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Saturday, 22nd February 2003

Newcastle, England - Media Reviews

Night of rock for all ages By Emma Race/Rebecca Haylings

Def Leppard, Plus Support, Newcastle City Hall - Saturday's City Hall line-up was a rock extravaganza.

First on was Ricky Warwick, facing the crowd with only an acoustic guitar, yet his powerful voice and steady strumming won a good response. Then it was a case of dim the lights and crank up the performance meter as The Darkness possessed the stage.

Each epic song hung on a plateau of sustained playing until a scissor-kick from Justin, the live-wire lead singer, brought it crashing down with the drums on top.

When the headliners appeared, the crowd leapt up with deafening applause and never wanted to sit back down.

Def Leppard were here to share three decades worth of million-selling hits and looking at the number of families in the stalls, this is the soundtrack to people's lives. In two hours they covered 25 slick songs with total professionalism. Their physical stage presence, muscular, microphone stand-wielding and raw energy never lost focus on the crowd. For those who say this genre of rock is tired, it was looking very healthy at this show.

Stand-outs were the ballad When Love and Hate Collide, the band's biggest UK hit and sung along to by all, Rock of Ages, which gets salutes a-plenty, and Pour Some Sugar on Me. Singer Joe Elliott made a parting promise to Newcastle: "As long as you want us to keep coming back, we will." Saturday night's screams replied that Def Leppard were always welcome.

By Evening Chronicle 2003.


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