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Wednesday, 14th September 2016

Billings, MT - Media Reviews

Def Leppard brings arena rock to MetraPark By Jaci Webb

Def Leppard brought their arena rock swagger back to Billings on Wednesday night, and 8,000 fans ate it up.

It’s been more than a decade since Def Leppard played MetraPark’s Rimrock Auto Arena, and in the meantime a new generation of rock fans have come of age.

Kids came with parents and grandparents to see the triple bill, which opened with Tesla and REO Speedwagon. Beau and Mark Reigan, of Clark, Wyo., brought their two sons, ages 9 and 11, to introduce them to a live rock show.

“We want them to experience the groups that we listened to,” Beau said.

Beau said no matter how late they get home, the boys will be in school on Friday.

“They’re farmers; they can make it,” she said.

Def Leppard came out blazing with dual lead guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell trading licks and lead singer Joe Elliott fist-pumping as he wailed on “Let’s Go,” followed by “Animal” and “Let It Go.”

“We got some old songs, we got some new ones and we even have some borrowed songs for you,” Elliott told the roaring crowd.

When Collen came forward to hit the intense opening riff on their new single, “Dangerous,” off their 2015 self-titled album, the crowd on the floor was doing the fist-pumping.

By the time Def Leppard hit the stage, the crowd had been treated to two hours of rock with little interruption between bands.

Tesla performed eight songs, highlighted by a new single written by Def Leppard’s Collen, “Save That Goodness,” and Collen came out to perform it with Tesla.

Reo Speedwagon was in fine form, running through their string of hits, including “Take it on the Run,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and "Time for Me to Fly.”

Fans seemed split on which band they liked best. Suzie Hoerner of Billings said she saw REO Speedwagon in the 1980s and has been a “huge fan ever since.”

Kelsey and Brent Milliron, of Laurel, have seen Def Leppard three times and still can’t get enough of their hit “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

Brent wore a blond wig, shaped into a mullet and a muscle shirt with the British flag on it.

“I told Kelsey, it’s my turn to have fun tonight,” he said.

By Billings Gazette 2016.


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