Def Leppard/Poison/Tesla..Live In St Paul(April 21st 2017)

DEF LEPPARD 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR W/POISON & TESLA

DATE: April 21, 2017

TIME: 7:00PM

VENUE: XCEL Energy Center

CITY: St Paul, Minnesota

Hey Folk’s! Less than 2 weeks ago my Sister, Kristin and her Boyfriend, Darren shot down to St Paul to Catch the Leppard show! Being the older bro I told her ‘Review It!” and by golly  along with Darren’s help they reviewed it! Great Job! Give it a read friends!

Take it away…..

It was October of 2009 and the concert of a lifetime was only a few weeks away. I got a phone call from my brother Deke telling me that my all-time favourite band, Def Leppard had cancelled the Canadian portion of their tour. Having received more than one prank call from my brother, I assumed this was just another. I said a couple of swear words and hung up. I quickly googled and was devastated to find the cancellation in Winnipeg the next month had been confirmed.

Fast forward to February 2017. My birthday. I opened a card from my boyfriend Darren, and two tickets fell in my lap for the April show in St Paul. Figured I should invite him along…..

We arrived in St Paul with 15 minutes to spare, no thanks to Garmin. The lights dimmed and Tesla took the stage. Edison’s Medicine filled the arena with a sense of nostalgia which took me back to Grade 10. Love Song sounded like it was off the album in ’91 except I wasn’t crying into my pillow over my ex -boyfriend. Jeff Keith’s vocals were as rich and distinct as their debut in ’86. After 40 short minutes, Modern Day Cowboy closed the show. I could wager a guess and say that there were 20,000 fans wanting more.

Next up Look What The Cat Dragged In…..Poison. Bret Michaels and the band played all the classic hits you know and love to hate. Something To Believe In payed tribute to Prince on the one year anniversary of his death. C.C. DeVille played a face-melting guitar solo(in other words now would be the time to  go and  buy your Concert T’s) before leading into Unskinny Bop. Poison finished their encore with Nothin’ But a Good Time in anticipation of what was to come next.

Def Leppard opened with Let’s Go, their 2015 release not to be confused with Let It Go from ’81. The crowd was somewhat subdued for the first couple of songs until Foolin’ brought the capacity filled arena to their feet. The energy continued throughout Love Bites, Armageddon It, Rocket and Bringin’ On the Heartbreak. An emotional drum solo by Rick Allen had fans screaming for more. The most memorable part of the entire concert was to come. Hysteria, Let’s Get Rocked and Pour Some Sugar On Me, the everlasting tunes everyone came to hear followed. The stage went dark and the crowd went wild. After a 5-minute standing ovation the band returned to bring down the house with Rock Of Ages and Photograph.

HEY KIDS! THE ACTION IS BEHIND YOU’S!

Although it took me over 20 years to see the number one band on my bucket list, they didn’t disappoint. Joe Elliott managed to take the crowd on a ride in a time machine, and for a brief moment I was that teenage girl in ‘87 with acid wash jeans and big hair. –Kristin

Van Halen/For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge(1991)

 

Haven’t smashed out a Van Halen album review in a bit so let’s jump into the Van Hagar fire with there 1991 release For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album or as every one call’s it F.U.C.K.

Who knew back in June of 1991 when this record hit the streets that there was internal strife in the band. You had Sammy Hagar/Michael Anthony/Eddie and Alex Van Halen still looking like and functioning like a band to me anyway’s but if you read Sam’s Book Red you knew that was further from the truth as the Halen Bros made Anthony who is everyones favourite guy yet to the Halen Bros he was the kicking bag of the band take a percentage cut in songwriting and such which kudos to Mikey who  sucked it up and just kept going about his business…

So with that said ….

I was stoked and why wouldn’t I be. New Halen/New Halen so this was easily a first day purchase as since I was working I sent my younger brother Todd who was 14 at the time(with cash on hand) to pick the CD up for me and as per protocol since he was on a Rock Mission a cassette tape of the same album for him. Paying for my brothers music as well  was the least I could do as he would always deliver as when  I would get home my new release would be ready to unwrap! Bam!

So with this album Halen hire Andy Johns(RIP). Johns had quite the resume in rock as he engineered a bunch of Led Zeppelin/Rolling Stones records as well as produced stuff by Free/Cinderella and wait for it….two albums by HMO Can Con’s Killer Dwarfs!

