Def Leppard with Poison, Cheap Trick
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Aug. 8, 2009
The Deal: It was the return of the '80s/'90s hair metal as Def Leppard brought along Poison and Cheap Trick for a wild night of rock.
The Good: The night started out with Cheap Trick and I'm not sure if it's good or bad that guitarist Rick Nielsen is so proficient in throwing picks. I swear that, at times, it's as if he's throwing a pick after every strum of the guitar. (He once said in an interview that he averages throwing out 500 picks per show.)
Next up was Poison, who performed for roughly an hour during their hits-packed set. The older-skewing crowd sang along to every word as the band hit the stage to "Look What the Cat Dragged In" though it looked more like "Look What the Cougars Dragged In" as plenty of women screamed for the Rock of Love star Bret Michaels. Michaels acknowledged the success of the show at one point and, again, the crowd went wild.
Guitarist CC DeVille did all he could to entertain the crowd with rampant guitar licks and an extended solo after "Your Mama Don't Dance." The band also took a moment to thank troops and videotape the crowd during "Something to Believe In." And the hits were all there, for the most part "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Unskinny Bop" and the closer, "Nothin' But a Good Time."
Def Leppard ran through an hour-and-30-minute set full of hits of its own "Rocket," "Love Bites," "Animal," "Photograph" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" among them. The band made good use of the three level stage as a massive LED screen backdrop zipped through the years to start of the band's show. It's been a long 30 years, but there's still plenty of energy in the group.
The Bad: Note to Poison You shouldn't sell booty shorts that have "I Want Action" written on them if you aren't going to play the song during your set. I was also surprised that they left out "I Won't Forget You." Def Leppard's biggest omission was "Let's Get Rocked."
The Verdict: I'll put it plainly: Cheap Trick's set was about the same as I'd seen before consistent, yet short. It was the first time I'd seen Poison in 20 years and the band looked like they still have fun in every moment they're on stage. I hadn't seen Def Leppard before and while the set is certainly smaller than the old days, they still have the chops to pull off the songs vocally and musically. All in all, it was a reminiscent night of times gone by.
Look What the Cat Dragged In
Ride the Wind
You Mama Don't Dance> CC Solo
Something to Believe In
Unskinny Bop > Rikki solo
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin' But a Good Time
Def Leppard setlist
Rock Rock Til You Drop
Too Late For Love
Two Steps Behind
Bringing on the Heartbreak
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock of Ages