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Wednesday, 5th November 2008

Sydney, NSW - Media Reviews

Def Leppard @ Acer Arena By hermacita

An hour and a half later and the main act hit the stage, with Rocket accompanied by a collage of Def Leppard's history on the backdrop screen. The boys hit the ground running, launching into Animal and C'mon C'mon from their latest offering The Sparkle Lounge. Though their songs may be a little cheesy, they nevertheless are tight and polished. The crowd loved them as they sashayed through hit after hit.

Pyromania's Foolin was followed by Adrenalize's Make Love Like A Man and completed with Nine Lives from The Sparkle Lounge, with an extended guitar interlude. Such was the diversity of the set list - a healthy mix of songs from each album that illustrated their longevity.

Love Bites came out of nowhere to a rapturous applause with a nice extended solo from Vivian Campbell. Joe Elliott's vocals were crisp as he held his notes. This was best exemplified by the acoustic Two Steps Behind, as all band members (less drummer Rick Allen) ascended to the front of the stage for their harmonious number. It was accompanied by Bringin On The Heartbreak, ending in an explosive version for an aluminous finish.

Amidst a guitar solo or two, the treats flowed with Hysteria, Armageddon, Pour Some Sugar On Me, When Love and Hurt Collide and Let's Get Rocked. The guitar solos were lucid yet restrained, further exemplifying the sophistication and careful consideration of the band onstage. Though tickets were not cheap, this concert was worth saving up for.

By Fasterlouder 2008.

Def Leppard Leave Sydney Feeling Rocked! By Cameron Edney

As their set came to an end I knew it was only going to be a matter of minutes before I would be seeing Def Leppard live for the very first time!

The lights went out...a massive video wall set up behind Rick Allen's drum kit began to show footage of Def Leppard from the bands humbled Sheffield beginnings right up to the bands present work and latest album 'Songs from the Sparkle Lounge' A voice says "That was then...this is now" and the band appear to a roaring crowd and break into 'Rocket'! Wow what an amazing way to open the show, first thing that came to mind when the band took to the stage was how amazing they were all looking, the years have been very kind to them and they were all working the stage really well and made fantastic use of the cat-walk. Fans in rows 15 - 25 all of a sudden had their own front-row experiences and it was fantastic to be able to see their faces and reactions as various members worked the cat-walk! Joe's vocals were in top form from start to finish and his improvising on certain notes which these days may be unreachable was refreshing. I would have been disappointed if he went for certain notes and never hit em! The guitar work of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell was truly amazing to witness live after being a fan of both guys for so many years but by far the stand outs for me were Rick Savage and Rick Allen! The rhythm section was one of the best I have seen this year...tight, in time, and pounding! After the bands opening explosion, they broke into one of my all-time favorite songs...Animal WOW...after soooooo many years hearing this song live in the flesh was a little overwhelming, as the band played live I was watching the video clip in my mind, seeing Steve Clark kicking the hay around, the circus animals, knives being thrown at Joe, it was all rushing back!

Through-out the whole show the lighting and sound for Def Leppard was truly exceptional and upon some of the best I have witnessed this year. The Set-list was perfect for fans of most of the bands era's, playing for 95 minutes, the band certainly delivered all their hits as well as brand new rockin material! Hits played during the course of the show included 'Armageddon It', 'Make Love Like A Man', 'Love Bites', 'Foolin' and the band's latest single 'Nine Lives' which was really impressive live! There is no doubt that Def Leppard's set was full of high after high for me, when the band broke into 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' the crowd went nuts, Sydney is certainly one hell of a vocal crowd and 'Pour Some Sugar on me', 'Let's Get Rocked' and 'Rock of Ages' as well as the bands acoustic version of 'Two steps Behind' were received well from the crowd, letting Def Leppard know just how much they were loved! For me there were too many stand-out tracks to single out, but one song which was a real highlight for me was the bands semi-acoustic version of 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak'. I had never heard the song performed live like that and it blew me away! On the bands performance of that song alone, right there and then, I decided that I wanted to attend the bands Wollongong show just to witness the brilliance again! The acoustic opening really made it feel like a different song and the crowd's participation was breathtaking! If I had to pick a few minutes of the concert which was to be the highlight for me, 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak' was it!

As the show drew to a close, the band continued to belt out chart topping hits that the fans couldn't get enough of! Joe Elliott promised the fans that it wouldn't be fifteen years before they returned to Australia and I am sure that every single person in the arena that night would be returning to see them again when they come back! Closing with 'Rock of Ages' and 'Let's get Rocked' made it the perfect way to end such an epic set. When it comes to the bands performance, there is no possible way they could be faulted, after hearing many reports leading up to the Australian shows which stated that Joe Elliot mimes, I can assure anyone interested in seeing these guys live that the voice onstage is 110% Joe Elliott, it's live and it's fuckin brilliant, a few slight off notes here and there add to the uniqueness and purity of the liver performance and Joes vocal abilities certainly helped to enhance my enjoyment overall not only during the Sydney show but also during the bands performance in Wollongong! As the show wrapped up the band took to the stage to take a bow, get a little closer to fans, walking out on the cat-walk, shaking hands, giving out guitar picks etc and as Rick Allen emerged from the drum kit a huge roar erupted, a drumming performance which was worthy of a standing ovation and one I will never forget! A few days after the bands Sydney show, I had the great pleasure of meeting Rick, only hours before the bands Wollongong performance and I couldn't help but extend my appreciation for the bands Australian tour, his amazing performance during the Sydney show and my love for the bands earlier albums. After days earlier speaking with Phil on the phone and then witnessing Def Leppard live for the first time, meeting one of my drumming idols really topped off one hell of a week!

My only criticism of Def Leppard's tour was that there wasn't enough older songs, I would have loved to have heard tracks such as 'Me And My Wine', 'Too Late For Love', 'Let it Go', and 'Rock Rock Til Ya Drop', but we can only hope that those will be included when the band hit our shores next time! If you missed Def Leppard on their recent Australian tour, you will forever kick yourself. I urge anyone who gets the chance to see these guys out on the road to do so, don't think twice, you won't be disappointed! They will rock your world!

By Inside Out Webzine 2008.


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