 So I knew the production end of things would be taken care of or would they? Hmmmm ….Well the drums sound huge and they should right as Alex Van Halen was a massive player and Johns worked with Bonzo from Zep and we all know how those drums sound on the Zeppelin albums right!?

Andy though I dunno too much partying at the 5150 studios or maybe you had the Halen Bros breathing down your neck constantly about how they want to hear things. The production sounds muddy at times as it’s hard to decipher the Bass it sounds like one big wall of thud. Not clear either kinda trembly  weird..dunno what it was but the sound sounded bizarro. Than again this was nothing new as 1988’s O.U.8.1.2 production sounded all over the map at times.

Anyways my personal bitchin aside F.U.C.K is still a good album and shall we take a gander at the tracks….


1. “Poundcake” 5:21
2. “Judgement Day” 4:38
3. “Spanked” 4:53
4. “Runaround” 4:20
5. “Pleasure Dome” 6:58
6. “In ‘n’ Out” 6:04
7. “Man on a Mission” 5:03
8. “The Dream Is Over” 3:59
9. “Right Now” 5:21
10. “316” (instrumental) 1:29
11. “Top of the World” 3:54

Poundcake,HA! That ol Horn Dawg Sam starts off with some punchy lyrics about getting some Poundcake and not the kind Granny would cook in the oven if ya catch my drift. The big news was that Eddie was dabbling with a Power Drill with an pic attached to the drill and this begins the album with Al charging forward with the drums. (Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Paul Gilbert did the pick drill bit a year before on the Mr Big “Lean Into It” album but Paul never got his due or maybe I got this all wrong) Pretty cool opening song which also served as the tour opener as well. Gotta love Big Rock Dumbo lyrics and Poundcake serves the purpose but when you have EVH on guitar you know the music chops are gonna be up to snuff and by golly they are. Below I posted a rippin great version of Poundcake when Halen played on the 1991 MTV Awards and man they rock the shit outta those yuppies in the front row! This is soooooooooooo Gooooooood! Kinda funny watching this as they all seem happy but AL and Ed you know are thinking what can we do to the Bass Player after the show…

On Judgement Day Ed flexes his guitar muscle and we all scream in excitement as he still shows us all who the Boss is! Sam ditches the Dumbo lyrics and steps up  on this track and sings it real swell as well! The solo is fantastic and Ed does all that crazy tapping that well no one can do and better yet how the hell does Ed think of this stuff?

Spanked reminds me of 2 things! First of all in the credits of the album Ed was credited as playing some 6 string Bass on this song. (Oh oh..watch yer back Mikey)This song musically is creepy Halen kinda sauntering around in your backyard at 2 am looking for dope n booze. Lyrically well…read this for yourself…

“Three dollars, first minute, gosh, man
After that, cost ya four
And she be up for negotiations, mmm hmm
If you call back for more, oh oh oh ah

Now who ya gonna call
When you need that special (special)
Little somethin’, mmm
You can say what you like
It’s all confidential, whoa

All you bad, bad boys
Call her up on the spank line, huh
All you bad, bad boys
Call her up on the spank line, whoa

Hey, all you bad, bad boys
Make a mind blow
All you bad, bad boys (dial 1-900-spanked)”

So what we got here is Creepy Music Halen with Big Dumbo Rock lyrics but Sam is a clever chap as well the song is catchy in a different kind of way.  The second thing is that when I caught this show in Winnipeg(Nov 1991) the reviewer said that Halen played Spanked. Ummm no they did not as I’m a Diehard and that track was not played which proved to me that some of these critics have no idea what the F.U.C.K there writing about! Oh well Mr Reviewer just dial up 1-900-Spanked!

Runaround gets the band back on track and this is another sure fire winner with a super duper excellent chorus and this Runaround has ton of zip in it’s step. Well done after the chaotic creepiness  of Spanked. Sam Halen know there bread and butter and thats tracks like this one.

Pleasure Dome is pretty much a musical number kinda with some Sammy echoey like mumbling and stumbling as the Brothers and Anthony  keep the train a chugging.

