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Tuesday, 23rd September 2003

Vancouver, BC - Fan Reviews

Fan Review - By Harris Black

Imagine the typical oval arena split in half. That was tonight's show. The crowd slept until Hysteria album was played which is basically the 2nd hour. To my dismay, they skipped Rock Rock. Another side show was watching Rick Allen having a smoke behind the amps during the 2 Steps acoustic. For this show, any seat was a good seat. And I can confirm Joe has packed on some weight and his voice wasn't there tonight. I also feel bad for Viv because it's obvious the show could easily go on without him.

Fan Review - By Sean

Awesome show! The boys had alot of energy and really knew how to work the crowd. Ricky Warwick did a good job opening the show, even though all his songs sounded the same. Most of his applaud came from jokes or being his funny Irish self. After about a 30 minute break the main attraction came on rocking hard.

A very enthusiastic crowd, and with only half of the facility being used, the audience out-sang Joe half of the time. I was very impressed with the light show and their ability to still sound like they did 15 years ago (even though I was barely alive then.) With the fresh smell of BC bud in the air and drunken Canadians dancing and singing, this had to be the best concert i have ever seen!.

Fan Review - By Kacey

OK not much to say, but show was excellent as always. Crowd was louder than on the last 2 tours, Sav spoke (said something like Thanks you've been great) I don't think Sav has ever said anything before. (also sent in the setlist - thanks).

Fan Review - By Ruthie And Terri

Tuesday in Vancouver: I hate the Pacific Coliseum. The seats are cramped, the arena itself is in a really choice part of town, and the staff are lame. That said, onto the show. We were feeling pretty pumped after Kamloops. Our seats in Vancouver were way further from the stage—two sections over from the in/out gate, in Row 18 of 19 at the top of the bowl, but still on the aisle. This proved to be more a trial than a bonus, as people kept coming and going all during the show. What the heck do people come to rock concerts for? It’s clearly not to see the band, since the Vancouver Lep experience was less a joy than an ordeal, with the band playing the soundtrack for a series of annoying incidents that started pretty well once the lights dimmed.

The good thing is that I had a better listen to Ricky Warwick this time, since no one comes to hear the opening act, and I decided to get his album as a result. I’m curious to hear how the studio tracks compare to him live and alone with his guitar. His voice is good and strong, his inflection passionate and his lyrics reminiscent of a 60s storyteller.

At 8:25, the boss’s mike stand was put in place. “Disintegrate” started up. So did the crowd. I caught the distant shadows of people heading for the stage: Joe wasn’t as jazzed as he was cocky this time out, swaggering a bit as he crested the stairs. All attitude, and with a bigger crowd to conquer than he’d had in Kamloops.

We knew going in it would be rougher than the ‘Loops show. The sheer number of people was going to be a challenge. When the folks in front of us jumped to their feet, there were immediate problems. I could only see by standing, myself, thus blocking the view of the well-mannered guy in the seat behind me. Even on her feet, Terri couldn’t see past the heads and shoulders in front of her. As I’ve said, she’s only five foot four, and slipping into the aisle for a quick glance at the band she also paid $45.00 to see but couldn’t see, she was nudged back into place by security. This was not going to be fun.

Shock of shocks, the band played “Action” instead of “Rock Rock”; a cover instead of an original, which was cool even if it wasn’t “Stagefright”. I’d hoped they would play that song for my sister, also in the crowd but in a way better seat, as this was her first Leppard experience and “Stagefright” is her favourite song. Other than that, the set list was almost identical to the one played in Kamloops. Phil was highlighted for the first verse and chorus of “Miss You In a Heartbeat”—Joe introduced him “in this corner, all 128 pounds of him”, and when he was finished, the boss added, “If you liked that, you should see him tap dance.”

At one point (I can’t even tell you which song was playing), one of the guys in the row behind us was so drunk that he tripped over the empty seat beside me and would have smashed his skull on the concrete floor had his buddy not grabbed him by the belt and hauled him upright again. By the time “Rocket” hit, I gave up and sat staring at the roof, thinking that maybe, maybe Joe would salvage the show with a snippet of “Radar Love” during the bridge. When he repeated his Who offense with the same nugget of “My Generation” he had sung in Kamloops, I was so wrought that I challenged the legitimacy of his birth at the tops of my lungs, at which point Terri decided it was time to get me out of there before I killed someone.

