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Monday, 30th October 2005

Little Rock, AR - Media Reviews

They Rocked Us By Jim Harris

We fully expected to tell you that Monday’s Def Leppard concert was as powerful as expected while Journey’s syrupy ’80s stuff and the faux Steve Perry singing bored us to tears. Well, stop the presses.

Let’s start with Journey, who preceded Def Leppard in front of a crowd of 6,808 fans.

Def Leppard’s sound mix was cleaner than Journey’s, and its stage show had more fireworks. Both bands made use of a long video screen behind them, and both also took us back in time with band photos from much earlier tours, reminding us all of just how old we’ve become.

Def Leppard front man Joe Elliott, though he’s heftier and has trimmed back some hair from the “Pyromania” days, came close to duplicating the energy of the much younger Soto. But it was the splendid guitar work of Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen (who also joined Journey for “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ ”) that stood out. Neither man suffered when the other took the lead, which was often. One-armed drummer Rick Allen got a much deserved ovation late in the show, and bassist Sav Savage got his time to shine with a thumping attack on the classic cover “Rock On.” Like Journey, Def Leppard hit all the high points in a career that broke big in 1983 with “Photograph.” “Rock of Ages” was extremely strong as the regular set closer, but so was a cover of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” off their new release, “Yeah.”

Stoll Vaughan, a lanky singer-songwriter obviously from the Dylan-Springsteen school of writing and performing, opened with a likeable but short set that included a song he performed with Journey’s Cain and bassist Ross Valory. He’s worth checking out at www.stollvaughan.com.

By Arkansas Times 2006.


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