Paso Robles, CA - Media Reviews
After Saturday night’s Motley Crue fiasco which left many fair goers seething with anger and frustration, rock fans and California Mid-State Fair officials were certainly hoping for some rock and roll redemption Monday evening.
Well, they got it as Def Leppard and opening act Tesla powered through two and half hours of hard rock hits from that big hair decade we call the eighties. There were smiles and souvenir drink cups aplenty in the grandstand by show’s end at 10:30 p.m. on another balmy Paso Robles summer night.
Opening act Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith did his best David Coverdale of Whitesnake impression by shrieking and screaming his way through the Sacramento-based metal band’s 55-minute set. Dude, you have a microphone and a great voice so it’s okay to sing loudly but no need to yell, there’s a big difference. They played most of their hits ‘Signs,’ ‘Little Suzi,’ ‘Love Song’ and ‘Modern Day Cowboy’ at the end to finally energize a crowd that had been growing restless.
As for Def Leppard, these guys know the drill. Sure, they could have played a few more early era songs like ‘Too Late for Love,’ ‘Rock Brigade’ and ‘Wasted’ to extend their 90 minute set but they packed 18 solid songs in, doing it with a style and ease that was energetic but never rushed.
The boys from Britain delivered what we clamored for and were denied two nights before: hard-charging, fun-loving, memorable outdoor rock and roll.
By Cal Coast News 2015.
Sixteen years after Def Leppard’s previous appearance at the California Mid-State Fair, the Union Jack was back in Paso Robles on Monday night.
Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott didn’t wear the flag in the form of a sleeveless T-shirt, as was his custom in the rock band’s heyday. This time, it took the form of a scarf tied to his mic stand.
Then again, Elliott isn’t 19 anymore — as he was when Def Leppard recorded its debut, “The Def Leppard E.P.,” back in 1979.
Some things hadn’t changed when the band appeared Monday before a crowd that filled about three-quarters of the fair’s Chumash Grandstand Arena.
Just as they had on Aug. 3, 1999, Def Leppard kicked things off with “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop),” the opening track of the band’s breakthrough 1983 album, “Pyromania.” All in all, 15 of the 18 numbers Def Leppard performed Monday had been featured at that show on the eve of the new millennium.
The calendar might indicate this Leppard is getting long in the tooth. After all, it’s been nearly three decades since the Leps issued their 20 million-selling signature LP “Hysteria.”
But Monday’s show successfully turned back the clock for fans who stood and sang along enthusiastically to the closing number, “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” and the first of two encore numbers, “Rock of Ages.”
Among the highlights was “Switch 625,” one of the few acoustic numbers in the band’s catalog, which served as an extended coda to “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak.” A thumping bass intro by Rick Savage — wearing a sparkling glam shirt that read “I’m so (expletive) disco” — gave way to a hypnotic electric guitar duet by the shirtless Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell before climaxing in a slowly accelerating drum solo from Rick Allen.
The crowd cheered when Elliott introduced the “happy and healthy” Campbell, who has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and announced last month that the cancer had returned.
It’s the latest in a string of challenges the band has faced over the years: Former lead guitarist Steve Clark died of an overdose in 1991, and Allen lost his left arm after a car crash on New Year’s Eve in 1984.
Judging from the crowd’s reaction, however, Monday’s concert wasn’t a tragedy, but rather a triumph.
Perhaps the only drawback was the acoustics.
Jeff Keith of Tesla delivered some screeching, albeit on-key, vocals to open Monday’s show, but Elliott’s voice sounded muffled at the start of Def Leppard’s set.
He made liberal use of the echo feature and dropped down an octave at one point during “Foolin’,” but seemed to hit his stride during the sixth number, “Love Bites.”
The sound appeared to even out later in the concert, striking a better balance between vocals and instrumentation. Elliott’s acoustic solo on “Two Steps Behind” provided an effective breather in the midst of a thumping sonic assault that shook the metal stands.
For fans disappointed by Mötley Crüe’s abbreviated 10-song set two days earlier, it was a shot of rock ’n’ roll redemption.
By The Tribune 2015.
Def Leppard rocked the stage at the Mid-State Fair on Monday night. The show started with opening band Tesla.
Def Leppard’s career includes numerous hit singles and multiplatinum albums – including two of the best-selling albums of all time, “Pyromania” and “Hysteria,” capturing Leppard hits such as “Rock of Ages,” Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Foolin.” The upcoming tour follows on the heels of the band’s 2014 co-headlining tour with Kiss, last summer.
Def Leppard, which is made up of Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick “Sav” Savage (bass), and Rick Allen (drums), – has over 100 million records sold worldwide and two Diamond Awards. The group’s live shows, filled with rock anthems, continue to sell out venues worldwide. For the past thirty years the band’s live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name.
Jeff Keith (vocals), Frank Hannon (guitar), Brian Wheat (bass guitar), Dave Rude (guitar) and Troy Luccketta (drums) – make up the multiplatinum band Tesla.
By Paso Robles Daily News 2015.
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