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Friday, 1st June 2018

Toronto, ON - Media Reviews

Def Leppard with Journey and Peter Frampton at Toronto’s Rogers Centre By Eric Alper

40,000+ people got rocked at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Friday and couldn’t be happier about it. Fans of all ages flocked to the downtown core to see not one, not two, but, three iconic bands. Parents brought the new generation to bask in the glory of some hard rocking musicians that they grew up with while they reminisced about times past.

They best way to start this stadium run on a hot almost summers night was with Mr Peter Frampton. This 68 year old puts some musicians half his age to shame. Commanding the stage as his own he played all his “staple” songs as well as paid tribute to the one and only Chris Cornell. At the end of “Black Hole Sun” he raised his arm to the sky and paused for one brief moment as if Chris was looking down on him with approval. Peter we can’t wait for you to come back to Toronto.

Next up was Journey to hit the stage and the Rogers Centre was packed. I can only think of one word to accurately describe Arnel Pineda, “firecracker”. Running and jumping from one end of a massive stage to the other and still managing to sing is not an easy feat, yet Arnel seems to do this with ease.

Nothing but amazing nostalgic songs were performed throughout Journey’s set. Bringing back floods of memories for the thousands in attendance. The fans had no problems belting out the lyrics to quintessential songs like “Wheel In The Sky” or “Faithfully”.

Neal Schon’s ripping guitar solos echoed through the massive stadium, the stage, basking in glowing red lights as Neal’s guitar screamed. There is nothing quite like listening to “O’Canada” Neal style. This isn’t the first time I have seen Journey live and it won’t be my last.

Co-headliner Def Leppard’s massive count down clock slowly counted down the seconds on a screen in front of the stage and as it hit the 2 minute mark people rushed to their seats not wanting to miss a minute of the show. The guitars of “Rocket” started and the screaming audience lept to their feet and stayed that way for the rest of the night.

You sometimes forget how massive the Rogers Centre is until you are standing in the middle of the floor and look all around you at the thousands of people in the stands and Joe Elliott mentioned as much as he addressed the crowd “whoa this is something else ya know” as he looked around the sea of people “we have been coming here a long time but this place is a, this is the first time we have played here …”

The night was full of rock anthems from “Armageddon It” to “Love Bites” but I honestly thought my insides were going to rumble out of my body when they started “Rock On”, Rick Savage left no dust or cobwebs in the rafters at the Rogers Centre, they are now left lying comfortably on the floor.

The night was brought down a notch as the entire band walked down the catwalk and got as close as they could to the massive audience to perform “Two Steps Behind”. Joe asked if they brought their singing voices with them and the fans obliged and sang every word. It isn’t hard to know every word to every Def Leppard song as they have been around for decades.

I have been a long time fan of Def Leppard, longer than I care to admit for fear of aging myself but I hope they continue to rock the masses for a long time to come. If you have a chance to see any of the shows on this tour I highly suggest it, you won’t be disappointed! The fans left the stadium with smiles on their faces, singing into the night.

Once again thanks to the crew because without them there is no show!

By That Eric Alper 2018.


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