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Friday, 20th June 2008

Manchester, England - Media Reviews

Snakes and Leppards Rock The Arena By Martin Hutchinson

The Premier League of British Heavy Metal was on show at the MEN Arena as metal monsters Whitesnake and Def Leppard shook the very foundations of the building. First up (after guests Black Stone Cherry) were Whitesnake, and they really kicked the night off straight away with Best Years' and Fool For Your Loving'. The massive crowd lapped it up and frontman David Coverdale was in his element; after 30 years of fronting his own band following his departure from Deep Purple, he knows how to work an audience.

The voice was as strong as ever as the band ripped through their repertoire of classics. 'Ain't No Love In the Heart of The City', Is This Love', Love Ain't No Stranger', and Here I Go Again' to name but four had the crowd in ecstasy and the tracks from the new album were also well received. Aside from Coverdale, what a rock band need is a good guitarist, Whitesnake has two and one of the highlights of their set was the duel between their twin axemen Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach.

After they had gone we had hardly drawn breath when Def Leppard crashed onto the stage, and if anything, were louder and rockier than the Snakes! They too played tracks from their new album, the pick being Nine Lives'. Singer Joe Elliott is every bit as good a frontman as Coverdale as their cannon was given a good airing, from tracks like Hysteria', Armageddon It', When Love And Hate Collide' to Two Steps Behind' and Rock Of Ages'. The highlight for many was a solo from bassist Rick Savage, whose mind-blowing solo immediately preceded the Lepps' version of Rock On' from their album of covers called Yeah!'.

The volume of the music was almost physical as the band received the adulation they thoroughly warranted. Many of the audience were first-generation fans, who were - in some cases - a little long in the tooth, but that didn't stop them rocking the Arena to the rafters. Both bands may be celebrating 30 years of rocking, but they certainly ain't gonna go away anytime soon. And we should be thankful for that.

By The Bolton News 2008.

Whitesnake/Def Leppard @ M.E.N. Arena By Lee Meredith

AS AC/DC put it, 'For those about to rock, we salute you'. No truer words could have been spoken to express the feelings of the audience at the MEN Arena as two of rock's most successful acts rolled into town: Whitesnake and Def Leppard. To the unitiated, it probably seemed like a 'so what?' kind of pairing but the bands are very different beasts. David Coverdale and the boys in Whitesnake have a grittier, more blues-based catalogue to draw on. Def Leppard are, of course, the band that took America by storm with their pop-metal, hook-laden songs.

But first up were Whitesnake, with Coverdale looking every inch the straggly haired, lithe rock god.

Flanked by the unbelievable twin guitars of Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich,Coverdale's delivery on songs such as Fool For You Lovin', Here I Go Again and Is This Love? ensured that the crowd were hanging on his every word. The energy on stage was nothing short of phenomenal, especially when you consider that Coverdale has been keeping Whitesnake on the road for 30 years. Out of the new stuff, from their latest album Good To Be Bad, Lay Down Your Love made the biggest impression with its slide guitar riff and Coverdale's wonderfully rich, smoky vocal. Atmosphere - But the band knew what the fans were really there for and they delivered storming versions of Ain't No Love In The Heart of the City and Still of The Night. The atmosphere in the Arena was incredible, the whole place completely ecstatic watching and listening to a band at the top of their game.

So, one might think that Joe Elliott and the boys in Def Leppard might've been biting their fingernails backstage. How could anyone follow that? But you don't hit the heights that the Sheffield lads have hit without good reason. From a stunning montage on screen of the history of the band backed by some virtuoso guitar work, out they came. As soon as Joe took centre stage and cried: 'Geetar! Drums!' to signify their opener, Rocket, any doubts vanished.

Theirs was a set full of hits, delivering exactly what the fans wanted to hear: Animal, Hysteria, Make Love Like a Man, Rock of Ages and an awesome version of Bringin' On The Heartbreak, with its haunting, acoustic intro wrong-footing the listener when it beomes a full-blown belter of a song.

Guitarists Phil Collen and Phil Campbell play with incredible grace considering the massive sound that Def Lep are known for. Pour Some Sugar on Me had the audience punching the air as one and Let's Get Rocked hit the same dizzy heights. It was a masterclass in giving the crowd exactly what it wanted. This sort of rock is the critics' easy target but, at the end of the day, it's all about having a good time and a damn good time was had by all those who were at the Arena to see these bands. As Def Lep say, 'Rock Of Ages, still rollin', keep a-rollin''. Amen to that.

By Lee Meredith @ Manchester Evening News 2008.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake Manchester MEN Arena 20th June, 2008 By Howard Jones

30 years of Whitesnake, and while the vocal cords sounded a little hoarse, DC hit the top notes with gut-wrenching venom. Mixing the best of new album tracks Can You Hear The Wind Blow, Lay Down Your Love and Good To Be Bad with timeless classics Fool For Your Lovin', Love Ain't No Stranger, an acoustic Deeper The Love and crowd-pleaser Is This Love, all hands were in the air. Ain't No Love prompted the obligatory singalong followed by a thunderous Give Me All Your Love Tonight, anthemic Here I Go Again and blistering encore, Still Of The Night.

Joe Elliot and the boys brought the house down. A magnificent performance with a spectacular multimedia backdrop for opener Rocket, classics Animal, Make Love Like A Man, When Love And Hate Collide, an awesome acoustic Bringing On The Heartbreak, and perfect Hysteria followed. The sweet tone of Phil Collen's guitar heralded Armageddon It and the hits kept coming with the monumental Photograph and chorale of Pour Some Sugar On Me. Rock Of Ages and encores of Bad Actress and a tumultuous Let's Get Rocked left everyone in no doubt - they had been.

By Recodcollectormag 2008.

Media Review - Whitesnake & Def Leppard - MEN Arena By Greg Nixon

It's the heavyweight bout of the decade - two of the biggest names in rock co-headlining one of the largest indoor venues in the country. In the red corner we have a bunch of young bucks eager to prove their worth and fronted by one of the most charismatic and legendary figures in music. In the blue, a quintessentially English bunch of rockers with a line out forged out of tragedy. Both enter the arena on the backs of their best studio albums in 20 years.

It's the red corner first - Whitesnake hit the packed hall with singer David Coverdale in fine form - if not quite fine voice for the first couple of songs. Classics like Fool For Your Loving and Love Ain't No Stranger and material from latest album Good To Be Bad are rapturously received in equal measures. Coverdale's young comrades - especially guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach - bring new vision to three decades of hard rockin'.

With barely a pause, it's the blue corner's time to grab the limelight. With many in the audience wondering just how Def Leppard can possibly top what has just happened, the National Anthem blares across the PA system to a hoisting of the Union flag. And just as the patriotic are rising to their feet, Def Leppard hit the stage with Rocket, quickly followed by Come On from their latest album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. Frontman Joe Elliott leads the line with powerful vocals, with the rest of the band easing through the set with an almost arrogant swagger.

An acoustic segment threatens to pull the rug from under the whole performance, with the audience getting visibly restless, and it takes a mammoth effort to get the party cranked up again with old classics like Pour Some Sugar on Me and Armegeddon It. They pull it off, but only just.

By Lancashire Evening Post 2008.


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