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Saturday, 13th July 2013

Quebec City, QC - Fan Reviews

Fan Review - By Steve Plourde

July 13, 2013. A great day indeed, which started earlier than our regular Saturdays, because me and my little family were heading to Québec City. The plan was to visit the Civilisation Museum in the morning, then I'd leave them finish the rest of the visit while I was heading to the Plains of Abraham to try and have a chat with the guys from Def Leppard (once again…) So, as soon as we finished our lunch by the river in the Old Québec, we heard the band soundchecking Rocket !! It was 2 PM then, so I went off to the Plains.

Once there, I had to meet friends of mine near the venue, cause we wanted to see the concert together. They had a meal (25$ for a spaghetti and a beer, that's kind of expensive, don't you think ?) As for me, I'd just ate, so I had a Vodka drink… Cheaper.

6 PM, the doors open, and it's time to run to the stage !! The places are filled very quickly, so I chose the left side of the stage, close to the gate of the VIP section. A little bit far from the stage, though. Strange setup that VIP section…

7 PM, Danko Jones comes in. Only heard one song, but he didn't play it tonight. Very dirty mean rock'n'roll. Jones seems unhappy that the VIP section is almost empty and reacts mildly to his songs, compared to the other half of the crowd where people are obviously having a blast. Near the end, Jones said "You think YOU are having fun ? I'm the one who opens for Foreigner and Def Leppard !! I used to write Def Leppard on my school bag with a sharpie !!"

8 PM, welcome Foreigner !! Not necessarily a fan of them, but a curiosity for me. Mick Jones was not there, being replaced by Scottish-born Canadian guitarist Bruce Watson, of Big Country fame. I liked Hurricane back in the days, so I was really looking forward to hear Kelly Hansen live. I knew his vocals were very close to Lou Gramm's but I gotta say he blew me away !! He even managed to climb on the speakers at one time !! Also being a Dokken fan, I was eager to see Jeff Pilson perform. These two have an incredible stage presence. Really amazing ! They ripped through "Double Vision", "Head Games", "Cold As Ice" (which saw Kelly do some bodysurfing in the crowd… bodysurfing at a Foreigner concert, can you imagine ?). Slowing down with "Waiting For a Girl Like You", then rocking out again with "Feels Like The First Time", "Urgent", a water-filled drum solo before "Jukebox Hero" and the magical moment where the Gospel Celebration Choir of Québec joined them on stage for the finale. They left us with "Hot Blooded". Great atmosphere all along, people seemed to have really enjoyed it!

A few minutes past 9:30 PM, we hear The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" in the speakers !! Almost showtime !! Then, Def Leppard comes in to finish the song. Joe then asks us to raise our hands for "Action". The crowd was waiting for that moment !! The band whips through "Animal", which indicates that there won't be any trace of a full Hysteria album tonight, followed by "Foolin'", and "Make Love Like a Man" (always a thought for Darren every time I hear this song now !!). Afterwards, we got to hear "Love Bites" which doesn't have the usual lengthy solo by Vivian at the end. Might be the chemo kicking in, I don't know. Nevertheless, Vivian seems in good shape. Then, some Hysteria songs showed their head : "Women", "Rocket" and "Gods of War", preceded by a video tribute to Steve. Phil even put a Québec flag on the strap of his guitar for this one !! Then we got a big treat : "Don't Shoot Shotgun" was played for the first time in Québec since way back when. The boys went full electric with "Bringin' On The Heartbreak/Switch 625", and "Hysteria". Joe says he only has two words : VIVIAN CAMPBELL !! The crowd roars as Vivian plays the opening riff to "Armageddon It".

Then, the pièce de résistance for the crowd ; Joe asks in French : Vous chantez ? (Do you sing ?) You betcha !! We've been doing this all night, mate ! So here goes the opening riff to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and wild goes the crowd !! Remember the other part of the crowd that were already having a blast with Danko Jones and bodysurfing for Kelly Hansen ? Well, this bunch of party animals actually brought bags of sugar and literally poured sugar on them !!! I couldn't believe it!!

End of song, the crowd is nuts. A massive roar comes from the audience. The guys are almost in disbelief. Joe exclaims "What a night !!". After a few minutes of cheering, Joe asks us this simple question : Do you wanna get rocked ? Once again the crowd roars. If there would have been a roof, it would have lifted !! After the song is over, the guys looked at each other and couldn't believe their ears. Everybody was screaming their lungs out, which led Joe to this : "You'll probably think that I say this to every show we play, but this lineup has been together for 21 years, and this band for 35 years, and you guys are probably the best crowd we ever played for!"

Then for an encore, "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph" finished what was an epic night, in the words of Vivian Campbell himself. The boys seemed very happy about the way this show went. As for me, it was business as usual, as there were no recent songs played. It was nostalgia time for many fans out there, many among them telling me they stopped following at Adrenalize (!!!). I wish they could have played their Ded Flatbird act, it would've been great to hear obscure songs, cause even if they always give a great show, when the setlist is made of songs that are 20-odd years, you tend to think that it will remain the same as the previous tour. That's a shame. But I must say it's about time they present new material, because Def Leppard are still relevant musically today. That's why I stick with them, and always will.


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