Media Review -
At the end of Def Leppard's show Tuesday night, lead singer Joe Elliott offered the audience at the Susquehanna Bank Center a deal: "Don't forget about us, and we won't forget about you."
It was a moment of unusual vulnerability for a band whose most fervent pronouncements generally involve the word rock. But gratitude was the order of the night. Def Leppard, Poison, and Cheap Trick, who opened a seven-week tour in Camden, don't have much in common except paunches and power ballads. They were all just happy to be there.
In Def Leppard's case, remembering their fans meant focusing overwhelmingly on old material. "Nine Lives," the single cowritten by Tim McGraw from last year's Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, was the only song released after 1993. Based on the polite stares and closed mouths that greeted the newish number, the lack of fresh material did not matter much.
Although nominally heavy metal, Def Leppard's songs hinge on monster choruses and multipart harmonies; they're a pop band in bondage gear. As "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" gathered speed, Elliott bounced around the stage in a frock coat like an eager English lord, juicing the audience sing-alongs with his outstretched hands.
By Sam Adams @ The Inquirer 2009.
Media Review -
It was more than 20 years ago that hair metal taught the kids to tease-and-spray, and since then high-heeled boys and their sticky metallic hooks have become fodder for love-lorn reality shows and slick Broadway musicals. And the answers to some of the pressing questions of our day - Is the Leppard still Def? Is Poison still nothin' but a good time? Is the Trick still Cheap? - will be answered at an amphitheater near you when the 40-date Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick tour, which opened last night at near-sold out Susquehana Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey, rolls into a town near you. The answers are, in order: Yes, yes, and depends if you sit out on the lawn or pony up top-dollar for ringside seating.
Topping off the night was a stormy, stomping set by headliners Def Leppard who trolled through their '80s hits - a picture-perfect "Photograph," a semi-acoustic "Bringin' On The Heartache" and a slamming, set-closing "Rock Of Ages" - like the working class punters they once were before Pyromania went mega-platinum. The one real surprise was a crunchy cover of David Essex's "Rock On" - But the highlight of the Lep's set was undoubtedly the stripper-anthem "Pour Some Sugar On Me", which the band laid down with silhouetted images of gyrating pole-workers projected on the big screen behind them. A couple of jokesters, with a taste for the literal, ran through the crowd clutching boxes of granulated sugar, baptizing themselves and anyone nearby with the sweet, sticky stuff. Every rose has its thorn, indeed.
Jonathan Valania @ Rolling Stone 2009.