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Monday, 7th June 1999

San Antonio, TX - Media Reviews

Rockers find lot to liking in band show By Hector Saldana

Euphoria was the word for it.

Thousands of cheering fans packed the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on De Zavala Road for a free concert Tuesday by Def Leppard.

The English rock band was promoting its new album, "Euphoria."

Police estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people - from teens in goth gear to diehard rockers in their 50s - attended the show. Fans arrived as early as noon to stake out the front of the outdoor stage. Some came from as far away as North Carolina, Florida and Alabama.

"The calls have been coming in nonstop," KISS-FM disc jockey C.J. Cruz said backstage. "This crowd is so excited if you say, 'Boo!' - they go crazy."

The throng went even crazier when Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot took off his black shirt to reveal a San Antonio Spurs T-shirt during the 45-minute set, which included the hits "Photograph," "Rocket," "Armageddon It," "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and the new "Promises."

Contrary to earlier record company reports, the unusual promotion was Def Leppard's only Wal-Mart concert, said Scott Douglas with the band's label, Island DefJam Music Group.

A fall U.S. tour is planned, but for now, San Antonio was it.

"We wanted the biggest Def Leppard market," Douglas said.

This was a full-blown rock show with a giant sound system, portable toilets and lots of security. Wal-Mart was prepared.

"Were glad we could bring this to San Antonio," said Wal-Mart store manager Dennis Sawyer, who brought his copy of "Pyromania" to work for the band to autograph.

Stephanie Starr-Metcalf came from Fort Worth with friend Peggy Mahoney of Memphis, Tenn., and her toddlers, Connor and Aidan, in tow. They learned about the free concert on the Internet.

New San Antonio resident George Hall brought the whole family: wife, Shannon, and kids James, Andrea and Zane.

Katie Plaag and Glenn and Renee Hippel brought lawn chairs.

"I'm here to buy the new album," Plaag said.

Joe Gonzalez, 30, and his 7-year-old son, Andrew, arrived from Houston at 3:45 p.m.

"They've stayed true to themselves," said Gonzalez, who heard about the concert on a Houston radio station.

Damon Di Bari, 32, and Ruth Palmer, 56, were the first in line for autographs, inside the store, opting to miss the concert.

That was a good idea. The line for band autographs grew by more than a thousand after the concert, extending to DeZavala Road. Police temporarily closed the store to restore order.

Def Leppard, which formed in Sheffield, England, in 1977, has been a rock radio staple in San Antonio since its first album, "On Through the Night," was released in 1980.

The band's popularity peaked with 1988's "Hysteria," which has sold 11 million copies.

By Hector Saldana @ Express-News 1999.

Def Leppard Stops Traffic With Promotional Appearance By MTV News

Motorists in San Antonio, Texas got a lesson in the enduring appeal of Def Leppard this week when thousands of fans descended upon the band's appearance at a local Wal-Mart, clogging traffic for miles.

The band's promotional performance at the store drew an estimated crowd of 8,000, and prompted authorities to block off traffic for five miles in both directions. The rush bodes well for the band, whose eighth album, "Euphoria," arrived in stores this week.

By MTV News 1999.


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