Uniondale, NY - Media Reviews
Squier Of Hard Rock Bitten By Leppard By Barry Millman
Chalk one up for creative promoting. Def Leppard, with a brand new spanking new hit album charting all over the place, opening up for Billy Squier, whose album Emotions In Motion spawned several singles earlier this year and is now on the wane, initially appeared an unlikely pairing, both in terms of ideologies mirrored in the way the two bands approach their craft. While the near sellout show indicated Squier's surly swagger and the Leppard's scathing brand of arena-cide brought to the fore a vivid polarization of two powerful armies of style in rock.
Launching the combat was Def Leppard, taking the stage under somewhat different circumstances from their last visit two years ago opening for Van Halen, an appearance that was about as well-received as a papal assassination attempt. Indeed, at that time Van Halen was the true icon of the genre and many loyalists perceived Def Leppard to be mere pretenders to their heroes' holy throne.
Returning to the wide open spaces of the Uniondale plains to a deafening cacophony the young Britishers must have felt like the Ayatollah returning from exile. And they played their new roles as megasonic saviours to the hilt. Lead vocalist Joe Elliott was a commanding figure as the band announced their terms in "Rock Brigade," a declaration of epic proportion, in which the band bared its collective new image as defenders of din.
"Next up was the ear-pummelling title track from the High 'n' Dry LP, featuring the patented barre chording of Steve "Steamin'" Clark and new addition Phil Collen. "Another Hit And Run" also from that same album made the transition from vinyl to live performance with astounding clarity, the murderous bass playing of Rick Savage and the incendiary pounding of drummer Rick Allen evoking aural images of a wind blown train wreck.
"Billy's Got A Gun" from their newest offering Pyromania was sufficiently sinister owning much to Elliott's astonishing talent for menacing the listener with his hair-raising voice. "Photograph" displayed admirable four-part harmonies that seemed difficult too duplicate when heard on record, were translated effortlessly to the stage by the boys with some cagey choreography to boot. "Rock Of Ages" and "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" drew splendid performances from both band and audience alike.
The group finished with "Let It Go," the woofer-tearing nugget from High 'n' Dry, and "Wasted" from their debut record. Elliott and Savage donned guitars to join Clark and Collen at centerstage for the former in a four-pronged attempt to knock the giant scoreboard loose from the ceiling and very nearly succeeded. "Wasted" never having received much airplay, was echoed by a surprisingly large portion of the assembled brethen, many of whom seemed perfect illustrations for its didactic lyrics on the joys of misspent youth. With that, they excited in a hurry to leave behind a large coterie of staunch new fans along with the satisfied faithful.
Note - Thehere was as the opening act for Ozzy Osbourne (alongside The Joe Perry project) and not Van Halen.
By Good Times 1983.
Media Review - Squier Of Hard Rock Bitten By Leppard By Billboard
"Opening act Def Leppard, touring to promote their current album, 'Pyromania,' were a major disappointment."
"Their nine-song, 50-minute set got off to a slow starts, and only after the third song did the audience really begin to warm up to them, and vice versa."
"Songs performed included 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)', 'Photograph', 'Billy's Got A Gun' and 'Bringin' On the Heartbreak'."
"They all seemed to suffer from a certain sameness, and it seemed as if the band were still a little bit nervous about it all."
"Maybe a few more months on the road will tighten them up."
By Billboard 1983.
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