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Saturday, 23rd June 2012
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Las Vegas, NV - Media Reviews

Def Leppard rocks Red Rock with Poison and Lita Ford By Gabe Ginsberg

The summer concerts events are upon us. Las Vegas really goes all out when it comes to summer concerts. I am not talking about no-name bands playing in the park. I am talking big name performers with large followings.

Two powerhouse groups came to Las Vegas this weekend. One was the Scorpions, and the other was Def Leppard. Both of these bands are amazing, and both were playing on the same night. I decided I would go with Def Leppard, who was touring with Poison and special guest Lita Ford.

Def Leppard was playing at Red Rock Casino's amphitheater. I love this place. The sound is great, and there isn’t a bad seat in the audience. The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert, warm with a slight breeze.

The Red Rock Casino's staff did an excellent job of getting people into the venue quickly and without incident. Apparently this was a sold out, or close to sold out show. I made my way to the front of the stage, where I would have three songs to capture the first act.

Lita Ford came out on stage and wasted no time going into her first song. I didn’t know what to expect. Though I hadn't heard anything from her lately, I used to listen to Lita back in the day.

Lita did not disappoint the crowd. The audience swayed and sang along with her. After the three songs, I walked to the holding where I could listen to the show. As a photographer, they don’t trust you enough to let you watch the show without taking photos. (Working with some photographers, I understand.) I listened as Lita played a few crowd favorites, such as “Kiss me deadly” and “Close my eyes forever.”

Lita finished up and the crowd cheered. This was my cue; I walked back down to the front stage. While the stage crew was getting ready for Poison, a loud scream emitted from behind me. I turned to look at a woman in her forties and her teenage daughter. The mom was really getting into the concert experience. The teenager seemed to be ok, and was not mortified at her mom’s outburst.

Poison started, and this time the loud scream emitted from the teenager. The mom beamed with pride as her teenage daughter let loose. Then they both screamed together and cheered on Poison. Poison sounds as good now as they did back in the day.

One thing that really stood out to me during Poison is that Brett Michaels is very personable. During his songs, he shook fans hands and pointed at people, and really sang to the audience. You can see in his face he really enjoys being on that stage. This kind of energy really makes for a great concert.

Speaking of enjoying what they do, Bobby Dall and C.C. Deville took turns standing right in front of me and posing for the camera. I love it when musicians help us out. The crowd thundered as Poison played their anthem song "We're an American Band."

My three songs were up, and I was off to the holding area again. I sat back and listened to Poison rock the house. Sitting in the holding area has its advantages. I can really focus on the music without all the distractions. The screaming fans signaled it was time for Def Leppard.

I walked back to the front stage, admiring the scenery. This my subtle way of saying that there were a lot of good-looking people at this show. Concerts are such a great place to people watch. For example, there were a group of guys dressed like Poison circa 1983, wild hair and all.

Watching people is also a great way to pass the time in-between sets. The crowd was getting excited. Def Leppard was one of my favorite bands growing up, and I’ll admit, the anticipation of Def Leppard playing was making me pretty excited as well.

Being right in front of the stage, I noticed Rick Allen take his position at the drums. The drums started to beat, and the lights focused on Rick. The rest of the band appeared above Rick. The large digital displays lit up, and then Def Leppard began to play.

The crowd went wild! Unlike the other two bands, I only had two songs to capture the moment. Using two cameras, I quickly snapped away. Despite my intense focus, I caught myself singing along with the songs. A quick glance at the crowd confirmed that I was not alone in this.

"Let's Get Rocked" started to play, and I couldn’t help but remember being in high school and sporting my torn up jeans while trying to emulate my favorite band. What an incredible show. Def Leppard sounded so amazing; you wouldn’t believe that these guys have been playing for 35 years.

My time was up for snapping photos, and it was time to go. I looked at the crowd having such a wonderful time and felt a little bit of sadness as I left the venue. I reached my parking space at the top of the parking garage, and I could still hear the music. A child, perhaps ten years old, asked his dad what that noise was. The father listened for a second. A big smile came over his face and he responded, “That, my son, is Def Leppard.” The father and son quickly ran towards the wall to see if they could get a glimpse of the show.

Though sad I didn’t get to see the whole show, I am happy that I can share my photos and experience with those that missed the show entirely. If you have a chance to catch this concert somewhere else, I highly recommend you do so. What a terrific line up of some amazing talent. I can’t wait to see who is in concert next at Red Rock Casino.

By Examiner 2012.


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