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Saturday, 18th September 1993

Houston, TX - Media Reviews

Getcha Rocks Off! By Chris Smith

Ugly Kid Joe have easily conquered the clubs of America. And after some 70 dates opening for Def Leppard around the world - which follows an extensive trek supporting Ozzy Osbourne - they may well be close to doing the same to the arenas.

When songs as diverse as 'Busy Bee' and 'Goddamn Devil' are played back-to-back without disturbing the flow of the set, things are going very well indeed. Exactly how far Ugly Kid Joe go from here, though, is entirely up to them. At times tonight, the essential killer instinct seemed to be missing. Closing the set with 'Cats In The Cradle'? Give me a break!

Sometimes you have to wonder where the expectations you carry around with you come from. Far from being a lumbering, ageing hit factory, Def Leppard actually give more value for money on this level than anyone I've seen for quite some time. Every single song - from 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)', 'Women', and 'Another Hit And Run' to 'Rock Of Ages', 'Love Bites' and 'Let's Get Rocked' - is played with energy, emotion and, well, sincerely.

In between, guitarist Phil Collen is still giving it his all on 'Too Late For Love', bassist Rick Savage still makes the girls swoon during 'Foolin'', Viv Campbell turns six-string tricks on 'Make Love Like A Man' like he's been there all along, and Rick Allen kicks up a thunderous racket on 'Rocket'. Then there's Joe Elliott. mending broken hearts on 'Two Steps Behind' and 'Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad', tearing down a small town on 'Armageddon It' and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me', and running the show as a whole like a master.

If Def Leppard were gone, they're back. If they've always been this way, they've simply been great forever.

By RAW Magazine 1993.


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