Get Updates/News. Updates/News by RSS Feed. Updates/News by Email. Get The Community Toolbar. Get The Community Toolbar.
Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Media Review - Journey, Def Leppard Score Big By Brian Rose

On a day when the space shuttle Discovery launched back into space, two of the world's most successful rock bands blasted into Raleigh.

More than 11,000 people packed Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek on a humid Tuesday night, choosing to celebrate America's birthday with a bunch of British rock stars -- Def Leppard. Of course, that's only half true. Journey, which calls San Francisco home, opened the show.

Both bands gained worldwide popularity in the 1980s: Journey with songs such as "Don't Stop Believin' " and "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" and Def Leppard with "Rock of Ages" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Each band focused on these hits Tuesday while sprinkling in new songs as well.

Journey took the stage first, opening with "Faith in the Heartland," a song off its latest album, "Generations." Singer Steve Augeri's voice echoed across the lawn, welcoming the crowd and urging fans to stand and sing.

Each member of Journey got in on the action. Guitarist Neal Schon delivered a stirring version of the national anthem, while keyboardist Jonathan Cain played a little rhythm guitar and sang a new song as well.

Augeri, who joined the band in 1998 when a throat condition sidelined longtime singer Steve Perry, belted out most of the songs. But the singer, who sounds remarkably similar to Perry, said he was feeling a little under the weather. So drummer Deen Castronovo filled in on singing some songs, including the ballads "Faithfully" and "Open Arms." Castronovo even helped out Augeri on the high notes of several songs. It was interesting to see the two trade off on verses and choruses throughout the night.

Even more interesting, though, was watching the crowd sing along with the band on nearly every song, especially on hits such as "Wheel in the Sky," "Stone in Love," "Any Way You Want It" and "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin.' " THOUGH DEF LEPPARD is promoting "Yeah!," its new album of 1970s covers, it spent most of the night rolling through its 1980s hits. The band opened with "Let It Go," off 1981's "High 'n' Dry," then roared through "Let's Get Rocked," a song from 1992's "Adrenalize." Singer Joe Elliott greeted the crowd in his scratchy voice, then joined his band mates in marching through '80s hits such as "Animal," "Armageddon It," "Photograph," "Rock of Ages" and more.

Guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell traded licks on "Hysteria," while one-armed drummer Rick Allen pounded the beats in an extended ver sion of "Rocket." All these songs came from 1983's "Pyromania" and 1987's "Hysteria," albums that have sold more than 10 million copies each.

Def Leppard stormed through its 80- minute set, saving a ballad - and per haps its most popular song - for the encore. As Collen and Campbell strummed the opening to "Love Bites," thousands of lighters flickered across the venue. The crowd even joined Elliott in singing the entire song.

In honor of the Fourth of July, Alltel Pavilion offered fireworks following the show. Elliott asked the crowd "not to for get us," then said, "We won't forget you." It all made for a memorable evening. If you missed the show, you've got another chance to see some great music. The tour returns to North Carolina on July 15, with a 7:30 p.m. show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte.

By Brian Rose @ Burlington Times News 2006.