Evansville, IN - Media Reviews
Def Leppard didn't take center stage until 8:30 p.m.
The opening act of Ireland-based Rick Warwick was anything but exciting. Just imagine the sound of Rod Stewart mixed with some blues, a raspy voice and a singer in his late 20s who resembles a rough James Dean.
To a true rock music fan, it was like being forced to listen to elevator music for 30 minutes.
I'm just thankful the rock gods took pity on the crowd and brought out Viv Campbell, guitarist extraordinaire, to save the day. That one brief duo - which was hard to understand because of a language or accent barrier - resurrected life into the dying crowd. Or what was left of it, as most had ventured into the concourse. The appeal of popcorn or the occasional beer was better than Warwick's performance.
But that's OK, because the energy saved during Warwick's performance was used up five minutes into the main act's performance.
On a stage that seemed to have more lights than an airport runway, Def Leppard led off with hits such as 'Action,' 'Make Love Like a Man,' 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak' and 'Foolin'.' It wasn't until a few more songs into the set that lead singer Joe Elliott spoke to the crowd, using the stage as a platform to lend support to all troops stationed overseas. His few words then exploded into the smooth ballad 'Long Long Way To Go.' This was only the time the crowd was peaceful during the featured performers' set. Just about every lighter in the place was raised as arms and bodies swayed to the hit off the band's most recent album, "X."
No Def Leppard concert would be complete without some of the band's old-school songs, songs from the early days. And I wasn't disappointed as 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' and 'Two Steps Behind' were also given play time.
Of course, times - and fashions - have changed since the first time since Def Leppard took to an Evansville stage, which was in 1981. (The group also played Mesker Amphitheatre in 1999 and Roberts Stadium in 1992.)
Lead singer Joe Elliott donned an Abercrombie tank top, a far cry from his leather-wearing, oversized ripped T-shirt days. Nowadays, it seems that his fans are carrying on the tradition.
By Courier & Press 2003.
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