Sunday, July 15, 2012

Def Leppard @Merriweather- 7/10/2012

Left work early and met my buddy Tony at Merriweather for Def Leppard. It got a bit cooler out, but it was still a might bit sweaty. He was getting there late, so I opted to go in and hear/see Lita Ford (he got there about as Posion started).

There were a LOT of people there, in the seats and especially on the lawn. People seemed to fill up a bit more a little bit before Poison went on. A very well attended show. I saw  a couple scalpers ($40 lawn. $45 regular price). I opted to make it a metal week and get Scorpions tix too ($15 off each \m/), so not bad overall. Shirts were expensive ($40), nothing really stood out to me merch wise.

Crowd was an interesting mix of the leathery legions (old timers), bikers,  normal looking people, the kids of all the above, and a surprising number of lesbians (cause of Lita Ford?). As I was strolling the lawn I noticed a pair of Mexican metalheads, who in head to toe black and long hair and death metal (or black metal) shirts were the most metal people there (besides me). I'm pretty sure I saw them at 1349 or some other Jaxx/Empire shows too. More about them in the Scorpions write-up!
Lita sounded pretty good technically, and her voice held up. But there was something lacking in her performance/stage presence. I couldn't tell exactly what it was, perhaps something about the combination of lackluster songs, ballady songs being her 'hits', and perhaps getting acclimated to the weather gave me an overall 'meh' feeling.

Poison went on to a much better ovation than Lita. I'm not a big Poison fan (They're alright), but they are def pretty good live. My buddy, a huge Poison fan, mentioned that their setlist is pretty much the same as he has seen then since....what 10 years back. They shoulda thrown in a deep cut or something. 2 covers also was a bad choice, IMO. Their backing vocals sounded horrible, like Tony and I were drunkenly shouting the choruses. Otherwise, Bret and co sounded very good. Kinda underwhelming, but pretty much what I expected (minus backing vox). Also the drum and guitar solos were totally unnecessary. Bret, if you need a break, just have CC sing 'Every Bone in your Body But Mine.'

Def Leppard went on after dark to a pretty damn loud crowd. As soon as they came on I remembered why these guys have sold millions upon millions of albums worldwide (OK, well after their first song, which was a new one. I mean it sounded good but I didn't know it so how pumped could I get?). These guys are consummate professionals- the sound, the show, the attitudes.Totally worth every penny to see just them alone! Admittedly, Joe had some effects on his mic to try to help him reach the high notes which seemed a bit... expected... but I didn't think it detracted from the performance that much. Vivian seemed to still phone in a bit of his solos just like last time. The guy who shredded with Dio... well I guess those days are long gone...

REGARDLESS, Def Leppard sounded great, looked strong, and I loved hearing 'Gods of War.' Of course I'd want some more deep cuts, but hearing those great Hysteria songs live again just floored me. So they really jammed, man. If you like Def Leppard, you gotta see 'em in concert.

Photos (pretty sorry selection):

Lita Ford

The Bitch is Back
Gotta Let Go
Living Like a Runaway
Kiss Me Deadly
Close My Eyes Forever 


 Look What the Cat Dragged In
Ride the Wind
We're An American Band
Your Mama Don't Dance
Guitar Solo
Fallen Angel
Unskinny Bop
Drum Solo
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin' But a Good Time

Def Leppard

Let It Go
Love Bites
It's All About Believin'
Let's Get Rocked
Gods of War
Full Band Acoustic Medley/Snippets
(Where Does Love Go When It Dies
When Love and Hate Collide
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
Two Steps Behind)
Bringin' on the Heartbreak
Switch 625
Armageddon It
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages