This section looks at the 2018 North American tour opening night in Hartford, CT. A 60 shows co-headline run with Journey following on from the successful 2006 'YEAH!' tour.
"Thank you so much. It's been a real pleasure Hartford thank you."
Def Leppard and Journey opened their 2018 North American tour on this day in 2018 in Hartford, CT.
The show took place at the 16,294 capacity XL Center.
The first night of the 60 plus dates North American tour which ended in early October in Los Angeles, CA.
The tour would go on to sell over one million concert tickets and be one of Def Leppard's most successful tours since they first shared the bill with Journey in 2006.
The seventh show by the band in this city and a return to this venue which had last been played in March 1993.
The stage show was updated for the 2018 tour and included a spectacular new intro and the use of lasers for the first time since 1993 on the Adrenalize tour.
The longer intro at this first show was shortened and modified by show number two. It was also preceded by the playing of their Spotify Session version of Depeche Mode's classic song 'Personal Jesus'.
This would later be made available to stream and get a full release (after a remix) on the compilation album 'The Story So Far...The Best Of' in October 2018.
Stage Design/New Show Intro
The usual large video screen and two side screens were used (with ramps added above them). The new additions to the stage included a new lighting rig, lasers and three new video screens above the band.
These screens were lowered down at the start of the show with a 30 minute countdown running until show time. The screens displayed various content before the show including ads for the 'Def Leppard Pale' beer.
The spectacular show opening started with various studio songs being played over the screen visuals. Starting with Ride Into The Sun and followed by other songs as the album covers were shown on the screens.
An updated version of the 2008 Sparkle Lounge intro. The two minute segment ended with Let's Go from the latest album and showed a view of the USA from space before zooming in on Hartford, CT.
The screens then cut to two astronauts on the International Space Station who talked briefly while holding acoustic guitars. They did not specifically mention Def Leppard.
The screen then cut to an image of a ISS in orbit before the Are You Excitable? intro tape began. The DEF LEPPARD logo appeared on the main screen and Hartford on each of the three front screens. Rocket then started as the screen rose up to reveal the band behind them.
The screens were then used throughout the show. Lots of new content was used including new visuals for PSSOM.
The lasers returned to 'PSSOM' for the first time since the 1993 Adrenalize tour. They were used again during the signature guitar part in the song as they had been in 1987/1988 and the 1992/1993 tours. See footage below and in the Fan Videos.
'When Love & Hate Collide' was played for the first time outside of Las Vegas, NV in the USA. Having last been played in April 2013 at VIVA! Hysteria. Before the residency it had only been played once in North America in October 2003 during the X/Ten tour in the same city.
'Rocket' was played as the show opener for the first time since the 2008 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge' tour.
'Two Steps Behind' was played as a full band version on the Thrust Stage. Rick played a shaker as he had during the 2012 Rock Of Ages tour acoustic medley.
'Let's Get Rocked' moved moved to earlier in the set. The two encore songs remained the same.
From the self-titled album only 'Man Enough' remained in the setlist with 'Let's Go' and 'Dangerous' both dropped, at least for this opening night. The song was played for the first time in Hartford.
Def Leppard 2018 - Hartford, CT Setlist
- 00 - Albums/Are You Excitable? Video (Intro)
Images of albums displayed as various songs played. New 'Excitable' intro played as the screens rose up to reveal the band and the start of 'Rocket'.
- 01 - Rocket (Single Version)
Returning to the show opening spot for the first time since November 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand on the Sparkle Lounge tour.
- 02 - Animal
- 03 - Foolin'
- 04 - When Love & Hate Collide
Played for the first time in Hartford. Last played in the USA on 12th April 2013 in Las Vegas during VIVA Hysteria! (by Ded Flatbird).
- 05 - Let's Get Rocked
- 06 - Armageddon It
- 07 - Rick Savage Bass Solo/Rock On
- 08 - Two Steps Behind (acoustic)
Played with the full band on the thrust stage. Rick using a shaker - last done during the 2012 tour, joining in during the first chorus. Sav had to change his bass at the same time side stage. Live footage on the big screen plus the DL logo on the top three screens.
- 09 - Man Enough
Played for the first time in Hartford.
- 10 - Love Bites
Swirling lasers lights used during this song. Similar to those used on the Hysteria and Adrenalize tours.
- 11 - Bringin' On The Heartbreak (electric)
- 12 - Switch 625 (Instrumental)
- 13 - Hysteria/Heroes (David Bowie) tag
- 14 - Pour Some Sugar On Me
Lasers used during this song in a similar way to the original Hysteria tour of 1987/1988 but without mirrors on stage.
