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Friday, 2nd November 2018

Perth, WA, Australia - Media Reviews

Def Leppard - Gig Review & Photo Gallery 2nd November @ RAC Arena, Perth WA By Gareth Williams

Do you wanna get rocked …. like a hurricane?

What better way to combine the two than with English hard rock royalty and German metal legends together on one huge bill.

Although Scorpions were billed as ‘very special guests,’ they played their set like a co-headliners. And in the eyes of many punters they were just that. E ven on the reduced stage the band made use of every square inch, It was also good to see they had full access to the runway which extended out into the middle of the RAC Arena. Not every headline treats their support so well, but then Scorpions were ‘very special guests’.

To say the Hanover natives hit the ground running would be an understatement. Klaus Meine and co kicked the night off in top gear and kept up the pace. The frontman throwing drumsticks whilst beating the shit out of his cowbell during ‘The Zoo’ an early highlight. High energy was the order of the day and the first-time visitors to Perth brought it in spades.

Speaking of spades, the Scorpions have their own ace with ex-Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee an animal behind the kit. Arms, legs, sticks and hair flying in every direction as no one on stage missed a beat, with Rudolph Schneker’s driving riffs leading the maelstrom of Germanic metal. But in my mind they were at their best when things were slowed down a touch. Meine’s strong, clear voice took a short break as he encouraged the punters to join in on the monster hit ‘Winds Of Change’. That song always gives me a chill when I hear it, but listening to thousands singing along took it to another level. Every concert-goer loves a good sing along, and combined with images of the Berlin Wall on the big screens it was hard not to be swept away in the moment.

When the intro of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ sounded out I knew the all too short set was coming to an end. Punters went suitably mental and Hanover’s ‘heroes of heavy metal’ teased us with a banner hinting at a return. Come back soon, there are 18 studio albums and 74 singles we haven’t heard yet!

31 years ago Def Leppard released Hysteria – and 26 years ago they played The Perth Entertainment Centre on the Adrenalize Tour. On July 11th 1992 this writer was front row in the round losing his tiny mind – and not much has changed. Tonight I’m safely in the stands in a seat kindly supplied by Wall Of Sound, but the mindset is just the same. I’ve seen Rick Allen and crew countless times over the years, heard all the hits off Hysteria (and there’s a ton) but never the album played live in its entirety. Although we all knew exactly what the setlist would be: the entire album plus a little bit more, just hearing these songs played live is a treat. Sure the boys are older, their hair is shorter (except Rick Savage, whose locks continue to flow magnificently), their waistlines slightly rounder (with the obvious exception of Phil Collen whose ripped physique is on permanent display, complete with bonus baby oil!) but the sound is the same. The band managed to reproduce a highly produced and polished album like ‘Hysteria’ live, an absolute feat of musicianship. Collen, Savage and Vivian Campbell combined to reproduce Mutt Lange’s multi-layered harmonies without the use of a backing track.

This is an unashamed nostalgia tour, so it was apt that a legend no longer with us was featured. The late great David Bowie got a nod with a few lines from ‘Heroes’ as Joe Elliot pointed heavenward. Original guitarist Steve Clark was also remembered with a video montage showing his image on the giant videos screens that seemed to almost hover above the stage. It was a beautiful and touching tribute, and something the boys never fail to do. Taken too soon, he’s never far from the hearts of the band or their fans.

‘Hysteria 2018′ (plus an encore of other Leppard hits) is a rock’n’roll joyride. Slickly produced, with a stunning laser light show, this is the full package. Don’t wait another thirty years to hear it again. Give it all your love and affection people. Get excitable and run riot.

By Wall Of Sound 2018.

Def Leppard with Scorpions – Perth By The Rockpit

Perth was the venue for the first date of this Australia/New Zealand tour for two of my favourite bands and so tonight at the Perth Arena anticipation was high!

