This section looks at the final show of the 'X/Ten' world tour in Moscow, Russia. The band's first ever visit to the country.
"Moskva, Russia. Thanks for having us. Take care of yourselves."
Def Leppard ended the 2002/2003 X/Ten world tour in Moscow, Russia on this day in 2003.
The show took place at the Luzhniki Palace Of Sports.
Their first ever visit the the city after making their Russian debut in St. Petersburg on the 22nd.
The 'X/Ten' album had been released in2002 and initially promoted with a sporadic four month promo tour.
The main world tour had begun inon 17th November 2002.
The 151 date world tour took the band across Japan, USA/Canada, UK/Ireland, and Europe.
Between 22 and 24 songs were played each night for the first four or five months of the tour.
On the first night in Sendai the band opened the show with the first ever playing of 'Ring Of Fire' which featured some co-lead vocal parts by Rick Savage.
By the second night the band were opening with Side One of the 'High 'n' Dry' which was also a first and the setlist was changed up each night. Over three nights in Tokyo 31 different songs were played.
Only four new songs from the current album were played during the tour - 'Now', 'Four Letter Word', 'You're So Beautiful' and 'Long Long Way To Go'.
Following the Japanese leg the band travelled to the USA for 10 main shows after opening with a radio festival show in San Diego.
A UK/Irish tour followed in February 2003 before a huge late March to early October US/Canadian tour.
For the first time in many year the band would then return to the UK for a second run of 10 shows in October and were joined on stage by Queen's Brian May on the last night at Hammersmith Odeon in London.
A short European tour followed which ended with the band's first ever shows in Russia and the final 151st show in Moscow on 24th November 2003.
Earlier in the day Joe, Vivian and Phil played a short acoustic set on local radio. The first time a Western rock band had ever done so.
Read many of Joe's onstage quotes below including his pre-Rock Of Ages comedy routine with Rick. And Vivian's lengthy tour diary.
Def Leppard Moscow 2003 Fan Photos
Submitted by Alesha.
Joe Elliott - 24th November 2003 Onstage Quotes
"Spasiba Moscow! Thank you. Good evening. Welcome to the first ever Def Leppard show in Moscow, and the very last of our world tour. Thanks for having us, thanks for coming. Here's a little thing for ya from the Pyromania album."
Before Four Letter Word
"Thank you. Thank you very much. I'd like to take this opportunity to, for the last time on this tour at least, to introduce you to somebody. He comes all the way from a place called Walthamstow in London. So will you please make a lot of noise, on the electric guitar, Mr. Phil Collen!."
Before Two Steps Behind
"Thank you very much. So Moskva!. Tonight as I mentioned earlier is the last. The very, very last night of our world tour which started exactly one year ago today in Japan. So we've come full circle almost. What we've been doing every night when we've played this particular song, is we've been trying to encourage everybody out there to join the band for like the next four minutes right. You wanna do that?. Yeah!. Oh yeah. You may have noticed my Russian is no good. So you speak, maybe you understand a little English yeah?. Right then you'll understand this. We played two nights ago in St. Petersburg. They were louder than that!. And you lot in the special seats. Let's have a listen. Ahh. Right well if you know the words to the chorus of this song, we'd really appreciate it if you'd join in. Let's see if we can, for one more time, take the f**king roof off this building right?. Right?!. Here's a little thing for ya called Two Steps Behind."
Joe Elliott - 24th November 2003 Onstage Quotes
"Thank you very much. Spasiba!. This afternoon we went to visit a radio station and we apparently did something that nobody else has ever had the balls to do. Which was perform live exclusively for the Russian audience acoustically. So we were the first band ever from the West to come here and play acoustic for the Russian audience. Which was a privilege and a pleasure for us. We did this song then and we're gonna do it for you now. This is a track from the latest album. The X album. Here's a little thing for ya called Now."
Before Armageddon It
"Spasiba!. Thank you very much. Well, once again for the last time it's introduction time. So will you please make a lotta lotta of noise for the man from Northern Ireland. Belfast in fact. Mr. Vivian Campbell!."
Before Rock Of Ages
"Thank you. Thank you Moskva!. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Well it's taken us 23 years to get here tonight. I remember when we were just starting out, the BBC in England broadcast a concert from Moskva. Elton John and he was the first. I do believe the first British artist to play in Russia. And ever since we've wondered if we'd ever get the chance to come and finally we are here!. And you know as we know 23 years is a very long time. And it's not 24, almost 25 years, which is how long this chap has been keeping the beat. I am of course talking about Mr. Rick Allen on the drums!. Well night after night, tour after tour, he sits at the back and he never says anything. No speak right. No words. But on this tour we've been encouraging him to introduce a song. And I don't know whether he'll do it again after this because I'm not sure it's been a major success. But he is gonna introduce this next song for ya right. The reason I say it may not have been the greatest success is because he has to keep changing language in every country we go to. And sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's f**king awful. So we will leave it to you to decide. Are you ready?. Are you ready?!. Once again make a lot of noise for the man at the back on the drums Mr. Rick Allen!." - (album intro then played)
Joe Elliott - 24th November 2003 Onstage Quotes
After Rock Of Ages
"Moskva, Russia. Thanks for having us. Take care of yourselves, we'll see you next time round. Goodnight!. Spasiba!. Once again thanks for having us. What a great way to end the tour. Thank you very much. We'll see you next time. Goodnight."
