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Saturday, 26th September 1992

Oakland, CA - Media Reviews

Lep-tastic! By Peter Cole

Def Leppard may be a lot of things, but they'll never be guilty of cutting corners when it comes to putting on a live show. There are so many gigantic lighting rigs and speaker banks hanging from the ceiling, it's a wonder the Coliseum's roof can hold them up - especially with "Pour Some Sugar On Me" blasting out of the PA at some ungodly decibel level. They've also brought lasers, a motorised drum riser and smoke machines, but it's the in-the-round stage concept that leaves Leppard's competition standing in the dust.

Appropriately, 'Dirty Harry' starts the proceedings: "This is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it'll blow your head clean off. So you've gotta ask yourself one question...Do ya wanna get rocked?" Joe Elliott asks the question and 15,000 crazed Californians erupt into pandemonium. "Let's Get Rocked" careers into "Tear it Down", "Too Late For Love" reminds us of the grandeur of the past, but a stunning acoustic version of "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" is as far back as they go these days. (In some of my wet dreams, they rip through "High 'N' Dry" in it's entirety, and that's probably why I'm not in charge of the setlist.)

From where I sit, the sound is flawless. All the amps are tucked away somewhere, leaving miles of open stage for Collen, Campbell, Savage and Elliott to navigate, and everyone has a clear view of the whole set-up. Rick Allen continues to prove that he is one hell of a drummer, and wins over the baseball fans by showing up for the encores wearing an Oakland A's cap. Joe Elliott adds some humour to the evening by offering up the first few bars of "Enter Sandman" on his acoustic guitar, which nets him thunderous applause from Metallica's hometown fans.

The rest of the set contains no surprises, and is pretty much a Top 40 countdown of the last three or four years. "Gods of War", "Armageddon It" and "Rock of Ages" stand above the rest tonight, though there's not much filler material on offer. The possible exception to that is the atrocious "Make Love Like a Man", but if they substituted "Another Hit and Run", we'd be taking about one of the best arena shows in recent memory.

Def Leppard are the biggest British rock band in the US for a reason - they give their fans what they want, and nobody went home disappointed tonight.

By Kerrang! 1992.


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