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Wednesday, 15th November 2006

Bossier City, LA - Media Reviews

In: Never stop believin' in Journey By Stephanie Netherton

The CenturyTel Center parted like the Red Sea on Nov. 15. Some fans turned out to hear Journey, while others came for Def Leppard.

But preferences dissolved once the lights dimmed. People were there to have a good time. Both groups put on seamless performances and entertained the crowd for more than three hours.

The center wasn't quite packed, but the event drew large numbers for a cold and windy Wednesday.

Originally, when I found out a chronic throat infection would keep Steve Augeri from joining Journey on stage at the CenturyTel, I was a little disappointed. Journey without Steve? Is that even possible.

From the first song Jeff Soto proved me wrong. With a voice seemingly identical to Augeri, he made the music still sound like Journey. And if Soto's voice wasn't enough to win you over to the younger, second-string singer, when he returned to the stage for an encore performance wearing a Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs jersey the crowd erupted in cheers.

However, the best Journey performances of the night came from drummer Deen Castronovo who led the band in "Open Arms" and "Faithfully." Castronovo's singing talent easily equals his drumming skills.

Journey closed their performance with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Any Way You Want It," rounding out the hour and a half of non-stop favorites.

After a brief intermission, Def Leppard started their show with a bang, setting off pyrotechnics and revving up the crowd.

Multiple songs by the group are worthy of their title as "stripper anthems," and last night's performance proved that to be the absolute truth.

Some ladies sitting around my friends and me couldn't resist the call of these anthems. Dancing as though they were struggling to keep their clothes on, these older gals had succumbed to the temptations of Def Leppard. But I'm sure this is nothing new for a band that's been performing for almost 30 years.

"Hysteria," "Foolin" and "Love Bites" had the audience singing along, while "Pour Some Sugar on Me" ended the performance on a high note.

The arena gave drummer Rick Allen much-deserved praise. Cheers poured from the stands when lead singer Joe Elliot called on the crowd to applaud the drummer. The musician lost his left arm in a car accident in 1984.

If there is a band that deserves credit for their ability to survive, it's Def Leppard. Enduring Allen's injury as well as the death of bandmate Steve Clark, the band says the music keeps them going.

"When Steve Clark died I was ready to call it a day. But we knew we had to carry on. We recorded 'Adrenalize' with Steve and we owed it to him to see it through," Phil Collen, said. "Now, we're doing what we love doing."

The concert ended with a promise from Def Leppard that we'd see them again soon. I think most of us at the CenturyTel on Nov. 15 hope it's true.

By The Shreveport Times 2006.


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