St. Louis/Maryland Heights, MO - Media Reviews
When Def Leppard recorded "Rock of Ages" back in the early '80s, they did it as a young band celebrating the hard rock music they loved, though in years previous it had lost momentum to dance music and other, more superficial sounds. They couldn't have known then that the song, which claims that rock is "still rollin'," was ultimately an oath, a promise they'd continue to fulfill more than two decades later. In that time musical trends have come and gone, but no one has surpassed the British quintet's ability to deliver energetic, high-harmonied pop metal with bombast, swagger and pure, adrenalized escapism.
Def Lep played before a sold out crowd at the UMB Bank Pavilion on Friday night, concertgoers might have been tempted to check their calendars. For though the group still looks great and sounds great, it was the hits of the past - their own and those by others - that were the focus of the show. Def Lep's latest album, "Yeah!" is a set of covers of '70s tunes by bands that influenced their own sound. It's a terrific effort, but of the album's 14 cuts, the band only featured two in concert - David Essex' "Rock On" and Badfinger's "No Matter What."
Beyond that, the 80-minute set was mostly filled with essential Leppard hits such as "Foolin'," "Hysteria," "Photograph" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Singer Joe Elliott led the band's still-impressive vocal attack, while guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell played with masterful economy. And watching drummer Rick Allen - who lost an arm in a car accident years ago - is still an inspiring treat.
By STL Today 2006.
Rock legends Journey and Def Leppard joined forces this summer in a unique pairing that brought two generations of fans together for one night of sensational rock music. The fact that 550,000 St. Louisans had been dealing with a massive weeklong power outage made this concert even more enjoyable-treating many power-deprived concertgoers with a well-deserved, fun night out.
Had Def Leppard kicked out only the jams, St. Louis would have eaten it up. But the band's set list of kick ass rock tunes was too often derailed by the inclusion of a few too many clunkers. While the crowd appreciated such early ‘80s monster hits like "Foolin'," "Rocket," and "Rock of Ages," they were definitely heading for the hot dog stands during an uninspired performance of Euphoria's "Promises" and a boorish cover of David Essex's "Rock On."
Nevertheless, Def Leppard's music is just as powerful and exciting as it was back in the ‘80s. The band eventually picked up steam by ramping up the energy on some crowd favorites like "Armageddon It" and "Animal." Coupled with a slick stage production, Def Leppard managed to win over the crowd by wrapping up their performance with two of their biggest hits - the sensitive power ballad "Love Bites" and the chart busting "Pour Some Sugar On Me."
St. Louis may have been dealing with some heavy problems all week, but both of these bands came to town and did what they do best-entertain. And for that reason, this concert was worth its weight in megawatts.
By Plabackstl 2006.
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