Before Let's Get Rocked
"Well Moskva. For once that's not about it. If you can just indulge us for a minute or so. Tonight is the very last night of our tour and what a great place to finish. So if you'll join with us in thanking a great bunch of people who have spent the best part of a year travelling the world with this band. Our fantastic back line crew. Wolfie and Roger and Chad and Curtis. Give them a big round of applause please. Also Malvin our tour manager. Viv our production manager and last and not least our front Ted and Ronan for doing a fantastic job with the sound. Snake for doing an amazing job with the spots considering he's had to do it in about 15 f**king different languages. God bless ya. And I think everybody, band and crew alike will all agree we wanna say a very special thank you to a boy called Kenji. He's Japanese, barely speaks English and has been working with us for the best part of a year doing the lights. He's f**king awesome man. We love him to death. Apologies for anybody I've forgotten. Truckers and people that have been and gone."
"So that's about it then. We've finished. Bye!. Bye!...what?...what?!. OK I've got a question for ya. Do ya wanna get rocked?."
End Of Show
"Oh yeah!. Yeah let's not forget Mark Litten. Tour accountant. And before I get my nuts cut off. Kristine who did wardrobe for nine months. Moskva! Russia. We will try not to leave it so long next time yeah?. And there will be a next time!. Until then. Don't forget us and we won't forget you. Goodnight."
Vivian Campbell - November 2003 X/Ten Tour Diary Part 1
From the window seat of the Polish airliner that took us to Russia, I could see St. Petersburg as we descended (like the rock gods we think we are?) from the thick gray cloud. Unfortunately, the thick gray cloud looked better than St. Petersburg did..... Or so I thought, at least. It wasn't until we drove away from the depressing communist-era, prison-cell look of the suburbs around the airport and actually got to the city itself that the true and almost overwhelming architectural beauty of the place becomes apparent. Just the shear scale of the buildings is unbelievable. They're massive! What is it? Where these buildings made for really, really big people? Or was it that their egos were so out of control, and so out of touch with reality that the ruling classes really thought it was appropriate to luxuriate in such excess in the face of starvation by the masses? The latter, I fear. It's no wonder that it gave rise to communism. These people were too egoed-out even to be rock stars! And that's saying something, as I've met many a rock star (too many, truth be told!) who don't feature on the same planet as most folk.
There was so much to see all around the city; Benetton, Armani, Hugo Boss, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds. I kid you not; right here, on the very same street as the Hermitage (housing one of the world's greatest collections to human artistic endeavor) lives all that is endemic of the more culturally devoid aspects of Occidental influence. A bit sad, really. What's sadder still, to me at least, is that I didn't visit the Hermitage; I opted to choose sleep for the entire day off! That's what happens after being on the road so long. That, and the fact that I get precious little sleep at home, thanks to parental and pet-owner responsibility. Besides, like the city itself, there's a lot more than can be seen in just one afternoon. That was my sad excuse to myself, at least.
Next day was the show itself. Def Leppard in Russia for the first time ever! It was a reasonable show: the audience seemed to enjoy it, for the most part. I couldn't help but feel that they spent quite a while just watching us before some part of their collective (good choice of post-communist word, don't you think?) conscience told them that it was alright to rock-out. That's okay; we got there in the end, and I don't think anybody asked for their Rubles back, either.
Nursing a bit of a sore head the next morning, we took our first, and only, flight on the national Russian airline, Aeroflop. Sorry, I meant Aeroflot. Seriously though, I had a bit of apprehension about getting on board a Russian airliner. I mean, the whole post-communist infrastructure is hardly renowned for it's system of checks and balances when it comes to public safety; it's diligence in the fields of vigorous self-examination, and state-of-the-art scrutiny of services that were heavily government subsidized in days gone by. I'm very glad to say, that not only did the Tupolov 154 survive the journey with both wings intact, but I have to report that it was one of the smoothest flying experiences that I've had in years! The whole encounter was a delight; from the cabin of the aircraft itself, to the service (we'll skip the food - thanks all the same!), to the ultra-smooth landing. Now, the airports themselves, well, that's quite a different matter.....
