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Tuesday, 10th December 2002

Phoenix, AZ - Fan Reviews

Fan Review - By Cathy (aka 'Bob')

OK, you've all heard about Ricky Warwick, and I agree - he was dang good! I loved "Three Sides to Every Story". After he played, but before Leppard came on, he went walking up the aisle next to me. He slapped some hands along the way; it was cool to see him milling about down there. If the merchandise lines hadn't been so atrocious, I would've bought his CD. I'll have to find it elsewhere, as I do think it deserves a purchase. I was a bit disappointed in my fellow Phoenicians though. They should've been on their feet in support of Ricky; if nothing else, out of loyalty to Joe although Ricky deserved it in his own right.

After Ricky, and after a seemingly interminable number of miscellaneous songs, Gary Glitter finally came on, and soon after came "Disintegrate." At that point, Phoenix en masse redeemed itself, and the energy was palpable. Hanging from above the stage was the trademark black curtain emblazoned with that now-familiar "X". The curtain came down in boring fashion - the stage guys just kind of lowered it bit by bit, then sort of rolled it up and dragged it away. But when the band took the stage and opened up with "Let It Go," WOW! The crowd was already on its feet by this time, but if it could've collectively risen to the ceiling it would have! The electricity was intense - Phoenix loves this band!

We got the High 'n' Dry setlist, with two modifications that I can remember. Instead of "Action," they did "Foolin," and instead of WL&HC they did "Love Bites." It was funny, during Love Bites, all the couples in the crowd decided to start climbing each other! Must be everyone's "song". There was one point, maybe it was when Joe introduced "LLW2G," he was saying it's a good love song etc, and he said something like, "if you all want to start having sex or whatever, go ahead." LOL!

In the middle of "Rocket" where Sav is up on the drum riser - DANG! The lighting was KILLER and he was this silhouette in blue - then in purple - then hot pink and orange flames, and he had his rocker stance going - feet wide, head bopping...you know what I'm talkin about!

I did not notice the energy ebb at all during "You're So Beautiful" and "LLW2G." Nobody that I could see sat down, went for a beer or a bathroom break, or whatever. (I was on the floor, second section, row 9). And the excitement continued through the whole "new" set. Everyone rocked hard to "Four Letter Word!" (at least from where I was standing)

Sav was front and center for "Now," with his cool bass part. That song really featured him, it started out with only HIM right up front, so that was great! He was also front and center for "Armageddon It," and was really moving to the beat. He was totally on fire, he looked like he was having a great time up there. Throughout the show, he smiled, he posed, he sang like he meant it, he pointed, he "scanned the horizon", and I'm pretty sure I saw a lipcurl! He did the standard "standing in front of Rick, his back to the crowd, fist in the air, shaking that butt" thing in the middle of "Hysteria." There were several times when, instead of simply playing a note/plucking the string, he would BAM! pound the string with his fist. Just like a good little rock star, LOL!

Phil windmilled. He looked amazing as always. Of course his shirt was gone by song 3 or 4, and he did a lot of smiling at people, which is always cool. Crowd interaction is what really makes it memorable!

Viv - well, he's Viv, great as usual. He did some cool stuff here and there, like kicks or interactions with Phil. Unfortunately, I couldn't really see his side of the stage very well, over the people's heads. He did lose his shirt too, at some point.

Rick - well, he's back there doing his thing the whole time, awesome, of course! He had incense burning on both sides of his kit. At one point, Phil, Sav, and Viv stopped what they were doing and congregated together in midstage for a little conference. Joe joined them saying, "What's going on?" and then a knowing, "Oh" At first I thought there were more sound/equipment issues. But then (I hadn't yet noticed his absence) Rick bounced back up to his seat from offstage and that's when Phil said "Sorry, Rick's 'aving a piss"! LMAO!

Now, about the sound issues: For the first few songs, there was some feedback - not bad, but some - and we could barely hear the lead vocals. Joe said something about their equipment not working well with that building. (America West Arena, in downtown Phoenix) Joe went off to the side, got himself all rewired, then quickly returned and there was a noticeable improvement. After that, I thought things were fine. Apparently, things were not very fine at all, and Joe said, "I don't know if you can tell, but we sure the F****** can!" A bit later in the show, after having already been rewired that first time, Joe got pissed and yanked his ear monitor out and flung it off to the side and proceeded to do the 2nd half of the show unwired. I don't know what difference it makes, or how much harder he had to work for not having it. I noticed the improvement in the lead vocal sound after the first time he switched his equipment, but didn't notice anything else after he ditched the ear monitor. Maybe he was getting feedback in his ear or something.

Joe did his normal crowd-working antics. Stuff like, "I have a question for you" and Rick's "4 little words" (gunter gleiben...etc), and "tomorrow night we're playing Los An-gel-ees" with his head hung low in anticipation of the roaring boo that followed, and "you're the loudest crowd we've had so far on this US tour", and "are ya ready? I SAID ARE YOU READAAAAAAYYY???".

One disappointment to me - and I know they've done a super job trying to please everyone, and the setlist was great - but noticeably absent were any songs off Slang and Euphoria. With the exception of Disintegrate as the intro music, there was not a one. I really missed Slang, Turn to Dust, All I Want is Everything, Breathe a Sigh, and Blood Runs Cold. From Euphoria I'd love to hear Demolition Man, 21st Century Sha-La-La-La Girl, and All Night. Wouldn't it be incredible if they did a show - and maybe it could be a smaller venue - where they ditched the regulars (Women, Rocket, Animal, Hysteria, Love Bites) and did these others, along with some covers (Ziggy Stardust anyone?), some acoustics in Wapentake fashion, and perhaps even mix things up by having Sav play keyboards and/or regular guitar, Joe play guitars and/or piano, Phil and/or Sav sing, etc. Oh well, a girl can hope! So, there you have it. Another fantastic Def Leppard concert in Phoenix, Arizona, USA! And we can't wait to have them back for another go!.


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