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Monday, 7th April 2003

Erie, PA - Media Reviews

Rock group Def Leppard lets it go for crowd of 3,500 at Tullio Arena By Dave Richards

Before a raucous crowd of 3,500 fans, Def Leppard pounded out two pulverizing hours of fist-pumping, shout-a-long rock that relied heavily on their mega-selling CDs, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria," though they didn't skimp on the rest of their catalogue.

Lead singer Joe Elliott and company blasted into "Let' It Go" and "Another Hit and Run" - a 1-2 punch from "High 'n Dry," their 1981 release that set the stage for their breakthrough hits. Elliott - dressed all in black - doesn't look quite as lean and lanky as the band's 80's heyday. But with his easy smile, flying hair, and the way he wielded his microphone stand - it seemed like an appendage, at times - he commanded the crowd.

Of course, it probably wouldn't have mattered if he stood there like a Buckingham Palace guard. The fans were into this one, approving not only of Def Leppard's monster hits such as "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Photograph," but the acoustic gem "Two Steps Behind" and newer fare. They didn't sit down during four songs from "X," Def Leppard's 2002 release. Some even waved their Bics during the new power ballad "Long Long Way to Go," which Elliott dedicated to American and British troops in Iraq.

Guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell wailed throughout the night, with Collen taking most of the sizzling, piercing leads. Along with bassist Rick Savage, they provided harmonies behind Elliott, coming on - at times - like REO Speedwagon on steroids.

Meanwhile, drummer Rick Allen remains a one-man marvel. It's a credit to his pummeling power that nobody talks anymore about the accident that cost his arm years ago. He just rocks on.

By Times News 2003.


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