San Diego, CA - Fan Reviews
Fan Review - By Tammy
Anticipation and excitement filled the air. I had not seen Def Leppard since the promo concert they did in Boston on September 21, 2002. I had heard Now in concert three times, Four Letter Word once, and had not yet heard any other songs from "X" performed live. The Cox Arena and surrounding area was packed with fans of all ages in a variety of styles of dress. There was a carnival like atmosphere outside the arena once you passed within the outer gated area. There were numerous booths selling popcorn, cotton candy, mementos, T-shirts, and other types of food.
Being a charity event with numerous acts there were many announcements and delays before the headliners performed. My excitement to watch Def Leppard kept rising with each delay.
LeAnn Rimes has grown up quite a bit in the last few years. She is no longer the little girl who sang with Elton John. With her talented vocal performance and stage presence, she seemed to win over the crowd although at the start of her performance, most of the audience did not seem interested. Near the end of her performance, and all the acts to follow, "snow" came down from above. I guess it was to get us in the holiday spirit. This may have been the only snow to fall in San Diego during the holiday season. John Mayer followed. He seemed to have been more popular in Boston. His music was not really my style, but he did okay. Again, the "snow" came down.
The stage was set up with two "sets" back to back, so the next act could be setting up while the current act was performing. The stage rotated, and Jewel and her band appeared. There were obviously numerous Jewel fans in the crowd. They roared and screamed, singing along with her throughout her performance. But still I waited. One of Jewel's guitarists wore a Def Leppard T-shirt. It was a great reminder that "the best was yet to come".
A local DJ?, celebrity, whoever she was, interviewed Def Leppard back stage and they showed the audience the clips. Just a little tease to keep us Def Leppard fans hanging around. Next up, the Goo Goo Dolls. We were getting closer to the headliners. At least we now had some rockin' going on. I had never seen the Goo Goo Dolls in concert before and they were not what I had expected from the music videos I had seen. Johnny Reznick was a bit sloppily dressed, in tattered tennis shoes, white socks, and pants that stopped mid-calf. The outfit wasn't very flattering for a lead singer, especially one as short as he is. There performance was fun though, and I did like the live version of "Iris."
Finally, the stage rotated and Def Leppard appeared. Thunderous applause erupted from the crowd. The band sounded fantastic. Joe's vocals were strong and clear, but at times his voice got drowned out a bit by the guitars and drums. He had on his silver shiny shirt and looked as wonderful as ever, although his hair had a little flip to it and was in need of a trim. Joe's voice was even better than I remembered. Sav seemed in tremendous spirits, quite the showman tonight, with the traditional hair raise we all know and love. He knows how to drive the crowd wild! Phil was his normal, playful, flirty, friendly self, playing to the crowd every second. Vivian seemed to be having a blast, grinning from ear to ear. And Rick, steady as ever, was hidden away behind the drums. All of the guys seemed to be really into being back performing live. It is such a blast to watch performers who actually seem to enjoy and appreciate their fans.
The set list was similar to that of the Boston show, except "Foolin'" was left out. The enthusiasm of the crowd was great. 'Now' received a decent reception, and then following "Love Bites", as they played "Photograph", then "Rocket", and "Armageddon It", the crowd grew louder and louder. By the time they played "Sugar", everyone seemed so into the music, it was great! Then, they finished up, fittingly, with "Rock of Ages". Although the crowd really wanted one, no encore was performed.
It seems that with the multi-act concerts, some people in the crowd leave after hearing their favorite band perform. In Boston, Def Leppard lost many from the audience, but at the Jingle Ball in San Diego, the majority of the crowd stayed and rocked to the end. It was a great night with no disappointments. What a great way to start off the tour. I was very glad to see Def Leppard back in concert. They were like old friends I had not seen for far too long.
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