If you missed Tuesday night’s Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick show at the Comcast Theatre (formerly the Meadows), the bad news is you missed over 25 loud and decadent hits from the 80’s. The good news is you will be able to see some of what you missed.
Each 30-minute special will feature three songs by the featured band, exclusive looks backstage and interviews. The show will start airing on Friday nights on July 17.
After a short set by Cheap Trick, Poison came out and played for about an hour. They opened up with “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and when lead singer and star of VH1’s “Rock of Love” Bret Michaels ran out on stage, the crowd erupted in a frenzy.
Poison played a predictable ten-song set. It was basically the same order of songs they have been playing for the last ten years. What I could have done without was the self-indulgent guitar and drum solos. If they were the headliner and were playing longer, it would have been all right, but two solos in an hour seemed to rob the fans of one or two more songs.
They closed with “Every Rose Has its Thorn” and “Talk Dirty to Me” before coming out for an encore of their party rock song “Nothin’ But a Good Time”.
Def Leppard then hit the stage at 10:30 p.m. and played nonstop until midnight. The band looked in great shape and was surrounded on the stage by a massive video screen behind them with monitors also on the drum riser. The screen started the show with a quick history of the boys from Sheffield, England then said “That was then, this is now” before they jumped on stage and ripped into “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)”.
Out of the 15 songs they played, ten came from their two mega-hit albums “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”. They did play “C’mon C’mon” from the latest release “Songs from the Sparkle Lounge” that was met with polite applause because the crowd was still amped up from singing along to “Rocket”.
After three more hits, bassist Rick Savage started a funky beat that led into a cover of the 70’s song “Rock On”. Everyone seemed to recognize the song (“Hey kids rock and roll, rock on”), but you could see the crowd asking each other to remember who sang the original. For the record it was David Essex, and yes I had to Google it.
The highlight for the diehards in the crowd had to be what followed a mostly acoustic rendition of “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”. Big fans know that on the “High 'n' Dry” album, this song is followed by an instrumental called “Switch 625”. When it’s played on the radio they always fade out before the thumping bass line begins and Def Leppard doesn’t always include it in their shows. But when the beat for “Switch 625” started, you could see pockets of fans throughout the crowd getting excited for the full rendition.
Joe Elliott and company closed with three of their biggest crowd pleasures: “Photograph”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Rock of Ages”. But the audience didn’t let them get away without coming back to ask , “Do you wanna get rocked?”. Def Leppard finished with “Let’s Get Rocked” and then thanked the crowd and promised to be back again.
Def Leppard Set List
Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
Two Steps Behind
Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages
Let’s Get Rocked
Poison Set List
Look What the Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride the Wind
Something to Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Every Rose Has its Thorn
Talk Dirty to Me
Nothin’ But a Good Time
After all that, the hardest part for VH1 will be picking the three songs from each of the bands set lists because Def Leppard and Poison stuck to playing basically their hits and crowd favorites.