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Wednesday, 12th October 2005

East Rutherford, NJ - Fan Reviews

Fan Review - By Phil W

When I arrived at the Meadowlands, I was worried by how quiet and empty the place seemed. They curtained off the top tier of the arena, so Def Leppard effectively played to half a house. (It pained me to think that Bon Jovi last week sold out 3 shows in this arena, and 2 at MSG in Manhattan. Why? Is it only because he has better cheekbones than Joe.) I admit I was also wary of seeing the same set for the third time after seeing the set list from Boston. I understand Def Leppard is supporting a greatest hits package, but their cookie-cutting approach to this tour was and is disconcerting.

Bryan Adams gamely played to a snoozing crowd for the first half of his show, but once he played Summer of 69, he got the place going. (Ricky Warwick is fine, but after the fifth time, I have no patience for him anymore. His music is for little clubs in Williamsburg, not arenas.) Bryan did one thing tonight that I wish Def Lepp would emulate. His set was different from those he played at the two shows I caught this summer. He threw a bone to long time fans like me by playing some more obscure songs like Hearts on Fire. I saw U2 on Monday at MSG and they too change set lists every night. When a band has such a deep catalog, it should mix it up. C'mon Lepp. Surprise me. Play Too Late for Love instead of Love Bites. Or Rock Rock till you Drop instead of Action.

Regardless, I am an unconditional Def Leppard fan, and all my groaning notwithstanding, they had me at the first notes of Action. I am putty in their hands. And then the rest of the show was sublime. Let It Go, Gods of War and even Make Love, were a nice change. I could tell the band was rested; they were full of energy and enthusiasm, as was the great crowd. Rock On got a great response. I think that song will be a hit at rock radio when Yeah! comes out. But with No Matter What (better live than recorded), Rock On, and Action, I think 3 covers out of 16 songs is a bit much.

So all in all, a great show as usual. They are such great performers. But it's all looking a little too canned for me now. I hope next time they tour, they will do so alone (no offence to Bryan, but I like my Def Leppard undiluted), play a broader mix of their repertoire, and play for longer than 90 minutes. The gold standard for me was the show I saw at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan in April 2003. Two hours of non stop Lepp, starting with Side A of High n Dry (it does not get any better than that!), and mixing it up. All told, Def Leppard still rules. Enjoy their show to those who will see them next.

Fan Review - By Rich

This was my third show with AC still to go...I'm going to be a little critical of the short setlists......now I do understand that the show minus the intermission was almost three hours....Bryan played a full set......but after the incredible X tour where they were playin' 20-22 songs, this current setlist is at least 1/1/2 songs short.....they really should be playin' "Switch" after "Heartbreak", and last nites setlist was great because they switched up from the summer setlists, but either "Let's Get Rocked" or "Women" have to be played.....they are two of their best songs for a live concert. The lower bowl was probably 80% full last nite and upper ring wasn't open so I would guess 6-8000 people attended...definitely wasn't the greatest crowd in the world either....people were sittin' down around me at times...lookin' forward to AC now that I know they are switchin' up the beginning of the setlists....guys keep the faith!!!.

Fan Review - By Adrenalyze

I had a blast at the concert. Thought they sounded great! I was a little upset that the venue didn't sell out, but it did get more crowded when Def Leppard came on stage. And they all had energy, Rick Savage had more energy than I've seen in a while. He was all over the stage, hitting the drums at one point! It was great. They started out w/ Action, Let It Go, Hysteria, Animal, Rocket, No Matter What, Blue Jean, Gods Of War, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Rock Of Ages, Bringin' On The Heartbreak, Promises, Armageddon It, Photograph, Love Bites. They might have sang more, but I can't remember sorry.

Fan Review - By Byron

This was my 1st Lep show, I must say I was blown away by the show, I've read mixed reviews that Bryan was better than Def Lep and I thought they were on an even par and complimented each other well. I also agree I would've preferred some other songs in the set like Foolin, Too Late For Love, When Love & Hate Collide etc...but I'm sure every fan has their wish list. They did cover pretty much every hit they had and managed to throw a few obscure songs in like Make Love Like A Man & Gods Of War...I would cut Rock On from the set cause from where I sat Gods & Rock On both didn't go over well.

The crowd exploded from the initial chords of Photograph....they should save that for an encore IMO just to really set the pace better. Thankfully the opener Ricky whatever his name was only did 4 songs. I rather would have seen Def play 4 extra songs as headliner than watch him play again. All in all great show that brought me back to my childhood.

Fan Review - By cwwn

Before I get to some brief thoughts on the show, I have to take issue with all this whining about the set list length. Def Leppard did 16 songs last night, just like they did when I saw the Double Header in Brooklyn and Cleveland. Were more songs played on the "X" tour? Of course! That was a Def Leppard headlining tour. This is a joint tour with Bryan Adams. Some concessions have to be made if you are going to have two headliners. Many buildings have curfews of 11 or 11:30pm at which point the performers must be off the stage, otherwise the promoters (and the artists) will get stuck paying a fine. So, the band gets 90 minutes and tries to cram in as many hits as they can, while at the same time still perform some songs that they want to play.

