Media Review -
Age shall not weary them was the message of the day.
And two veteran heavyweights of international rock certainly lived up to it as they wrapped up the Down Under leg of their world tour with a Remembrance Day show to remember at the AIS Arena last night.
Both into their third decades, British legends Def Leppard and American stars Cheap Trick delighted more than 3000 fans with a double dose of classic rock.
Rising Melbourne band The Galvatrons, featuring former Canberran Pete Lubulwa on keyboards, set the scene early with soaring Van Halen-esque epics.
Illinois export Cheap Trick wasted no time getting warmed up: frontman Robin Zander ditched his leather jacket within a couple of songs.
The original four members took fans on a trip down memory lane with such favourites as If You Want My Love You Got It and I Want You To Want Me, getting the crowd going. And it was loud cheers and swaying lighters that greeted 1988 power pop ballad The Flame.
But most of the crowd was there to see Def Leppard.
The strapping Sheffield quintet showed no signs of the legendary rock 'n' roll excesses of the '80s which claimed co-lead guitarist Steve Clark's life in 1991, except maybe in the fashion stakes.
Guitarist Phil Collen, in particular, was keen to flaunt his toned 50-something torso for everyone to see.
But, more importantly, the songs that sounded bigger and better than ever.
As the lights dimmed, the curtains opened on to a large screen which showed a montage of the band's history to the recorded strains of God Save The Queen.
As a Union Jack-coated missile flashed across the screen, the band appeared and launched into its 1987 hit single Rocket.
The band of Collen, Joe Elliott, Vivian Campbell, Rick Savage and one-armed drummer Rick Allen owned the stage and showed why it has sold 65 million albums worldwide, switching between tunes from this year's album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge and a healthy selection from well-worn classics Hysteria and Pyromania.
By Matthew Heath @ The Canberra Times 2008.