- 15 - Rock Of Ages
- 16 - Photograph
Def Leppard 2018 - Hartford, CT Show Speeches
Joe Elliott - Foolin' Intro
"Woo thank you!. Good evening Hartford!. Welcome to the first night of our 2018 tour. How ya doing?. Here's one from Pyromania for ya."
Joe Elliott - Armageddon It/Vivian Campbell Intro
"Thank you. Thank you very much Hartford!. Good to be here, how ya doing out there?. How we doing out there?. Give it up for Mr. Vivian Campbell!."
Joe Elliott - Rock On/Rick Savage Intro
"Thank you. Thank you very much. How ya been?. It's been a while. It's good to be back. Let's have a look at ya. Look at this. Look at all these people on a Monday, it's not even the weekend. this is why we keep coming back. This is very encouraging. It is nice to be back. It has been a while. Apologies for that but we're here. And we're gonna have a good time. You all having a good time. We're having a good time."
"When we were growing up in our collective cities of Sheffield, London and Belfast. We were joined unbeknown to each other because we didn't even know each other back then. But we were joined by a type of music that really was what brought us together in the first place. It was British style of music pretty much called Glam rock. And there were some amazing bands back in there 70s. Like T. Rex, and David Bowie, Sweet, Slade. the Faces I suppose you could call them glammy."
"And it led us not only down in our career 12 years ago in our career that we recorded where we could record some of our favourite songs and just so that the world knew where we came from. And a lot of those songs they mean so much to us but one of them specifically we pretty much played it every night since we recorded it for the last 12 years. We didn't write it but we're very proud to claim it."
"We're gonna do it for you right now. So with a little bit of low end love please say hello to Mr. Rick Savage!."
Joe Elliott - Two Steps Behind Intro
"Talk amongst yourselves. It's the first night. Feeling our way in. Pretty good so far. I like this. People we haven't seen for a while. Good to see you again. Now we have heard. We have heard you for the last 45 minutes or so and you sound pretty f**king good. I've gotta say really. Can you, can you sound any better though?. This is the thing. How's your voices feel. Are you up for a bit of singing?. I'll ask again. Are you up for a bit of singing?. You have to remember one thing right. That's all you've gotta remember. This is the first show of 60 shows that we're doing in the US. 60 and this is the first one!. So we have to take the memory of this one to the next gig and the one after that. So if you don't make any noise then we don't have anything to tell them about. Can you sing?. Do you wanna sing?. Well if you know the words, just sing 'em. Two Steps Behind."
Joe Elliott - Man Enough Intro
"Right!. Hartford, Connecticut. Can we see some hands in the air?. Come on everybody get your hands up, get your hands up. Come on, Come on."
Joe Elliott - Pre-Rock Of Ages Speech
"Well well well!. Hartford, Connecticut thank you very very very much indeed. It's the first one. This has been amazing, seriously. I mean I know singers come up here and say this shit all the time. This is the first gig of the tour, first. This is very very memorable, thank you. You are always beautiful, that's the great thing. And we thank ya. Every gig we do it's a pleasure that we can do this thing with people. We've been doing it for 40 years. We love this and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts to be able to do this. It's a beautiful thing."
"40 years long time being together. Shit happens when you're together for 40 years. If you know this band then you know we've been through some shit. But we always seem to come out the other end smiling. Who's the happiest man on stage tonight? Mr. Rick Allen!. And as always, he will introduce this one for ya."
Joe Elliott - End Of Show Speech
"Hartford, Connecticut. As always been a real pleasure. Thanks for having us, thanks for coming. We'll see you next time. Goodnight."
"Thank you so much. It's been a real pleasure Hartford thank you."
"Until next time. And there will be a next time!. Till then do us a big favour. Don't forget us and we won't forget you. Goodnight!."
Journey - Hartford, CT Setlist
- 01 - Intro/Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
- 02 - Be Good To Yourself
- 03 - Only the Young
- 00 - Neal Schon Guitar Solo #1
- 04 - Stone In Love
- 05 - Any Way You Want It
- 06 - Lights
- 00 - Jonathan Cain Piano Solo
- 07 - Open Arms
- 08 - Who's Crying Now
- 09 - Edge Of The Blade
- 10 - Chain Reaction
- 11 - La Do Da/Steve Smith Drum Solo
- 00 - Neal Schon Guitar Solo #2
- 12 - Wheel In The Sky
- 13 - Faithfully
- 14 - Don't Stop Believin'
- 15 - Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
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