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Thursday, 20th October 2005

Virginia Beach, VA - Media Reviews

Def Leppard & Bryan Adams By Melissa Ruggieri

Va. Beach gets the hits from'80s mainstays on second tour of year - This summer, Bryan Adams and Def Leppard took a cue from Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan and embarked on a tour of minor-league baseball stadiums.

The response was robust the'80s mainstays packed in 8,000-10,000 fans per date and successful enough for the pair to reload this fall in amphitheaters. But don't act so surprised. The price was reasonable, topping out at a now-unheard-of $50 in most markets, and these two acts, while stylistically different, were huge enough in their day to amass more than 35 hits combined.

Thursday's healthy crowd of more than 10,000 at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater overflowed with 30-something tarts reliving 11th grade and fist-pumping men in jeans and jersey T-shirts (mullets and bandanas were refreshingly absent). Though officially a double bill -- each act performed a taut 80 minutes -- Def Leppard provided the more rock-star-exciting set, leaving Adams to do what he does best -- basic, reliable raspy-voiced guitar rock.

By the time Def Lep hit the stage to the extremely loud intro of Queen's "We Will Rock You," the audience, primed by Adams, was ready to rawk. The scent of beer and perfume collided as a sharp light show jabbed through "Action" and "Let's Get Rocked," and singer Joe Elliott twirled his mic stand.

The band, led by the twin guitar wizardry of Phil Collen (who apparently doesn't own any shirts) and Vivian Campbell (sporting some interesting scruff), sounded tight most of its set, the bottom ably held down by gloved bassist Rick Savage. Drummer Rick Allen is still a wonder to watch behind his bank of foot pedals and cymbals, even battering the cowbell for a haunting "Foolin'." Next to Blue Oyster Cult, has a band used the'bell to better effect?

It's too bad Elliott's voice is shot because the otherwise pretty "Hysteria" fell flat under his hoarse tones. More painful were his attempts to hit the notes of "Armageddon It," which he eventually backed off of to let the other guys salvage those layered Lep harmonies. Coming next year from the band is a covers album of songs and bands that inspired them. If the two tunes performed Thursday, Badfinger's sublime "No Matter What" and David Essex's "Rock On," are any indication, Def Leppard might have a new reason to tour next year.

By Richmond Times-Dispatch 2005.

Def Leppard and Bryan Adams Rock the Verizon Wireless, Virginia Beach Amphitheater By John M. Lesko

Virginia Beach - It has been another great summer of entertainment at the Verizon Wireless, Virginia beach Amphitheater and who better to close out the 2005 Amphitheater's season then '80's rockers, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams who performed to a packed house Thursday night at the Amphitheater.

Canadian Rocker, Bryan Adams "a talented composer of rock music for over 2 decades" took to the stage first. He played a mix of his familiar old classics along with some of his most recent music, including the first single from his latest album, Room Service, there was also "Summer of 69," "Kids Wanna Rock," and "Can't Stop This Thing We Started." Performing through all of his songs from the rockers to the ballads, Adams has a voice all it's own as it sounded the same tonight as it did twenty years ago. At one point Adams plucked a young girl from the audience to help him sing the "Baby when Your Gone" duet.

Adams and his longtime band has penned many songs for a wide range of artists including 38 Special, Kiss, Roger Daltrey and others. Adams has enjoyed much success with multi-platinum albums, chart topping singles and songs used in motion pictures. Bryan has won fans worldwide with his up-tempo pop-rock songs and ballads. Today, Bryan Adams continues to create new music and tour with his well-known hits and will continue to be around for many more years.

Def Leppard was one of the trailblazing bands in the MTV era. The Sheffield, England-based quintet charted the course for the melodic metal sound which would go on to dominate the decade of the 80s. On this tour, the band is celebrating their 25th year together with the release of their career spanning Rock On: The Definitive Collection CD. As the sun set over the Amphitheater, the crowd in Virginia Beach swelled with anticipation. When the sound of Queen's 'We Will Rock You' blared through the P.A. it was show time!

Def Leppard took the stage at around 9:30 p.m. and quickly loaded the bases with their first three songs - 'Action', 'Let's Get Rocked', and 'Women'. 'Foolin' completed the perfect grand slam before the band slowed it down for their fifth number, 'Hysteria'. More hits from the guitar heavy, hard-driving Leppard included 'Love Bites', 'Armageddon It', 'Rocket', 'Photograph', 'Animal', and 'Rock Of Ages' - all of which featured their famous melodic harmonies.

Def Leppard didn't disappoint on any level, from the moment they took the stage until the encore.

The band was relentless in playing music that fans could relate to. Def Leppard did a remarkable job of interspersing some of their lesser-known songs with their classics. At one point Joe Elliot, Def Leppard's lead-singer revealed that the band has been working on a covers CD featuring the British music that influenced them as teenagers before introducing an impressive version of Badfinger's 'No Matter What'.

The talk of the tour so far, however, is the band's juiced up version of David Essex's 'Rock On' which promises to be a runaway hit for the band when the cover CD is released. Fans who have seen this track performed live have "been blown away" by the Leppardized version of this famous one-hit wonder from the 70's.

As if all this wasn't enough the band brought the night to an incredible close with their encores of 'Bringin' On The Heartbreak' and the climatic 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'. Like triumphant athletes who celebrate their achievements and championships, Bryan Adams and Def Leppard were able to bask in the glory of their own record books by offering up crowd-pleasing songs on this tour. Both bands have demonstrated their high caliber skills night after night proving that they truly still have what it takes.

By Virginia Beach Review 2005.


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