Media Review - By Alison Joy
While tonight's show outwardly appeared to be just another well-oiled cog in the Def Leppard wheel of perfection, things behind the scenes were not quite so silky-smooth. Two roadies had been injured during the hump-in, and Joe Elliott had spent the day with his head in a bowl of steam, trying to repair a throat so battered the band had to cut short the set at their last show two days ago.
Fortunately, for Joe at least, all was right on the night.
Still atop their treasured in-the-round stage set-up, and playing for well over two hours a night, this tour is one of the very few hard rock bandwagons holding it's own in recession-crippled America. Tonight is the first of two dates in this cavernous sports arena, and Def Leppard go down better than a field of truffles laid in front of a starving pig. 'Let's Get Rocked', acts as the starting gun, going off in a cloud of guts 'n' bluster and creating a frenzy on the floor.
Stateside Def Leppard's fans are still quite young - though none the less frenetic for it. Also, the girls are just as likely to shout, "Joe, you're horny!" (and I quote!), as they are to swoon along to the lyrics of, 'Hysteria' or 'Have You Ever...'. Def Leppard's teen spirit is still alive, and that cross-over appeal is more important than ever right now, putting bums on seats, no question.
Vivian Campbell is positively basking in the attention, sashaying to the far reaches of all the stage's ramps and gyrating in a very suggestive manner to the girlies at the front. The grin on his face suggests a 12-year-old who's just found out what his Dick really does.
'Hysteria', is, of course, supremely mind-altering, a masterpiece of song and emotion that never fails to do the trick. Then, in complete contrast, they go into 'Make Love Like A Man', humorously introduced by Mr Elliott as, 'a little bit of Caveman rock!'. No women were dragged across the stage by their hair, so we'll let the tongue-in-cheek intro speak for itself.
'White Lightning' is preceded by the now traditional kiss towards the heavens for Steve Clark, and after 'Rocket' comes a part of the show not seen by British fans. Joe, Sav, Phil and Viv sit on the stage with acoustics, start strumming a well-known song each, then leave the fans to deal with the lyrics. Phil does 'Back in Black, Viv 'Enter Sandman', Sav Leppard's own 'Tonight' and Joe 'Smells Like teen Spirit'; only Nirvana confuses the young Leppard crowd, and they bow out after the first coupla words.
Phil Collen's birthday is celebrated with a cake and that well-known song (though thankfully without the threatened stripper!), but one of the finest moments comes during 'Rock of Ages' when I glance to my right and see Kath (mother of Rick) Allen's face lit up with utter pride at watching her son do what he does best.
'Sugar' and 'Love Bites' mark the final furlong, then the band return one final time for the classic 'Photograph', with Joe decked out in the colours of the town's local footie team, the Green Bay Packers. The team's baseball cap is flung triumphantly into the audience at the very end, and another notch of excellence is marked on the Def Leppard bedsted.
For the residents of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Christmas came 17 days early.
By Alison Joy @ Kerrang! 1992.