Def Leppard has been increasingly frequent visitors over the last few years to these shores, but for the Scorpions it was their first National Tour here, despite being around for over 50 years!! They did however pop to Melbourne two years ago for a one off show at St Kilda’s Palais Theatre, and what an amazing, memorable night that was! And the welcome they received there seems to have drawn them back making a fantastic double bill for Rock fans.

Sadly it appeared only the real diehard fans of The Scorpions watched the start of their performance, which began with “Going Out with a Bang”, followed by two songs from their 1980 album, “Animal Magnetism”, “Make it Real” and “The Zoo”. As the set continued more people appeared to come and see what all the commotion was about and their curiosity was well rewarded as the band broke into a string of hits from the 80’s and newer material that sounded just as good.

Many though were only here for the hits though it was great to see a steady steam come in and stay to watch the band till it seemed like the room was almost full. Some though were just waiting for the big one: “Wind of Change” a big hit here in Australia, was a song that had everyone singing along and on their feet and it was great to see the room rise to the German rockers most enduring hit.

With a medley of early 70’s songs, followed by more classics, a drum solo from Mikkey Dee, and the finale, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” it seemed to be over too quickly, well for me anyway!! Having seen the band numerous times before, and having cried at the farewell tour in 2010, thinking it was the end, I loved it, whether we’ll get to see them here again, I doubt it but after taking them 50 years to get here for a first visit you never know!

The arena was just about packed out to see Def Leppard play “Hysteria” in its entirety, and that’s what we got! “Welcome to Hysteria 2018!”

Def Leppard may have visited us a few times over the years but even though they’ve visited this classic album a number of times over the years overseas, Australia has never had the pleasure. It’s a brave band though that can play an album in its entirety but then again there are few albums that have hit the music scene like ‘Hysteria’ and it’s doubtful that there will ever be a mainstream Rock album like Hysteria again.

The band is on fine form tonight and the stage show is spectacular with the large screens keeping us occupied as Joe and Phil use the ramp that reaches out into the audience to great effect: Joe geeing up the crowd to raise the mood from very excited to dare we say it? Hysterical!

The stage show makes great use of old video clips, and plays old live shows in the background, and there’s also a wonderful a tribute to Steve Clark, a man who had so much to say on the Hysteria album and it’s therefore so nice to see a video of him playing his guitar as the introduction to “Gods of War”.

Most of course are here for the hits and Hysteria is an album that spawned more than its fair share – sporting 7 hit singles that come in an unstoppable rush from ‘Armageddon It’; ‘Animal’; ‘Women’; the unforgettable ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’; ‘Hysteria’; ‘Love Bites’ and ‘Rocket’. It’s breathtaking to think that so much was crammed into that album and no wonder it’s so revered by fans.

The band left the stage after the final song, “Love and Affection” and after huge applause returned to the stage, with Joe announcing that a lot of love, blood, sweat and tears went in to the making of that album, 31 years ago.

It was time then almost like getting second set with the band treating us to some sizzling renditions of hits and songs “from before and after” as Joe puts it. The best of those included “Make love Like a Man” and “Let’s Get Rocked” from Adrenalize, “When Love and Hate Collide” and two earlier songs “Rock of Ages” and final song “Photograph” from the album that really paved the way ‘Pyromania’.

Perth got a real treat tonight as the first stop on this amazing double-bill tour and it’s a night of Rock that many here won’t get close to in years. An absolute stunner!

By The Rockpit 2018.

LIVE: DEF LEPPARD with SCORPIONS - Perth, 2 Nov, 2018 By Shane Pinnegar

Def Leppard’s first visit to Perth was in July 1992, off the back of their recently released Adrenalize album, but it was previous album Hysteria – one of the biggest selling records of all time – which they made their latest visit to town for.

Hysteria was released in 1987 and is an iconic record which spawned seven hit singles and was so ubiquitous that it soundtracked millions of lives. Def Leppard returning to town to play the album from start to finish is a celebratory occasion, and eating and drinking establishments throughout the city were cram packed with old friends ready to relive their glory days and newer fans eager to see what all the fuss is about.

