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Thursday, 28th November 1996

Exeter, England - Media Reviews

Media Review - Def Just Rocked 'em Solid By NB

World famous rock band Def Leppard came, saw and effectively conquered Exeter University's Lemon Grove last night. The band performed at the university because students drank more Coca Cola products in a three-week period than any other campus in the country. And hotfoot from Wembley Arena, where they played to 10,000 fans, the Sheffield five-piece gave their all in front of a 700-strong Lemon Grove crowd.

There should, in theory, have been something faintly ridiculous about five thirtysomething stadium rockers wringing out their souls in front of 700 at the Lemmy.

But Def Leppard, cast iron professionals that they are, sank to the occasion with gusto. Sheffield's most famous export since stainless steel came determined to make the most of this hastily arranged charity gig.

The light show was non-existent, the sound system was pared from 30,000 to 3,000 watts and there was no support. But the Defs arrived on stage to the backing on Queen's We Will Rock You. And it took Joe Elliott and the boys roughly 30 seconds to show this was no empty promise. I swear there were diehard fans hugging each other as the Defs launched into Everybody Wants a Piece of the Action. They put the rock back into punk rock with a cover of the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant and the rest of the evening continued on in the same vein ... an oldie here, a goldie there, cranked-up covers and material from their current album Slang. By five songs in, Elliott had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Once a stadium rocker, always a stadium rocker, but Def Leppard are such showmen that they don't know how to put on a low-key gig.

By Express & Echo 1996.


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