Side 2 begins with Alex kicking In ‘N’ Out  and more silliness from Sam I Am. Now before you Hagar Fans (Trust me I’m one also) get all nutty thinking I’m beating up Sam and his lyrics he’s just comes across as a BeachBum not taking his crap too seriously and just living life so can you really blame him. Sam-innuedo are these lyrics for In ‘N’Out.

Man On A Mission is the track no one ever talks about but it’s a pretty good track that builds off of Ed’s Riff’s. Love the guitaring on this track. Pretty cool vocals especially the backing vocals of Mikey. That should come as no surprise though.

This Dream Is Over may actually be my fav off of this album. Ed soars right out of the gate with this track and he lifts right off until Sam checks in with singing. See,give Sam his due as he when he puts his mind to it can write some crafty words, EVH takes this track to the next level come solo time!

At the 92 MTV Awards show Halen cleaned up on some awards with Right Now which has Ed twinkling the ivories but do not be fooled by the piano as Ed supercharges and ramps up during the solo. Actually this was areal cool video and still is….Liked the clip where they show Mikey wanting to make a solo album….betcha Ed and Alex were chomping at the bit…..Still though this is a great song with great lyrics!

316 is a little Guitar doodle from Edward as in the year of 1991 his son Wolfie was born on the third month/16th day….

Ed begins Top Of The World  and the boys all join in and this is a great rock track and was the tour closer for the tour as well. If you listen closely to the end of the song you can here Ed picking a few bars of Jump. EVH does it the right way..he steals licks from himself!

F.U.C.K is a good Sam Halen album. At time the lyrics are loosey goosey but than again like I had mentioned in my OU812 review if Sammy confronted me about this accusation I would tell him Tbone made me say it!

Seriously though this album if the production had been notched up a bit could have been a great album as the songs are there kinda. You got serious stuff and goofy stuff(in the lyrics) so even though Van Halen was maturing age wise they still wanted you to keep them in mind when the Bong N Booze/ Doritos would come out!

ADDED COMMENT…..

Mikey Ladano reviewed this back in 2014 and gave it a 2.8/5 rating….

Here’s my  2 cents worth of a comment ..

Deke
October 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm
Yeah man the bass on here like Aaron said is aweful. The songs for the most part are good except for fruit cake toons like Spanked and Poundcake the music is good but Sam has always had a thingy for big dumb goofy lyrics but that’s who he is,Sam I Am!
Ha…but yeah in 91… I liked this one immensely but in 2014 I lean towards another Hagar/Halen album but I ain’t saying till my Sonic Wave deal..how’s that for a self plug!
But still I would plunk this a little higher Mikey than what U gave it but fair enuff…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla/ Live In Thunder Bay Ontario(Oct 22 2005)

TESLA IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO

That above friends is proof of purchase that the Mechanical Resonance Cowboys known as Tesla rolled into Tbay playing a full on (kinda) Unplugged Set.

Fellow Blogger asked for this review…so here we go!

So when Tickets went on sale Tbone pounced on Tickets quick as this show was gonna be sold out and by golly it did. Kinda funny and cool in the same breath that it took 15 years after the original 5 Man Acoustical Jam to reach these parts but then again up to this point Tesla never really played Canada that much. Sure me and Tbone caught em opening for Motley Crue back in 1990 in Winnipeg but for them to come here was a good score.  Tesla played this  dump called Warp 9 which is long gone in which originally was a movie theatre(Odeon Court). Little known fact that this was the building I had seen Star Wars back in 1977 with my Dad! Movie Trivia time Mikey Ladano!

So the Tesla dudes that being guitarists Tommy Skeoch/Frank Hannon,vocalist Jeff Keith,bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Lucketta  stepped up to the stage and  the crowd went nut’s and the boys launched into Cumin Atcha Live and I tell ya it was like it was off the record. Keith’s vocals 15 years after the original release were clear and crisp and the dude did not lose an octave in that throat of his.

Once the opening tune was finished it was onto the current album and title of said record and that would be the tune Into The Now. Tesla was firing on all cylinders and this continued throughout the show as all of Tesla’s catalogue was played. Edison’s Medicine/Gettin Better/Paradise and one of the coolest ever swampy acoustic like opening riff’s and that would be Heaven’s Trail. Not to be outdone Heaven’s Trail was followed by Hang Tough.

