Quick shout out to my sister Kristin and her Boyfriend Darren who are on there way to see Def Lep Live tonight in Minneapolis Minnesota along with Poison (meh) and Tesla(awesome). Kristin this one’s for you!
Back to 1992 ….Frigg I’m getting old but those buggers Leppard are older than me still..haha! I will tell ya something that this production that Leppard put on back in 1992 must have been one of the last big Arena Rock Shows for a while as Grunge Mania was sweeping across North America and everyone was lapping up the saucer bowl filled with Nirvana.
Def Lep though went about their business and when they announced this show in Winnipeg I pounced on tickets ASAP as I thought it would sell out quick. Well wasn’t I fooled when myself and Sidekick Sal took our seats. I was amazed that only 9500 people were at this show where the old Winnipeg Arena could hold up to 16,000(that was the amount of people who were stuffed in the joint back in 89 on the Bon Jovi Jersey Tour). What was more bizarre was that there were 2000 more people at this Lep show than the one they played in Winnipeg on the Hysteria Tour in 1988!
When the opening lines of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry vocal spiel was over (you know the part in the movie about looking down the barrel of gun) Leppard opened up with the leadoff single Let’s Get Rocked and the crowd was in it from the get go. Second track was Tear It Down followed by the classic Women (still love that end of the song solo). Vocalist Joe Elliot is a good frontman as with the stage being in the middle of the arena there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Actually all the Lepp dudes (except Drummer Rick Allen ) moved about and used up all the stage as no one in the crowd could say they weren’t giving it there all.
Guitar Hero Dude’s Vivian Campbell & Phil Collen layed down the law with the chops of a butcher! On one hand you got Topless Phil playing and at times riffing so over the top it was ridiculous but he somehow reigns it in and can contain himself in the Lep song catalogue. Campbell is more my kind of player. Little more chill relaxed in his deal as he was replacing the Great King Of All Riffs Mr Stephen Clark(RIP). I have said it before in all my reviews a lot of the riffs went to heaven that day Clark died. But Lep has moved on as they had too and in replacing Clark with Campbell they got a fellow who went through the guitar hero ranks in Dio. Played with Davey Coverdale in the 1987 version of Whitesnake. Played some slick guitar in the Riverdogs & Shadow King two bands that went nowhere before landing the Lep gig in early 92!
Campbell/Collen each got their moment in the sun (guitar solo’s) and it was pretty surprising that having two actual guitar solos in the show would kill the pace but it didn’t. The only real drag like the one I mentioned in my review of this tour which landed in Ladano’s Fav U.S City Duluth (about 6 weeks later after this show) was that basically the first two albums were ignored except for the acoustic rendition of Bringing On The Heartbreak.
Still though this was a great show with an over the top Lighting Truss that swirled a shit load of lights on moveable pods above the crowd on Gods Of War.
Hit after Hit was played … Rocket to this day still is one of my fav Lep songs as a ton of Hysteria was played (8 songs off of it) whereas there was a huge dose of Pyromania and the current Adrenalize as well..
Top notch live show and the end of an era so to speak as Lep hit the skids shortly after as far as sales go though I feel that 1996’s Slang is one of there best!
Great Times and enjoy the show Kristin and Darren…..
Update….My sister has confirmed to me that she will review this show!
Watch for it…..