recently released self-titled CD, the band proceeded to rip through all the greatest hits and more. Hits from the classic Pyromania, High ‘N' Dry, and Hysteria highlighted the night, while the band mixed in another new cut, "Man Enough" midway through the set.

Despite all this band has been through, amazing all the band members seemed to be in great shape physically and vocally. Joe Elliott's voice was spot on most of the night. I did hear a time or two where he took the low road vocally, instead of screaming the lyrics out, but who can blame him? That song was originally recorded in 1980, 36 years ago. A shirtless Phil Collen showed that he still works out, obviously, and on each song, it seems that he would break out a new, stunningly brilliant guitar. Taking the center stage during solos and walking up the runway provided some really cool close up views of his work, and the mix was really good tonight, with the guitar parts really audible. Even when he wasn't soloing, the guitar parts had audio clarity. Vivian Campbell looked great as well, considering all he has been through, and since he was to celebrate his birthday tomorrow, Joe Elliott encouraged the Dallas' audience to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, before letting him solo. Vivian' collection of Gibson Les Paul guitars were also on display tonight as he split most of the solos with Phil, again, a perfect mix.

Joe's "best friend" and bass player Rick Savage was introduced midway through the set as the guy at who helped Joe form the band…and the rest is history. Rick and drummer Rick Allen launched into a super version of David Essex' 1973 hit "Rock On," before the band proceeded into the final chapter of hits. I was really surprised to hear "Switch 625," one of my favorites, an instrumental the followed "Bringing on the Heartbreak." This gave the drummer Rick Allen the opportunity to show us his skills on the drums (while barefoot).

Truly, this was a night full of electricity and musical memories. The band still has it, if not now more than ever. Visually the LED displays, lighting, production and choreography are top notch, if not the best I have ever seen. This honestly has to be one of the best shows touring this summer. Rock On!

Champaign, Illinois' REO Speedwagon is still a very good band as well. Kevin Cronin, Bruce Hall, and Neal Doughty are great musicians, and tonight they played all the great REO hits from the 1970' and 80's. Even if you don't listen to the radio, you can't not know these songs. Dave Amato's guitar wailed during "Tough Guys," "Ridin' The Storm Out," "Keep On Loving You" and of course "Roll with the Changes." With three original members, REO is a very solid act, with a perfect mix of ballads and guitars.

Opening act Tesla fought the heat, as the sun wasn't down yet, but seemed to satisfy the early arriver's. Vocalist Jeff Keith and guitarist Frank Hannon were really solid, smoking through "Edison's Medicine" and "Modern Day Cowboy."

By Jam Magazine 2016.

Media Review - Def Leppard/REO Speedwagon/Tesla By Joshua Martinez

Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon and Tesla brought the hair and the rock to Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas. The triple threat of classic rock brought out a lot of classic rockers and even more classic attire. Bandanas, t-shirts and fishnet stockings seemed to be the most popular fashion items on display. Although rain from the week leading up to the show had retreated, the humidity was in full force.

Tesla was first to take aim at the audience and they had no problem getting them warmed up. Singer Jeff Keith didn’t hold back and proved his voice still has power with their opening song “Rock Me to the Top”. Despite the departure of Tommy Skeoch in 06, Dave Rude shredded through the solo of “Edison’s Medicine” on guitar. Drummer Troy Luccketta and bassist Brian Wheat held down a solid rhythm section on “Love Song” while Frank Hannon and Dave traded licks. Ending their set with “Modern Day Cowboy” the crowd proudly applauded the appetizing treat.

Kevin Cronin and REO Speedwagon agon were next up and flung folks back almost four decades to a time when they ruled the radio. “Take it on the Run” instantly put a spell on the hardcore fans as they sang along at the top of their lungs. Instead of trying to document the long history of past and present band members, I’ll just say that the current lineup is tight and delivered the goods on favorites like “Can’t Fight this Feeling” and “Keep on Lovin You”.

Def Leppard were gods of rock throughout the 80’s who dominated the airwaves and filled arenas with their endless string of hits. While they may no longer be kings of the radio, they are definitely rock royalty.

“Let’s Go” kicked things off with Joe Elliot effortlessly taking his vocals to soaring heights. As much as he has pushed his voice to the limit throughout his career, he sounded just as sharp as he did in the 80’s. While there weren’t as many jean jackets present at the show as there were back then, fans proved their loyalty by singing along to “Animal” and “Foolin”.

One of their most popular love ballads from their catalogue, “Love Bites” held its spot as a fan favorite. You could feel the pulsing baselines take their affect on the senses, sending one back to a make out session in a back seat or garage with a girl whose name you may or may not remember. I guess the song still has the same effect as I actually saw a couple making out next to me the entire song.

When they launched into “Armageddon it”, the crowd completely lost it. People were dancing in the aisles and pumping fists in the air. Phil Collen’s fingers seemed to dance across the frets like a stone skipping across the water. So cool to see theses guys still have passion for what they do.

In between songs, Joe Elliot told the audience that 1980 was the first time they played Dallas, opening for Ted Nugent. He then went into a story about how far they have come as a band and that 36 years later, they are still rocking.

“Rocket” and “Hysteria” rounded out the set and set the stage for the encore. Waiting until the end is the show, fans were rewarded with Rick Savage and Rick Allen tearing it up on “Rock of Ages”. With one final blow, Def Leppard ended the evening with “Photograph” and left fans to wait until the next time they rock Dallas.

By Dallas Morning Post 2016.