A real cool part of the show was when Keith announced to the crowd that they were gonna jam around in which they did and when Bassist Brian Wheat hoped on the keyboards Guitarist Frank Hannon took over on lead vocals and sang The Beatles Get Back.

One of my personal fav’s from the Acoustical Jam album was Tommy’s Down Home in which Skeoch takes the lead vocal over for a quick hilarious acoustic rip of a track. The Lyrics are funny and Tommy man he ain’t no lead singer but man he can make a tune fun! I will say that Tommy is the real deal of Rock N Roll and Tesla has missed his edge since he left over the fact I do believe was he could never handle the Bass Player running the business part of the band. Too bad …Anyways below is a clip of Tesla unplugged from 2005. Since there was no decent Tbay footage(there is but the audio is brutal) Caught In A Dream  I posted…Check it out!

 

 

Def Leppard/Live In Winnipeg…Oct 10/1992

 

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…..

 

 

 

Kick Axe/Welcome To The Club(1985)

 

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Kick Axe slammed down a great debut in Vices(1984) and in 1985 here comes the followup Welcome To The Club.

WTTC is a more polished sounding album than the debut but make no mistake this album can still pack a wallop when spun! George Christon delivers these songs with a great rock voice especially on the title track and Make Your Move as these songs also feature  the wickedly great guitar dual of Larry Gillstrom and Raymond Harvey.

This album is a more progressive sound from the Saskatchewan Bunch.

Kick Axe could write more than just cheese like tunes as they had bands like King Kobra and an Ozzy Less Sabbath checking out there song’s.

The one set back for Kick Axe was Spencer Proffer. Proffer signed Quiet Riot and a bunch of other bands and used the same production team for these acts so the sound of each artist albums sonically was the same. Shame really as Kick Axe had superior songs than what QR and K.K were putting out at that point.

Kick Axe is in the record books here in Tbay as they were the first ever band to headline in our Shitty Auditorium back in 1985!

Metal Shuffffffle!

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Krokus/Heart Attack(1988)

 

Krokus named there 1988 release Heart Attack and it was an appropriately named album if there ever was one. It’s basically Krokus flatlining once and for all after a  promising start career wise in the early 1980’s.  By the end of the 80’s Krokus and more importantly there creative gas tank was on empty….

The dry up started back in the 86 with the Change Of Address album where Krokus got all glammed up and put out a stinker of an album. I bought it…..Tbone bought it….we were fooled by the zany Swiss fellows…. Krokus man in that pic below would have had their asses handed to them if they were involved in a street brawl against the Village People!

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Swiss Cheese…

Marc Storace – vocals
Fernando von Arb – lead guitar
Mark Kohler – rhythm guitar
Chris von Rohr – bass, piano, percussion
Dani Crivelli – drums

Tbone was smart. He zipped right off the Krokus Tour Bus after the Change Of Address fiasco whereas I stayed the course and bought the awful live album Alive And Screaming.  The awful part was the recording of  it. I think I only listened to it a few times as the sound was atrocious. The cover was Goofy….see pic below…

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See what I mean….Gah!  Show a live action shot for Gawd’s sake! Crap Cover =Crap Album…

Yet still…

1988 and Krokus ditch the glam look that scared Tbone away and went for a street look and a back to basics kinda vibe with trying to release a Rock N Raw album. Like a true Music Fan Boy I bought  Heart Attack in the summer of 88 on cd….

The verdict….

Not Good! It’s surprising that outside the drummer this is the classic lineup that demolished my senses with the Headhunter release from 1983. Von Rohr split before the Blitz album from 84 but returns here to salvage a sinking ship but it’s too late ….

Code Blue…The Song’s..

Side one
“Everybody Rocks” – 3:50
“Wild Love” – 4:01
“Let It Go” – 4:31
“Winning Man” (Fernando von Arb, Chris von Rohr) – 5:15 (originally on Hardware)
“Axx Attack” – 4:24

Side two
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Tonight” – 3:58
“Flyin’ High” (Krokus, Jürg Naegeli) – 4:14
“Shoot Down the Night” – 4:37
“Bad, Bad Girl” – 5:58
“Speed Up” – 6:24

The only song I recall even somewhat liking 1988 style is Let It Go(posted the video for it

The production handled by Von Rohr and Von Arb is decent enough but that isn’t gonna salvage the tunes…

 

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