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Wednesday, 17th September 2003

Grande Prairie, AB - Media Reviews

Leppard rocks the house By Dale Woodard

"It was 20 years ago that we first touched down on Canadian soil," said Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott to a packed Canada Games Arena Wednesday night. "If you keep making this kind of noise we'll keep coming back again, and again and again"

See you soon, Joe!

Proving there's still a viable market for bands coming out of the 1980s, Brit-rockers Def Leppard mowed down an appreciative crowd of 3,000 strong with an impressive package of hits from yesteryear mixed with current material from the bands latest album "X".

And judging by the packed house of ladies in '80's-style outfits combined with the guys decked out in jean jackets and big-hair wigs, the Leppard faithful got what they paid for.

Dipping into their vault of hits from their multi-platinum Pyromania and Hysteria days, the fivesome hailing from Sheffield, England, kept fists pumping and bodies wriggling, hitting the stage with an energetic rendition of Let It Go before shifting gears into some of the bands '90s, material, trotting out Make Love Like A Man as the first post-80s tune of the night.

Elliott kept the microphone wielding, crowd taunting proceedings going, bounding back and forth across the stage, drawing ample response to whatever side of the arena he gestured to.

Bassist Rick Savage - with his ever-present wireless microphone - was equally as mobile, holding down not only the bottom end, but some impressive backup vocals.

More content to stay on their respective sides of the stage, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell were no less impressive, showing some six-string pyrotechnics - most notably a wildy entertaining guitar duel during the Hysteria hit, Rocket - showing what some of these dropped-tuned, nu-metal bands have forgotten in past years - guitar solos are cool.

Holding down the backbeat as he has been doing for past quarter-century for the band, Rick Allen and his specially designed kit to accommodate the one-armed drummer didn't miss a beat and the skinsman was given his due from the appreciative crowd when introduced before Rock Of Ages.

While the band broke out their current material, such as Elliott strapping on an acoustic guitar to lead the band through Now, the first single off of X, it was the Hysteria material in which the band hit their biggest home runs of the night.

While the band still managed to keep up the pace when slowing the show down for a few acoustic numbers, which included a Collen-led shortened rendition of Miss You In A Heartbeat which eventually gave way to Two Steps Behind, Hysteria hits Animal, Rocket, Women and Pour Some Sugar On Me were met with feverish response and established without a doubt what the packed throng in the Canada Games Arena came to hear.

The hair metal band from the 1980s may have slightly less hair than they once had, but on Wednesday night this Leppard made it clear they still have claws. (Four Leppard spots out of five).

By Daily Herald Tribune 2003.


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