Vivian Campbell - November 2003 X/Ten Tour Diary Part 1
After St. Pete, we'd all been expecting Moscow to be a bit of a touristic disappointment. Not true! Yes, for the most part, it's a faceless, tasteless, McDonaldized drudge of a place. But when it shines, oh boy, does it shine! The whole city itself is huge. I mean huge in the sense that it's home to millions and that it takes forever to get anywhere. Now, the wise-asses amongst you are probably thinking: "Don't be daft, that's just because there's too much traffic." True, there are a lot of diesel-spewing ought-not-to-be-allowed-on-the-road-vehicles, but it's more than that. I speak from experience; I live in Los Angeles, itself a sprawling metropolis that is only slightly less smelly than Moscow, but yet significantly warmer. It's just a big ol' place (Moscow, not LA) with, mostly, drab buildings interspersed with some of the most breathtaking and colourful architecture one could imagine. All nicely capped with a heaped serving of snow, to better complete the picture-postcard image. We were fortunate enough to be in a hotel that overlooked the Kremlin, Red Square, and the cathedral of St. Basils. When I was awake at 5.00 AM, as I frequently am, the view out of my window of these landmarks as the snow gently fell was most breathtaking. The next morning I even forced myself out of bed to venture over there and take a snapshot or two. And all for you, you thankless gits - I froze for you!
On the morning of the Moscow show, we made a little history. Well, all in a days work, I suppose. No, we didn't invent a cure for cancer, but we did become the first ever Western rock band to perform live on Russian airwaves! I can't believe that no one else has ever done it, but, apparently not.....go figure. Joe, Phil and myself, together with the assistance of Malvin, went to the sponsoring radio station with our acoustic guitars and our sharp wit. There, after a couple of coffee and Red Bull (this caffeine thing is outta control!), we performed "NOW", "TWO STEPS BEHIND" and "SUGAR". All live and without aid of a safety net, or a condom! The tempos might have been a bit el rapido, but I think that was more to do with the coffee/Red Bull combos than with the anxiety of making minor musical history. Did I mention the frequent bathroom visits?
The show itself was on par with St. Pete: a mixture of excitement and bewilderment. All of those 'ment' words. Torment, for example, springs to mind. Again, I jest: they were a fine, fine audience altogether. Although, much like in Riga, my mind was on other things; in this instance, not football, but going home. Yes, home: that place I have vague recollections of. I seem to recall a wife, two children (what were their names again? Didn't I have a couple of dogs, too? Yeah, I'm most certain I did). Like a lifetime ago - or so it seems. That's what I mean by the 'ment'.
In Russia, much like in other countries where big rock shows are the exception as opposed to the norm, the show promoters often pony-up the cash by having 'sponsors'. These 'sponsors' usually include the hotel that we end up staying in; the local radio station; various other local business' and, more often than not, some 'businessman' who wants to hang-out with the band. Sure enough, immediately after the show, Malvin informs us that, right out of the blue, the main 'sponsor', a local 'businessman' (fancy that!), insists on taking us to some club where all the 'arrangements' have, apparently, already been made. Fancy planning, I'm sure; right down to the place settings and all, no doubt. So, in strolls this dude, replete with what appears to be a couple of Russian high-class (read: expensive) gas-cookers (Hookers. Do I have to spell out everything for you?) and swans around the dressing room. It seems that he, and his gas-cookers, have been told that this would be no problem. Well, being that this is the last show of a year-long tour, I'm getting up at 4.00 AM to go to the airport to take a three and a half hour flight to Frankfurt, whereupon, I'll take another, eleven hour flight, to Los Angeles. Prior to that, I wish to spend a little while saying my goodbyes to the people with whom we've shared blood, sweat, and tears for the last twelve months. All that considered, I've got two words for the 'sponsor' and his kitchen appliances: one of them is 'off', and the other is 'fuck'! Although not necessarily in that order.
Leaving the 'businessman' and the domestic appliances behind, we head back to the 'sponsoring hotel', with crew in tow, for a swift few at the bar. Sure enough, there's no escaping the 'sponsors', as a small group of the lesser benefactors end up in our midst to claim their spoils and spoil our party. C'est la vie; we'll let them pick up the tab: "Doubles all round!" A few shots of Russian vodka were downed, and Malvin led us all in a stirring rendition of "ME DA'S A SOIGN" sung rousingly to the tune of "AMAZING GRACE". Goodbyes and hugs exchanged, as one by one we slipped off to bed. And so, without pomp or fanfare, ended the 2002/2003 Def Leppard "X" tour.
It's the next morning, and I'm in amazement that the vodka isn't demanding it's toll! Must be good stuff..... I wouldn't know, as it's not my usual tipple; it's all paint-stripper to me. I'm on a Lufthansa Airbus 321. A noisy aircraft compared to the apparent silence and silky-smooth ride of the Tupolov 154. Still, any vehicle that completes it's journey without spilling it's occupants is fine in my book. And so, my dear Leppsters, this is where our love affair ends. For the last year you have been my mistress, and I have given myself to you completely -- at the expense of my family. But now, I must return to the place I really belong. Of course I'll miss you. Maybe not at first, but undoubtedly your absence will come to haunt me sometime in these cold winter nights ahead. I love you. But lately, I've been resenting you for keeping me away from those who need me more, and who I need more. Maybe it's for the best that we spend some time apart.
Thank you to all. To all who came to see. To you, our supporters, without whom there would be no point to any of this. To all of our various crew who participated throughout the 'ordeal'. And to my fellow bandmates: we came; we saw (well, not always!); and, most importantly, we didn't suck!
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