And as for the "They should have played X instead of Y", everyone needs to realize that just because YOU love or hate a song, doesn't mean others feel the same way. Would I have liked to heard "All I Want Is Everything" instead of "Love Bites"? Sure, but I realize that I am in the minority, and Love Bites was a huge hit. I was just happy that there were a few different songs from last time I saw them.

Now that I've vented, onto the show:

Caught the tail end of Ricky Warwick's set. Going onstage at 7:30 at a Wednesday night concert pretty much guarantees you won't have many people to play in front of. "Three Sides" came off well.

The crowd definitely was not into Bryan Adams as much as the crowds I saw this summer. Still, he won them over, with "Summer Of '69" and "Everything I Do" getting the biggest reactions to my ears. Strange to see him end with "Run To You" as Adams usually ends sets with an acoustic number like "Straight From The Heart" (which was missing entirely tonight). Adams didn't do the "leave the stage, then return" encore bit either.

Def Leppard opened with the "Let's see how big a fan you are" test, opening with "Action" and "Let It Go". Obviously, if you're not a longtime or diehard fan, you're not going to go crazy for those songs. "Action" got a good reaction, but "Let It Go" got a better one.

I was glad to see "Promises" remain in the set. WWE swapping out "Let's Get Rocked", "Foolin", and "Women" in favor of "Make Love Like A Man", "Gods Of War" and "Let It Go" was fine with me, and with the possible exception of "Let's Get Rocked", I don't think too many people were wondering "Why didn't they play..." at the end of the night.

"Gods Of War" was greeted with cheers from those of us that listen to all of the Hysteria CD, not just the hits, but I think a lot of people were just taken aback by Def Leppard doing a "serious" number, as opposed to a love song or a rock anthem.

As always, the hits got over big, no surprise there, so I won't get into detail about it.

Joe plugged Vivian's solo album, which was on sale at the merchandise stands. Maybe when Leppard does their next headlining tour, Vivian will get to do a number, although I have a feeling it will remain separate, like Phil's Man-Raze project.

I noticed one new T-Shirt, with a picture of the band on the front, but everything else at the merchandise stand was the same as the summer tour. Another night, another great set. Hopefully they continue to swap a few songs in and out and have some fun on stage.

Fan Review - By Dana

Went to the show last night and as usual, I thought they were amazing. This was probably show #13 or so for me in the past 18 years (my first DL show was the Hysteria tour, at the same arena on 10/17/87-almost exactly 18 years to the date), and while I think that many of the shows (from the past few years anyway) have similar sets, I'm always in awe of how great these guys are! I think that one thing we all need to remember is that TWENTY FIVE YEARS, is a very long time to be creating music, so how can they play favorite songs from every cd? If that were the case, we would need a nonstop DL weekend concert to say in the least. To please everyone is impossible, and while there were some songs that I personally missed (especially Switch), I thought that their performance was awesome (as usual). The bands energy level was high as usual, and they were all over the stage.

I have my own hearing disabilities (Meniere's disease), so I can't comment much on sounds, but I can say that I wore earplugs during Ricky and Bryan's set, but had to take them out for DL for my own satisfaction. Of course I was in veritgo during the entire set, still am and probably will be for the next 3 or 4 days, it was definitely worth it, and I'm already looking forward to the next tour and YEAH!'s release.

I LOVED the 'Rock On' cover that they added in, especially with the screen on stage-I thought it was awesome how they changed one face to another (Sav turned to Joe, who turned to Phil, etc, etc)! I also felt like the crowd just didn't get into it as much as those in the front section did. That was a big disappointment along with the fact that they had the top sections closed off.

I'm sure that the rain had some effect on the turnout, as the entire row in front of me (section 121-row 1) was empty. Naturally, we had no problem taking a seat or two. It was discouraging to have everyone behind us still sitting down, unless one of the bandmates came toward our side of the stage, then the crowd stood up but sat back down. As an old time DL fan, I feel that the set was too short and am hopeful that for the YEAH! tour, it will be much longer. My nieces response was Ricky and Bryan's set were rather boring and time stood still, yet when DL hit the stage it seemed like it was over in a matter of minutes. Also, she is a very shy, introverted girl, yet when DL hit the stage they brought out a side to her that I never seen-she was dancing and singing along with all of the songs-it was really great to see her enjoy herself.

Fan Review - By David (from the UK)

In NY on honeymoon: this was to be my new wife's first experience of DL in an arena, having previously seen them in the UK in Newport, Wales 02/03 & Birmingham Academy later in the year. What a show we were to witness. Ricky Warwick opened with Vivian playing the last two numbers wearing a big floppy beany hat. Bryan Adams was the main support running thru' all his hits, 16 in all.

Then Def Leppard @ just gone 10pm, playing what I'm sure is a pretty standard set list with the exclusion of Let's Get Rocked, replaced with a superb God's of War ( dropped the next night). Two new tacks appeared of the covers album, out early next year according to Joe, David Essex' Rock On & Bad Fingers' No Matter What. The show finished about 11.25pm after only 1 encore & then a race back to the bus to take us back to NY in the pouring rain!.


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