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Thursday, 21st January 1988

Richmond, VA - Media Reviews

Def Leppard Largo, MD By Baltimore Evening Sun

As soon as Def Leppard had slugged its way through the beginning of its 16-song, 1000minute set, at the nearly packed Capital Centre last night, lead singer Joe Elliott lamented the stage configuration was forced to deal with.

"We wanted the stage in the middle," pointing to the completely open construction at one end of the arena, 'But on a night like this, who needs f**king special effects?'.

And although Def Leppard provided the lasers, stage-floor lights and other fringe benefits of a major show, Elliott was right.

When a band has the songwriting talent and the technical veracity of Def Leppard, why mess around with all that other stuff?. Just plug in and play right?.

The band delivered as much discipline as as it does on its albums, proving that heavy metal, as a genre, can can offer more than crash-and-burn excess...and outright concessions to pop.

The biggest hits of the night included 'Foolin'' during which the en masse harmonies favoured by the group reached their zenith, thus allaying fears that many fans who had seen those choralesque vocals fail miserably in past shows.

'Animal' one of the hits from 'Hysteria', similarly was a crowd pleaser, with lasers (what was that about effects, Joe?) interspersed between repeatedly heated codas.

Def Leppard's finely honed sense of dynamics served well last night on some on some songs that barely mentioned rock.

'Too Late For Love', introed delicately by Collen, highlighted Elliott's high range and control before the song burst into a rapid-fire flurry of power chords and fills, making its inherent hook that much more convincing.

By Baltimore Evening Sun 1988.

Def Leppard Largo, MD By Washington Post

Thursday night at the Capital Centre, the British band proved it is firmly back in the rock 'n' roll trenches, playing a slick show that was marked by an absence of musical clutter in a genre known for its excesses.

Lead guitarist Phil Collen's on hummable anthems such as 'Women' and even on propulsive rockers like 'Another Hit And Run' were more notable for their complementary .melodic course than for their blistering speed.

In a move that is now seemingly requisite at hard-rock shows, lead singer Joe Elliott became a bit of a dullard when he persisted in holding a singing contest between different sections of the audience during 'Rock Of Ages'.

But for the most part, the show was musically streamlined and there were few rock hero antics to ruin Leppard's compressed harmonies and glossy arrangements.

By Washington Post 1988.


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