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Sunday, 13th October 2015

Nottingham, England - Media Reviews

Def Leppard at the top of their game on UK arena tour By Roy Goodall

Having at long last produced their latest work to rave reviews I waited with bated breath to see how much of this new platter would feature in the live Def Leppard experience.

Like many established artists they do have a back catalogue of hits and normally feel duty bound to play them in the live arena, but for my money their best work has been in more recent times.

Anyway, opener Let’s Go, track one off their new self-titled album, got the ball rolling at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena with Animal, Undefeated and Dangerous, another from the latest long-player following suit.

Frontman Joe Elliott really knows how to engage and connect with the audience which he does with ease. Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell are natural players and Rick Allen never puts a foot wrong. Phil Collen, who surely must be one of rock’s healthiest players, never slowed down either.

The lighting and stage set up was first class as it normally is, which really does transcend well into a huge colourful production that befits their status within the modern world of rock.

We got the regular hits, the David Essex cover Rock On, plus Joe unusually doing Two Steps Behind on his own complete with top hat and white leather jacket. With Pour Some Sugar it was soon time to hit the road though they did make a quick return for Rock Of Ages and Photograph.

There were some disappointments. I’d have liked to have heard more tunes from their latest album Def Leppard, which is stunning. Oh, and maybe less between song banter.

Over the years Sheffield has produced some magical musical exports with Def Leppard still very high on the list.

The band have style and panache by the bucket-load and really do know how to put on a proper show, even though you’ll always get me banging on about just a smattering more of current music. That aside, the boys are back!

Catch them at their homecoming show in Sheffield Arena on Satyurday, December 19.

By Worksop Guardian 2015.

DEF LEPPARD, Whitesnake, Black Star Riders @Capital FM Arena, Nottingham 13/12/15 By Andy Thorley

Giants of arena rock….and a band who should be

It’s possible that there’s a harder working band than the Black Star Riders. If there is, Lord knows who. MVM was at the bands first ever gig getting on for two and a half years ago and when frontman Ricky Warwick said that night “we want to play 300 shows a year” it sounded like something to say. Turns out he meant it. Ish. The non-stop road work – not to mention two stunning albums – has meant the band are superbly well oiled. A set tonight that sees them spilt half between their own stuff and Thin Lizzy classics (lest we forget, after all, how this band started) is little short of stunning. “Bound For Glory” and “The Killer Instinct” both sound like the best songs Lizzy never wrote, and “Soldierstown” takes the Celtic theme and runs with it until it can run no more and “Finest Hour” is a real highlight. And when they are bored of writing the best hard rock songs of 2015 they merrily call on the best hard rock songs ever. “Are You Ready?” and “Jailbreak” really are that and are given new life here. If you don’t believe that this is the band Warwick was born to be in – apart from The Almighty of course – then watch “Whiskey In The Jar” which closes things here. Black Star Riders are phenomenal.

“Get your trousers off?” Responds Lord David Of Coverdale to a shout from the audience. “Madam, I’m sixty-fucking-four”. With that he stops, looks at the woman concerned and flashes her the dirtiest smile imaginable. “Ok, I’ll see you later…….” There’s never been anyone quite like Coverdale, and there’s no band quite like Whitesnake. From their bluesy beginnings – and original guitarist Bernie Marsden and his legendary Les Paul join the band tonight – to arena rockers they are all here. “Fool For Your Loving” and “Here I Go Again” straddle the two worlds brilliantly, and “Bad Boys” still sounds admirably raw. But there’s a welcome third strand to this 90 minutes. Earlier this year Coverdale added Joel Hoekstra – who’s birthday it is tonight – to the band and revisited some of his Deep Purple catalogue. The results were magnificent. “Burn” and the stripped back “Soldier Of Fortune” are equally excellent in the live setting here. Pleasingly Coverdale’s voice holds up better than it sometimes does and this is a set that proves that there’s plenty of life in the dirty old dog yet.

The first line of the Def Leppard’s first song tonight rather sums up their dilemma. “Do you really, really wanna do this now?” is the repeated refrain of “Let’s Go” but it could also be the band themselves asking the question. The Leps, are still the Kings of British arena rock. Everything about their slick set screams that and they have some magnificent songs. “Animal” – which follows “……Go” is not least amongst them and it’s far from the only one. It’s just that they do seem to have rather got themselves into a situation where their fans only want the classics. There is – it has to be said – a rather muted atmosphere for another new song in “Dangerous” and singer Joe Elliott seems to have picked up on this, reckoning that it’s between Newcastle and here for the quietest crowd of the tour. The big acoustic singalong of “Two Steps Behind” feels a little flat for example, and yet when they play the “Hysteria” era material the 8000 strong audience are enlivened and emboldened. Those songs such as Rocket” and a brilliant “Armageddon It” deserve the praise they’ve always had and “Let’s Get Rocked” is still absolute ludicrous excellence. Elsewhere Elliott isn’t perhaps as able to hit the high notes as he used to be and the massive ballad “When Love And Hate Collide” suffers slightly – not that anyone hugging their special one notices too much. The encore songs both come from the tour de force of “Pyromania” and “Rock Of Ages” is huge while “Photograph” is one of the best songs of its type ever made, although here again the singer might be having a slight off night.

Largely though, this was the sort of gig that proves everything you already knew about Arena Rock. Get the right package and the faithful will come out to celebrate. Even if the record selling peak for two of the three might be behind them, these songs endure like the rock of ages they are.

By Maximum Volume Music 2015.

Def Leppard and Whitesnake at Capital FM Arena, Nottingham: Review and pictures By Jennifer Scott

Sunday nights might be about getting into bed early and watching Downton Abbey for some, but not in Nottingham.

Instead of behaving, 8,000 people filled the Capital FM Arena to the rafters ready for a night of classic rock and roll.

Support bands can often be ignored, but not when you have half of Thin Lizzy on stage with the fine front man Ricky Warwick – formerly of The Almighty – cracking out tunes like Jailbreak and Whiskey in the Jar.

The crowd could not have been more warmed up and ready for a night of dedicated singing and rocking out arm in arm.

Whitesnake may well be considered a cheesy '80s band, but not when David Coverdale and crew break out the bluesy origins of the outfit.

The room was filled with enigmatic screams as they played songs like Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City, while those waiting for the classics got their dose of Is This Love and Still of the Night to put a Cheshire cat grin on their faces.

Just when you thought you were rocked out, on came Def Leppard.

Unlike some of their peers, they have bothered to put a new album out and the select tracks they played got a rip roaring appreciation from the gathered throngs.

But they were never going to leave you wanting more.

Huge screens played out the pictures of younger times that everyone remembered too well, while the gang on stage proved they could still hit the notes – from the fantastically euphemistic Let's Get Rocked to the heart-wrenching When Love and Hate Collide.

Many a fan may have left the Hockley venue a little worse for wear and significantly out of pocket, but not one of them regretted it, having sung their lungs out all night and loving every old-skool, cheesy second.

By Nottingham Post 2015.


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