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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard & REO Speedwagon By Andi Rogers

Upon arriving at the venue, it was swarming with zebra-print, big 80’s hair, bandanas, and spray tans – it could only be a Def Leppard show. But people-watching wasn’t the only entertainment in store for the evening. Although Tesla dropped the date due to illness, Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon kept the spirit of classic rock and roll alive.

The most seasoned of the tour, REO Speedwagon, was the opener of the night. Don’t let their age fool you, these guys put everything they had into the performance. REO played their most loved ballads including, ‘Take It On the Run,’ ‘Ridin’ the Storm Out,’ and ‘Keep On Loving You.’ Though they weren’t quite as dynamic as Def Leppard was expected to be, REO Speedwagon kicked off the night on a great level – their own brand of classic rock. The hour-long, slower-paced set was full of heart and soul from start to finish.

The most anticipated act of night, Def Leppard, took the stage in a cloud of fog and crazy lights. Kicking off their set with ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘Animal,’ they were quick to confirm that they just get better with age. Def Leppard had the most impressive backgrounds and lighting effects. It seemed that each song had it’s own perfectly curated set of graphics, along a montage of photos from their earlier years. A key part of the night came when frontman, Joe Elliot, alluded to the days of opening for Ozzy, The Scorpions and the like. He then acknowledged the fans that had been with them since their beginning, more than 30 years ago, and then the new generation that’s keeping the spirit of classic rock and roll alive for years to come.

An act as large as Def Leppard wouldn’t be the same without paying homage to their earliest days. The air of reminiscence combined with the old photo montage and the intimacy of a live show, creates a bond that concert goers will always remember. The rest of the setlist included fan-favorites such as ‘Foolin’,’ ‘Hysteria,’ Man Enough,’ ‘Bringin’ On the Heartache,’ and ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me.’ Phil Collen’s skill on guitar was incredibly hypnotic and drummer Rick Allen was phenomenal behind the kit. Allen gave the crowd a killer, minutes-long, solo. A killer, minutes-long, one-armed solo. The crowd went nuts, as they should have. It left him, and the fans, teary-eyed and grateful. It was absolutely phenomenal.

It is very obvious that the band has become a family throughout the years. That bond is evident in their stage presence and performance. After the killer 15-song set, they encored with ‘Rok of Ages’ and ‘Photograph.’

By Popdeflators 2016.

Reviews from the 2016 Raleigh, NC Show.