Media Review - Def Leppard - Dallas, TX By Amanda Gail

August, Texas, outdoor venue. Only one thing could bring me out of my air-conditioned comfort on a dog day summer Monday night- Def Leppard. The teenage girl in me was in full spirit as the first two acts cleared the stage and the roadies began the finishing touches on the Def Leppard stage setup. For a full 5 minutes I saw, under a tented canopy, the drum set of The ThunderGod (aka: Rick Allen), and felt all my senses tingle.

I was close: Center stage, row F. One seat away from the catwalk, and mere feet away from the band. The lights dimmed, the curtain fell and the echo of “Let’s Go” began to ring through the stadium.

I should clarify that I have had a hard love/hate relationship with the Leppard boys. The kind you have with your first serious boyfriend whose sincerely done you wrong. You always love him, with that deep burning desire. Looking at him is home, but because of your deep burning love, you pick him apart and push him to do better. You expect more of him because you know he’s capable of it, and you are disappointed when he doesn’t rise to the occasion because again, you know he’s better than that.

After the 1994 rise of Adrenalize, a much awaited album after the heat of Hysteria, we got a two kinda-hit wonder album of Retro-active, soon followed by a Greatest Hits release of Vault. A few of us hard-core Lep fans knew Retro-active was a B-side album, bringing to life a few reinvented versions of songs we loved included on earlier UK versions of On Through the Night and High N’ Dry. American fans now had access to these gems, but unfortunately didn’t really care, with the exception of two minor hits; “When Love and Hate Collide” and “Miss You in a Heartbeat”. Now, almost 20 years after any sort of major activity from these guys, we have a new self titled album and a tour to back it up.

Before this tour came around, my expectations were honestly a bit low. I know they’ve toured in the past couple of years. I’ve skipped the tours, mainly because I’ve been let down in the past. While the dynamics of the shows have always been well put together, even in their hay-day I didn’t enjoy seeing the boys live. Whether it was a mix of alcohol and women, included with too much partying, the lack of vocal performance on Joe’s behalf was so off-putting I couldn’t bring myself to go.

Please understand, as a hard-core fan, I was going from a perception of musical performance, and not for a good-time partying and pot-smoking standpoint. I’m sure from that perspective their shows were spot on. We expect more from those we love. Again, being let down by someone you love is immensely worse than just knowing they are in town and not visiting.

So back to present day. Why now? Of course I’d done my research. I knew they had cleaned themselves up in a major way. This new album, while not hitting hard on the radio side, had released two incredible new videos, not disappointing fans to the quality of years past. This new album is good. I let myself get my hopes up for the show, and knew this time things would be different. So as the curtain fell and the chords of “Let’s Go” began, I watched them emerge from the shadows onto the stage and knew without a doubt, this was their moment.

I was attending this show as a fan. I was not on assignment. My seats were not comped, nor was I allowed to bring in my professional camera. This show was for ME. I was there on my dime, and I was lucky to get such seats that I did at the last minute. In an instant “Let’s Go” transformed into “Animal”, and I was back in time instantly. The chords of perfection rang from the guitars of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell.

Rick Savage posed in his classic crouched-over position looked exactly as he had in the days of Hysteria. The ThunderGod sat mightily behind the massive drum kit, only to be seen from the huge monitors via camera. Then, center stage less than 30 feet from me, with appropriately fitting tight black rock and roll jeans faceted with patches of leather and zippers for no reason was the immaculately posed Joe Elliot. His face, just as I remembered. The years have been nothing but kind to him. Groomed with excitement, I was close enough to see a wry smile of contentment flash between Joe and Rick. Clearly the stage was their home, and they were owning it.

In an instant the lights fell dark as Animal wrapped it’s final chord, and a single guitar sang out the intro to Def Leppard’s very first hit, “Let it Go”. The spotlight honed in on Joe and his tone and movements were the exact same of the 18 year old we saw in the first days of MTV. In my mind Joe transformed into the shaggy-headed teenager sporting the UK flag sleeveless tee and jumping the stage like a madman. He sounded timeless. These were my Lep boys. The ones I wanted and hoped to see. I was hypnotized.

For a brief few moments the boys took a break to speak to the Dallas audience. Joe was inches from me. At the young age of 58 he looked none the worse for wear. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve seen them look any better. I’ve been a Lep fan for nearly 30 years. I’ve seen the rise and fall of the boys, watched the hard times as they rebuilt Rick Allen, and lost Steve Clark. These guys have been through a lot- to say the least. Yet they’ve never separated, never fallen short, and never disappointed their true fans.

Fan or not, this was an evening to remember. A full EIGHTEEN song setlist rang everything from the rock anthems of On Through The Night through Adrenalize, and touched on their new self titled album. It was magnificence. They WORKED the show. Never breaking, and even throwing in a spot on cover of David Essex’s “Rock On”. It couldn’t have been more right.

There was one point in the show I must address, and fans who’ve seen this tour will appreciate the acknowledgement. “Hysteria” began to play, and the stage lit up with photographs of they history of Def Leppard. Shots from our favorite music videos (of course “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Love Bites”) entangled with candids and off-stage moments off all the band, especially the late Steve Clark. This homage to their career and the inclusion of Steve was nothing less than truly moving, and for a moment I lost my breath and just had to cry.

Def Leppard clearly isn’t going anywhere. They are still rockin’ it and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Thank God for that. As a dedicated fan I will not miss a remotely local show for as long as my body allows. As a writer and photographer, my creative heartbeat spikes as I can only imagine what these boys will bring us in the future. If you can walk away with anything from my droning, I hope it’s this: go see Def Leppard. NOW. It’s money well spent, and I’d even splurge for the good seats. Secondly, the images shared in this article were taken with my non-Samsung cell phone.

For now, Gunter Glieben Glauten Globen…

By Altwire 2016.

Reviews from the 2016 Dallas, TX Show.