Scorpions opened the show – and for some this was even more a drawcard than the headliners. It’s infuriating that this was their first ever visit to Perth after a fifty-plus year career, and they have to do it as support act with only half a stage to work with. What’s worse is they’re playing to a half-empty and largely disinterested Arena, as many seem unaware of their legacy and importance in the rock pantheon.

The German rock vets were allowed shitty sound by the headliners, and badly misread the vibe of the crowd. Instead of winning them over with their strongest hits early, they played a so-so set of ‘70s and more recent material which most present were not familiar with. It wasn’t until gazillion-selling single Wind Of Change came that they really broke through, though even then they dissipated the energy by playing ’90s also-ran Tease Me, Please Me and an unnecessary drum solo. If a world-class band who has sold over 110 million albums over 53 years comes to town for the first time with only a scant hour to play, they do NOT need to play a five minute drum solo, not even with Mikkey Dee on the kit. Thankfully they ended their time with some classics, belting out Blackout, Big City Nights and Rock You Like A Hurricane like the band we’d hoped they had been from the start.

Like Scorpions, Def Leppard are consummate musicians and know how to work a stage, and with the name of the game being to play the whole of Hysteria from start to finish, their set list mostly writes itself.

Now, classic album chock-a-block with hit singles or no, the wisdom behind playing all twelve songs in order eludes me. With the big singles getting an airing, name me a single Def Leppard fan who would want Don’t Shoot Shotgun, Love and Affection or Run Riot over an unaired classic from another album, for instance Bringing On The Heartbreak, Two Steps Behind, Miss You In A Heartbeat or early winners Ride Into The Sun or Wasted.

With the predictability of the setlist, the technical mastery of the band, and the lack of interaction with the audience we’re left with an okay gig, but not in any way as impressive as we’ve seen from these guys before. In fact, we might have well have stayed at home and listened to the album yet again. We’d go so far as to say it was a reasonably enjoyable though disappointingly soulless experience.

Still, the crowd cheered in all the right places. Phil Collen and his abs don’t even bother starting the show with a shirt on any more; Joe Elliott sports an updated Let’s Get Rocked-styled jacket; and the pros run this way and that and do all the expected choreography, including a video solo tribute to fallen comrade Steve Clark, an unfortunate casualty of the lifestyle of the band’s early days.

After the Hysteria tracks have been completed, the band exit and wait for the traditional ego-gratifying encore-calling, before returning for a mini-set of Make Love Like A Man, When Love And Hate Collide, Let’s Get Rocked, Rock Of Ages and Photograph.

With most of the arena cheering, it’s all over, and we’re left unable to think that this was anything but a missed opportunity.

By 100 Percent Rock Magazine 2018.

DEF LEPPARD and the SCORPIONS at the RAC Arena, Perth on 2/11/18 By Amy Walsh

With roads backed up for miles, it’s not hard to tell when something big is happening in Perth. Perthians shamelessly lined the streets; a sea of DEF LEPPARD shirts faded with age, giving away those who had grown up with the hard rock legends. Whilst Hysteria may have been released 31 years ago, the album has clearly transcended the generations, with both old and young alike gathering to see the powerhouses perform for themselves. Performing live at RAC Arena in Perth, DEF LEPPARD made their first stop on their National Australian tour on the 2nd of November, accompanied by German “Rock You Like A Hurricane” hitmakers SCORPIONS. The concert was an incredible display of musical mastery, made better by the fact that this was the first time SCORPIONS had ever toured Australia in their 50-year existence! And man, did they put on a show.

Let me tell you now if your face is blown off the second you walk in the door, you know they’re doing something right. Ripping introductions were followed by heavy melodic passages that truly showcased Klaus Meine’s enviable tonal range, one that has only grown with age. I have to say, for a seventy-year-old the man, he knows how to rock. Rudolph Schenker did what he does best; laying down some incredible guitar work, complete with his trademark co-ordinated licks and oh-so-satisfying crunches, whilst Matthias Jabs layered the rich guitar melody amongst hard distortions. The concise execution of every technical detail truly blew me away, with an astounding display of dexterous talent that most can only dream of. Nothing exemplified this more than Mikkey Dee’s jaw-dropping drum solo, and when I say jaw-dropping, I mean literally. People were in awe of what I can only describe as an insane performance! With a seemingly unending supply of energy, he shredded the stage in a fashion we all know and love. Betwixt mind-boggling polyrhythms and wild blast beats, the former Motorhead member put on one hell of a show.

