This section looks at the first show of the 'X/Ten' world tour in Sendai, Japan. A tour that lasted from November 2002 to final tour leg in Europe in November 2003.
"All things considered, a successful evenings work!."
Def Leppard started their year long X/Ten world tour in Sendai, Japan on this day in 2002.
The show took place at the Zepp Sendai venue on 17th November 2002 and was the start of an 8 date Japanese tour to kick off a year on the road.
The 'X/Ten' album had been released in2002 and initially promoted with a sporadic four month promo tour.
The main 151 world tour did not start until November and saw the band expand their setlist from the last few tours.
Between 22 and 24 songs were played each night for the first four or five months of the tour.
On the first night in Sendai the band opened the show with the first ever playing of 'Ring Of Fire' which featured some co-lead vocal parts by Rick Savage.
By the second night the band were opening with Side One of the 'High 'n' Dry' which was also a first and the setlist was changed up each night. Over three nights in Tokyo 31 different songs were played.
Only four new songs from the current album were played during the tour - 'Now', 'Four Letter Word', 'You're So Beautiful' and 'Long Long Way To Go'.
Following the Japanese leg the band travelled to the USA for 10 main shows after opening with a radio festival show in San Diego.
A UK/Irish tour followed in February 2003 before a huge late March to early October US/Canadian tour.
For the first time in many year the band would then return to the UK for a second run of 10 shows in October and were joined on stage by Queen's Brian May on the last night at Hammersmith Odeon in London.
A short European tour followed which ended with the band's first ever shows in Russia and the final 151st show in Moscow on 24th November 2003.
It was later revealed the band originally planned to play a 29 song set before shortening it down to 21 to 23 songs during the Japanese tour.
Read Joe's thoughts as he was interviewed just after the tour began in Japan and his Tour Diary. As in the UK/Europe the album cover in Japan was also a black X on a white background.
Joe Elliott - November 2002 Interview Quotes
"Fantastic. Absolutely beautiful. We started off in Sendai. And then for the first time ever we went to Kanazawa. And then Nagoya, Osaka and then Yokohama. And then three nights in Tokyo. The crowds have been great. I think they've also got, they're aware of now. Internet, rumour, talking, telephone, that we're doing a different set every night. And some nights we're opening up with side one of 'High 'n' Dry'. And other nights we're opening up with like 'Ring Of Fire'. We're doing, we've got you know in the pool of songs at least one song from every album. So you know it's different each night. And I think that's good for the band for the audience."
"It is but I think you know Def Leppard, we wanna come across as a rock band. Not a heavy metal band, but as a rock band. And you know it'd be very easy for us to open with 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)' because we've done it so many times or 'Stagefight'. But we wanted to do something that had the same impact but was new. Or at least we've never done if before. So in actual fact Sendai is the first time ever we played 'Ring Of Fire'. So the first time we ever did it was actually in Japan which I think is nice. But it is it's totally hardcore but it's a great fast number and it gets the crowd going and then we keep it up with two more songs where it's just bang, bang, bang. It gets the energy level going."
"They, it's funny, even in Sendai, the first night I was really surprised. I sing a lot with my eyes closed but when we do the new material my eyes are open. Anybody walking out?. You know and 'You're So Beautiful' went down like an old song. You know it went down the same as 'Animal' and 'Photograph' almost. It was amazing. 'Long Long Way To Go', they listen to the song. They stand there while we perform it like this. And then when it finishes they cheer and clap."
"And also 'Now' because they've seen the video no doubt. They join in on that one. And 'Four Letter Word' as well. And 'Four Letter Word' in. When we end 'Four Letter Word' the cheer I think for the last three shows has been louder each time. It's been as loud or even louder than for things like ''Pour Some Sugar On Me'. It's amazing. It's very flattering and it's hard to understand how these songs have become so popular so quickly. But I think what it is, is they just enjoy the band's performance and they're cheering all the songs. There's not really a dip."
Joe Elliott - November 2002 X/Ten Tour Diary
The Tour Has Started - Part One
"We're off!!! Welcome to Def Leppard on tour 2002!
"I'm writing this the morning after the first gig, at the airport, waiting for the flight to Kanazawa, destination of our second gig. And so it goes on; one down, er, many more to go!"
"Last night's show was in a city called Sendai, about 2 hours from Tokyo on the bullet train, which believe me, deserves the name - it's almost as fast as a plane! Consequently, anywhere in Japan is not that far away, time-wise at least. Today though, we fly."
"Yesterday's gig was a bit of an event for a lot of reasons. Firstly, as it was a Sunday, we were on stage at 6.00 PM! In Japan, it is customary to go on stage early, but Sundays are even earlier. Secondly, we have a support act on this tour, something that NEVER happens in Japan unless it is a festival situation. My good friend and fellow football/soccer freak Ricky Warwick is opening up for us here, after a suggestion by our record company was given the thumbs up by all of us. I produced his solo album which is released here on Christmas Day, so it's a good opportunity for Ricky to do some shows as well as promotion. Two birds with one stone, as they say."
"Thirdly, we have rehearsed enough songs for this tour (at least one from every album) to do a different set every night. Something that will keep us from getting bored, hopefully entertain you guys, and as well as keeping it fresh. Anybody coming more than once will hear something different each time. Of course the old favourites are there, but you'd be amazed how refreshing it is to play some of the old stuff in a different order to our usual running order (example: listen to "REMASTERS" by Led Zeppelin)."
Joe Elliott - November 2002 X/Ten Tour Diary
The Tour Has Started - Part Two
"So on to the show. Ricky played for about 25 minutes, which went down well with the crowd, so that was a good start! Our intro tape started the second he finished and ten minutes later we were on stage opening with a song we've never played live before. Yes folks, we blitzed Sendai with "RING OF FIRE"! Nice change from 'ROCK! ROCK! TILL YOU DROP", "STAGEFRIGHT", or "LET'S GET ROCKED". Because of the Sunday curfew and the fact that we had to catch the last train to Tokyo (not Clarksville!!), last night's gig had to be kept down to around 90 minutes, which was still a good length but rest assured, the show will grow as we get used to playing a different set every night."
"I'm not going to go through the whole set, that's somebody else's job (!) but suffice to say, it's very varied, covers a lot of eras and looks good!!! Kenji, our lighting engineer on the Japanese leg of the tour, did a fantastic job for a first night (I filmed it and we watched it on the journey back to Tokyo) and Ronan, our out front sound engineer, by all reports was outstanding (update: just heard a DAT tape of last night, possibly the best desk tape I've ever heard, sentiments echoed by Rick, Viv, Phil and Sav!) so all things considered, a successful evenings work!"
"I'm in seat 1C and I feel the plane start to descend, so time for me to go. I hope this keeps you guys happy for a while, I'll keep you updated periodically and we will post some pictures as well as soon as I get my head around how to link all this technology together!"
"Until next time we meet, either in your town or on your computer. Be good to yourself and go easy on your neighbour!"
Luv 'n' peace, Joe."
Joe Elliott - April 2003 Interview Quotes
"We are better now than we were on the Hysteria tour, better than we were on the Euphoria tour. I think we've become comfortable in the skin that we're in. We're very focused, we're getting along very well with each other. There's no fighting. We travel together, we don't stay in separate hotels. We genuinely are a real rock and roll group. We take it on the road, we celebrate what we do, and people I think get off on that. They feel it, they see it, they sense it that this is not fake."
"Rock and roll, the bad boy thing, doesn't have to be throwing teles out the window. It's all about music. Everything's about the music. Give me a great song any day."
View the location of the Zepp Sendai venue which closed down in 2017.
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