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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard - Darien Lake PAC, Darien, NY - August 23, 2016 By John Jeffrey

As summer winds down, on the last day of August 2016, one of the most anticipated concert tours made it's way to Western New York. The triple bill of Def Leppard, Reo Speedwagon and Tesla rolled it's way into the Darien Lake PAC last Wednesday night. This bill, while almost identical to the lineup which came to Darien Lake last year (Reo Speedwagon were the less than palatable replacement for last year's Styx), did not fail to excite the masses, as the concert drew approximately 13,000 - not too shabby for a rock concert on a week night.

As Def Leppard is heading into it's fourth decade as a touring and recording artist, they continue to struggle with adversities, something which has plagued the band's career for the better part of the past 39 years. While guitarist Vivian Campbell soldiers on, as he continues to receive immunotherapy treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, vocalist Joe Elliot has been battling issues with his voice since the end of 2015, as he suffered problems with his voice last November, blaming biker exhaust during a stop at Sturgis, ND and he was also unable to perform at the group's concert on their "Hysteria on the High Seas" cruise in January of this year. Elliot's problems continued, as the band was forced to postpone 10 shows at the beginning of this year's tour, originally scheduled throughout February.

Elliot stated the his vocal condition was not caused by singing, but rather from a bad cough he developed over the winter this past year. He elaborated by saying, "I got a really bad cough over Christmas and New Years, and that's what did the damage. It wasn't singing. It was just an injury. I just got a really, really bad cough, couldn't clear it up, and I was warned, having seen a couple of throat doctors, that I needed to take four to six weeks off. So it's about now that I start giving it a shout again. But other than that, everything else is fine, you know. It just needed a rest."

In March, guitarist Phil Collen announced Elliot's voice was "All Back to Normal," with the tour resuming in May. I don't know what kind of doctor Elliot went to, but whomever it was, performed nothing short of a miracle, as Elliot's voice magically returned to a state of perfection once the tour resumed.

Taking the stage at about quarter past 9pm, Elliot, along with Phil Collen - who came out sans shirt of course - were flanked by Vivian Campbell and Rick Savage on bass, with the one-armed drum legend, Rick Allen, perched behind his self-designed electronic drum kit. Together, the unit led an assault of electric noise and layered vocals. As Elliot and company paraded through their 17 song set, comprised of all their hits, plus 3 songs from their latest, self-titled release, I couldn't help but notice how artificial their sound was. Even with keeping in consideration how slick their live sound is normally, there seemed to be much more canned (pre-recorded) vocals and music than I could recall being used on previous tours. At times, Elliot's vocal levels struggled to be louder than the music, with an audible MP3 type of distortion to them, confirming my suspicions that Elliot, very well, "could be" lip-syncing. I guess that was the true "magic" of the night.

Whether the band was playing live or we were all one watching one big music video happening before our eyes, it didn't matter to the packed crowd at Darien Lake. Either they didn't know, or they just didn't care about how much of the music was actually live or a backing track, the crowd was simply content with staring at the aging pretty boys from Sheffield, singing along to all of the songs they knew, and drinking their $13 beers, until they got too tired, drunk or broke.

Def Leppard has always put on a great show, but when all is left is a "show," going to a Def Leppard "concert" is not as an appealing thought, as it once used to be. Perhaps they should change the lyrics to the song "Rock of Ages" to "it's better to burn out, than to play to a tape." Godspeed.

By Rock Music Star 2016.

Media Review - It’s All Fun As Def Leppard Plays Darien For 10th Time By Joseph Suto

Def Leppard wrapped up the east coast end of their summer tour Wednesday night out at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. They have a small west coast run of dates remaining later in the month. Joining them were REO Speedwagon and Tesla. Tesla was also on Def Leppard’s summer tour last year along with Styx when it came to the PAC.

The band lineup for Def Leppard has been stable now since 1992 making this the longest in the bands near forty year history. Led by vocalist Joe Elliott, the band not only took fans for a trip down memory lane with the hits, they also played three tracks off their latest release the self-titled Def Leppard released in 2015. With guitarists Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen leading the attack they showed why the band can still rock with the best of them. Bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen combine to make up a solid rhythm section as they have since 1978.

Never one to rest on their laurels, Def Leppard started the show with “Let’s Go” a new track before delving into the more familiar “Animal” from the Hysteria album. Hysteria as usual, was the bands best represented album with six songs in the set. Def Leppard have so many songs they are obliged to play that it seldom leaves much room to really dig deep into their catalog. Their 90-minute set Wednesday evening however did unearth fan favorite “Let It Go” as well as the David Essex cover “Rock On” which served as a beer break for many.

Guitarist Campbell has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the past few years and looked and sounded great.

Things slowed down a bit when the band pulled out “Hysteria” but the pace quickly picked up as Elliott asked “Do You Wanna Get Rocked?” The band ended their main set with “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.

The standard encores of “Rock Of Ages” and “Photograph” brought out the cell phones as fans filmed some video to take some souvenirs home for the evening.

By Rock Show Critique 2016.

Reviews from the 2016 Darien Center, NY Show.