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Saturday, 21st October 2006

Fargo, ND - Media Reviews

Leppard, Journey 'Faithfully' serve up vintage rock By John Lamb

The North Dakota State University Bison loss Saturday afternoon may have left football fans crushed, but Def Leppard made the “Heartbreak” hurt so good that night.

The British hard rock group alternated between ballads (“Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”) and anthems (“Let’s Get Rocked”) while playing to a standing crowd of 8,512 at the Fargodome.

Just as Journey packed the hits into its 90-minute set, Def Leppard slashed through its back catalog of 20-plus years.

Singer Joe Elliott emerged from the darkness to ask the waiting crowd, “You wanna get rocked?”

The answer, overwhelmingly, was yes. Just a few songs into the set, “Foolin’” had fans throwing their fists, or fists holding beers, into the air.

Elliott’s vocals seemed strained at first, and the arena rockers benefited from the rest of the band filling out the choruses. Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell’s guitars sang in unison, however, on “Heartbreak” and the slower “Hysteria” before the fivepiece launched into ’60s covers “20th Century Boy” and “Rock On” from the new album, “Yeah.”

Vintage is a marketing theme for Def Leppard these days. Faded Tshirts from 1990’s “Hysteria” album sold for $35, and Union Jack sleeveless tees, Elliott’s fashion statement in the early ’80s, sold for $45.

If Def Leppard, Journey or the Far godome really wanted to tap into the market, they would’ve sold lighters. Few were in the air for the evening’s ballads.

By In-Forum 2006.


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