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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Def Leppard brings own flash and fury to Hollywood Casino show By Daniel Durchholz

“God is putting on a light show out there,” Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott said on Saturday night, referring to lightning flashing in the skies above Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

The storm held off, however, and it was left to the veteran British band to supply the thunder, which it did by digging deep into its catalog of pop-metal hits for a capacity crowd of 20,000.

It was a surprisingly — and refreshingly — straightforward, frills-free show. There was “Pyromania” — as in songs from the band’s 1983 breakthrough album — but no pyrotechnics.

Which was fine. Instead, the quintet delivered flash and fury in the form of the twin lead guitars of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell and the artillery-grade drumming of Rick Allen, whose left arm was amputated after a car accident in the mid-'80s.

Collen was especially a sight to see. He arrived onstage shirtless, the better to show off his thoroughly ripped torso. Either the guitarist was already in full sweat or — eww — oiled up for the occasion.

Elliott’s vocals have lost something to time, but were still impressive as he led the band through a set list that ranged from early hits including “Bringin’ on the Heartache” and “Foolin’” up through its recent single, “Dangerous,” one of three songs featured from Def Leppard’s 2015 self-titled album.

Def Lep’s formula hasn’t changed much over time and really has no reason to. There are big, chunky riffs, thundering drums and sing-along choruses, the latter facet being something fans were happy to indulge in.

As the show roared to the finish line, the band brought out its big guns; classic-rock radio staples “Hysteria,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph.”

Def Leppard has survived over the years despite attrition, dismemberment and even death — guitarist Steve Clark died from alcohol poisoning in 1991. Elliott spoke with pride about its longevity and noted it was 36 years ago that the band first played St. Louis.

“I remember it well,” he said. “Well, I remember a certain girl under the Arch, but that’s a different story.”

Mid-billed R.E.O. Speedwagon’s connection with St. Louis is even longer and deeper, and frontman Kevin Cronin made sure to point it out. The first time an R.E.O. record got played on the radio, he said, it was on KSHE in St. Louis. And while in other cities the band played clubs and theaters, in St. Louis it played Busch Stadium, which it did in the late '70s and early '80s.

“We knew there was one place that was always behind us,” he said.

R.E.O.’s hour-long set mostly featured songs from its hit-making heyday, including “Take It on the Run” and the power ballads “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep on Loving You.”

Cronin ceded the microphone to bassist Bruce Hall for the chugging “Back on the Road Again,” but took it back for the band’s signature hit, “Ridin’ the Storm Out.” He also tugged the heartstrings of longtime fans by declaring “This one’s for Gary” — referring to longtime guitarist Gary Richrath, who left the band in 1989 and died last year.

Opening act Tesla’s brief set leaned on old hits such as “Love Song,” “Edison’s Medicine” and “Signs,” but the highlight was a new song, “Save That Goodness,” which was written by Def Lep’s Phil Collen. Collen and vocalist Debbi Blackwell-Cook joined the band onstage for the fresh, soulful tune.

By 2016.

Reviews from the 2016 St. Louis, MO Show.