We screamed when Joe commanded us. We took a zillion pictures—few of which turned out—and dared security to confiscate the cheapo camera at this late date. They didn’t. We waved and danced and laughed and almost cried. You want to cry when it’s over. These guys mean so much and you don’t know when or if you’ll see them again, so you tear up and bite your lip and get through it, waving and shouting as if Joe can actually isolate you in the crowd at the top of the bowl. Then they were gone, swallowed by the Coliseum as the lights came up, destined for Seattle in the next couple of days.

Looking back, I remember bits and pieces that were not so bad. Joe did not razz anyone in the crowd, nor did he mention Kamloops. He was taken aback at 20 years having passed since their first visit to Canada. “Twenty years,” he said. “Holy shit.” Sav praised us during the encore as he had in Kamloops, saying we were “amazing”

Rick Allen was the last to leave the stage every time; during his intro for “Rock of Ages”, Joe said, “This guys sits up there every night and never says a fucking word.” Rick then stood up and did an admirable impression of Mr. Fisty, howling as he does whenever he’s finally acknowledged. He’s the world’s bravest drummer and he gets so little attention on stage—though his solo on “Switch 625” was rewarded by 10,000 throats in Vancouver instead of the 5,000 in Kamloops. The sound was better in Vancouver, though it may have been due to proximity. And during the Kamloops gig, Joe had to keep motioning for the sound guy to up the volume on his mike. When his voice finally did come up, it did so with a chilling vengeance. There is no throat in rock and roll that can beat Joe Elliott. There are comparable voices, but no one yowls like the big golden cat.

Thanks, guys. You did your best and we love you for it. Vancouver was bittersweet, though I understand that other people (those who don’t care about smaller people in the back, allergies to pot, or anyone who dislikes beer—especially wearing it) had a great time, just as I understand that Kamloops was an ordeal for some while we had a blast. I suppose it’s relative. What matters is that the Leps rocked out both times. Sav is the dishiest bass player on the planet. Phil dazzles when he plays. Viv plays a mean solo. Rick is just the greatest drummer in the world. And no matter how unruly the crowd or how arduous the concert experience may be, Joe Elliott is always God.

Fan Review - By Miss Magic

I remember the Pacific Coliseum back on June 23, 1988. Fifteen thousand fans packed the joint, eagerly anticipating the first chords from a band they've waited since Pyromania to see. That was my first Def Leppard show, so I was one of those people. Now, fifteen years later, in the same venue, we piled back in to see the very same band. I had seen them twice on the "X" tour already (Sacramento and San Francisco back in December 2002), but it made no difference. I was ready for the rock 'n' roll to begin in Vancouver on the night of September 23, 2003.

There were new fans (some as "new" as 7 years of age), mostly the same old gang from the '80's (in fact, I may have recognized one or two). But we were all there, united, for the same reason.

Kicking off the show with "Let It Go" and generously integrating songs from all their other albums made the mix appealing to everyone there. I spent a portion of my time looking around me at the roughly 7,000 fans there and noticeably each song had a different memory attached to each individual. (mine was "Photograph") which goes to show that throughout the years, Def Leppard was never forgotten, contrary to critics, record companies, "nay-sayers", blah, blah, blah............

In my opinion, this tour comes in right behind the "Hysteria" tour (and being a fan for twenty years with 8 shows under my belt, I'd say that's a fair conclusion).

However, the highlight of this particular show (and one that makes it most memorable) was the opportunity to meet my musical heroes ("heroes" in the sense that no matter what, there were able to provide me with music that has and will always feed my musical hunger). It puts the icing on the cake. And what makes it even more sweet? The fact that it was in my hometown, in the same venue I saw them for the very first time. And you never forget your first time.

Bottom line? It was a fantastic show - no question, no doubt. The boys still have the power and the crowd is still there to fuel it. And we can't wait for them to bring it on again!


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