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Tuesday, 22nd December 1992

Omaha, NE - Media Reviews

There's No Silent Night When Def Leppard Plays By Jeff Bahr.

While many other people were listening to songs like "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells," a large spent Tuesday night hearing songs like "Let's Get Rocked" and "Animal".

British rock group Def Leppard spread its version of good will Tuesday night at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

A heavy-metal concert might not seem the best way to celebrate the holiday season, but the evening was not devoid of Christmas spirit. At least the lasers were green. And guitarist Phil Collen briefly donned a Santa Claus hat.

For a group whose last two albums have sold 23 million copies, the members of Def Leppard are surprisingly insecure in the liner notes for their current album, "Adrenalize," the musicians admit that they were concerned about the sales of their last album, "Hysteria." And one reason is because it's sometimes a struggle to be creative.

But the turnout Tuesday night demonstrated that Def Leppard has nothing to worry about. The concert attracted a full house of 10,725. And those people enjoyed themselves. It may have been December outside, but it was hot inside the auditorium.

The concert was notable for its innovative set. As with Def Leppard's last tour, the group performed on a diamond-shaped stage in the middle of the arena floor. But this tour features a new attraction, four large space pods suspended from long arms above the stage. Before the concert, when the stage was still shielded by a large black cloth, it almost seemed as if a large spaceship had landed on the auditorium floor.

The effect was even more startling during the concert, when the space pods began to move. As they descended toward the floor, their searchlights scanning the spectators below, some may have thought we were being invaded.

It was perhaps the most creative stage show Omaha has seen since the last visit by Motley Crue.

In addition, the stage itself provides concert goers with amazingly good visibility. The sight lines are so good that it's a wonder more groups don't follow Def Leppard's lead.

Lead vocalist Joe Elliott has a good rapport with the group's fans, greeting them as if they were old friends early in the show.

The singer provided an articulate summarisation of the unfortunate incidents that have befallen Def Leppard. drummer Rick Allen, he noted, has recovered from what he described as "a minor setback" - the loss of an arm in a 1984 traffic accident - and has since "reclaimed his throne as the best in the business." He also referred to the death of guitarist Steve Clark in 1991. "We lost a friend who was very near and dear to us. God bless him." Elliott said.

By Omaha World Herald 1992.


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