SCORPIONS perfectly set the tone for DEF LEPPARD to take the stage, and damn, did they own it. From the second the performance began they set the stage alight, with an incredible showcase of the rich and meaty bass of Rick Savage, the unabated drumming of Rick Allen, the sensational guitar medleys of Phil Collen, and the impeccable vocal clarity of Joe Elliott. Each and every song was on fire, with not one song a ‘filler’. Performing the collective work of their album, Hysteria is saturated with pop-like inflections, with a high-gloss finish that has rendered it divisive in the Rock music scene. Despite this, their anthems have clearly stood the test of time, with DEF LEPPARD having no problem filling a stadium 31 years on for a live tour of the album. Although dominated by a guitar-heavy pop-like style, their rock-like edge still gives it the bite that we all love. My only criticism, however, is that their work still resides within the old hyper-sexualised paradigm, where women are more of a means to sexual ends and love is reduced to a kind of carnal hysteria. However, the album is a product of its time, and one cannot deny the musical mastery required to create such brainlessly catchy content. With full band harmonies used to construct rich tonal layering, an electric guitar firestorm, and impressively intense rhythms, DEF LEPPARD put on a sensational performance that you DO NOT want to miss.

By Heavy Mag 2018.

Def Leppard @ RAC Arena By Melanie Griffiths

"A gratifying night for fans to celebrate the metal band’s legacy."

When it comes to metal, more is more. Big hair, a pulsating light show, and searing guitar and drum solos are all motifs that concertgoers rarely see these days. As rock royalty Def Leppard kicked off their first Australian show in their Hysteria live tour, they gave thousands at RAC Arena an evocative night reminding us all of what made arena rock so great.

Old vanguards, Scorpions opened the night with a set that played like a heavy metal history lesson. Past their prime as they moved stiffly around on stage, they still gave it all they had with a set featuring well-known hits Send Me An Angel, Winds Of Change and Rock Me Like A Hurricane.

Revisiting seminal albums seems to be the tour du jour for older bands as they bank on the nostalgic fever of their fans. For Def Leppard that was 1987’s Hysteria, an album filled with so many hooky, devil horn worthy songs that it was impossible not to be swept up in Rick Allen’s thumping drums or Phil Collen and Rick Savage’s indulgent earworm guitar riffs.

Opening with Women, the first third of the show had so many pearlers there was no way anyone was leaving their seat. Rocket, a song that displayed their glass-shattering vocal harmonies led by Joe Elliot’s iconic lead vocals, was strong enough to shoot the set off into the night sky. Love Bites brought out the lasers, and the song responsible for many stripper’s tips, Pour Some Sugar On Me had much of this older crowd on their feet before being followed by Armageddon It. Thirty years may have past for the now much older band but the audience still saw flashes of brilliance from this thoroughly English group.

The stage setup also catered for all fans with massive screens and a light show that was blinding in its number and array sequences. The screens were also put to good use showing graphics and vision of the band on stage and photos from their heyday including the nice touch of a tribute to former songwriter and guitarist Stephen Maynard Clark who passed away from alcohol poisoning in 1991.

With the most popular songs having already played, the set hit a lull by Run Riot, continuing through to Hysteria (which included a nod to David Bowie’s Heroes) and Excitable. However the encore gave the band a chance to put the pedal to the metal with the ballad When Love & Hate Collide and a sped up version of their 1992 hit Let’s Get Rocked.

Closing with the Photograph from 1983’s Pyromania it was a gratifying night for fans to celebrate the metal band’s legacy from a time when music peacocked unashamedly in all its glory.

By The Music 2018.


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