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Saturday, 22nd February 2003

Newcastle, England - Fan Reviews

Fan Review - By Tanya

First time at a Def Leppard gig and front row seats, who could ask for a better combination.

Ricky Warwick, I could listen to that guy sing all night long, what a dream he sounded incredible and to do it solo just amazing.

The Darkness great music and stage presence, but that guy's voice just grated on me. But a lot of nerve to wear pink leather trousers and then that weird catsuit thingy. 10/10 for confidence.

Def Leppard, wow!, they beat Bon Jovi hands down, I've seen them twice at stadiums which is something else, but Def Leppard have such a presence and lack of arrogance on stage it's unreal. They come across as really enjoying themselves instead of seeming like it's another day at work. The setlist was formidable all the greats and the new tracks sounded so good live. Only missed one of my real faves, but hey, can't have everything, I got a used pick from Viv so the smile is still as wide across my face as it was last night.

The mix wasn't perfect sometimes Joe's voice was a little lost but loud is good, ears still ringing just a reminder of how good it was. I think i've spent most of the morning day-dreaming, next time around i'll also book the following day off work! There's not anyone on the planet who could fail to like this band after seeing them live, it's a must for every fan, I know i'll never pass up the opportunity again, and I think i've converted my mum too.

Fan Review - By Christos

The setlist for Newcastle was the same as Sheffield with the following differences, "Too Late For Love" instead of Foolin', and "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" and "Switch 625" instead of Rock Rock (Till You Drop) and Slang - I would have preferred these two over the High N' Dry tracks but what can you do -. Oh, and "Make Love Like A Man" was played straight after "Action" which was the second song.

It was a very good show in general though I haven't got much to compare it with as I saw the Lep for the first time ever. The band played a great and energetic 2 hour set with some really funny quips by Joe (When Love & Hate Collide was dedicated to Bobby Robson!), at one point someone asked for Wasted and while he replied "oh, for ****'s sake", we actually got the riff by Phil! They looked like they were having fun throughout which the crowd lapped up. Highlights would be "Let It Go" (very inspired idea to use this as an opener), "Women" (my favourite Lep song, Viv took the second solo for this one), "Four Letter Word" (the best sounding of the X tracks, really shone live) and "Let's Get Rocked" (they still sounded amazingly fresh even two hours in the set, they could have gone on for another couple of hours by the looks of things!).

Now without sounding too critical though, a couple of points which I should really mention. The sound or better the mix was crap throughout. Too loud (something which didn't serve some of the songs at all, especially the quiet ones like "Hysteria", probably the worst song of the evening, hardly recognisable!) and distorted with the vocals way too low. Vivian you could hardly hear at solos while Phil was slightly but not a lot better. Too bad really as you could tell the band was making an effort only to be bogged down by a messed up mix. The only thing that saved the songs was the backing vocals and harmonies which were bang on, thankfully (the ones that didn't feature too many backing vocals suffered big-time). I was sat in the back and was expecting better than that, must have been even worse up front.

Also, a minor gripe would be that the setlist, while good, could have been much better. I was reading some of the US reviews from earlier in the year and the setlist there is mouth-watering stuff indeed; Ring Of Fire (one of my favourite Lep tracks!), Another Hit N' Run, High N' Dry etc. How come the UK gets the same old Hysteria tracks?

Anyway, I enjoyed it despite the sound problems and I have to say that it was a good concert which showcased why Leppard are still with us where as other bands have come and gone. I'll definitely try and catch them next time around, Joe promised there would be one and I would like to believe him.

Fan Review - By David

Def leppard got everyone rocked at the City Hall on Saturday.

The show started with Malvin Mortimer on stage telling us how much he loved the venue and that he had great memories of it, he introduced Ricky Warwick, who then played a great set. He has great humour in his lyrics and had a lot of bottle to do it on his own.

Next were The Darkness; these were a wild bunch. AC/DC meets queen meets spinal tap with some crazy stage attire and very camp Freddie mercury impressions from Justin on vocals.

They played all the hits, the highlights for me being Women, Rocket, Bringin' on the Heartbreak/Switch 625 and Too Late For Love.

Joe had great banter too, apologising for not going on stage till 10.30pm back in 1987 on the Hysteria tour after their Top of The Pops appearance on the same day overran by 2 hours, and talking about Newcastle winning and 'god bless Bobby Robson' as he put it, before dedicating When Love & Hate Collide to him. There were the usual requests shouted out from the audience too, one shouted 'play wasted' which then Joe replied 'wasted - you're f****ing joking aren't you!?

Which caused a great laugh and added to the atmosphere. A great night for the band and the audience.

I waited round after the gig and managed to meet the band, Joe Elliott telling me about there first gig in Newcastle back in 1978 and how him and Rick have been trying to perfect there Geordie accents since a guy said to them 'magnum th'll f***ing blo y' off the stage man!'

I had my photo taken with Rick Allen, great guy, and they all said they enjoyed it a great deal. They said they'd be back as long as they were welcome, so if they are true to their words they will be back cause they are very welcome.

Fan Review - By Craig

What a fantastic show. Ricky Warwick was amazing. His solo performance was so powerful.

The Darkness? Great riffs but the singer could take some getting used to, still enjoyable though.

And so to the headliners. Another blistering show that stands out as one of my favourites in the City Hall. Opening with the crunching "Let it Go" I knew we were in for a good un! "Bringin' on The Heartbreak" and "Switch 625", I thought were tremendous. There was a good mix of new and older material (I would love to hear rock brigade in there ) and the show came across as a stripped down, no frills rock show guaranteed to please...and it did!! Let's all hope they dont wait as long to return to the North East cos they are always welcome.


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