OK. So I admit it. I listened to the Hysteria album by Def Leppard back in the day. But as lead singer Joe Elliott told us at one point in the evening, it is now 25 years old, so cut me some slack that I was young and didn’t know what I was listening to and hadn’t discovered “good music” yet. But that is doing it a bit of a disservice… go listen to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and then tell me you didn’t just do a little bit of rockin’ out.
Anyway… when I found out that Def Leppard and Poison were doing a show in Denver, it went from a joking “I should go”, to a “no really, I should go”, to everyone I mentioned it to saying “damn straight you should go!”. It seems that everyone around my age has a sense of nostalgia (or perverse interest) in the 2012 versions of both Def Leppard and Poison. So as those of you who read my blog post yesterday will have seen, my interest resulted in a ticket to said arena spectacular.
I arrived at the Pepsi Centre, rockin one of my black t-shirts I thankfully brought with me (a Boris t-shirt, but black nonetheless). It wasn’t the sea of black I expected, but a strange mix of older metal folk, a little more countrified guys and gals and a healthy mix of “kids”. Not the demographic I would expect back home.
(Oh, throughout this you will have to make do with my crappy iPhone pics too due to the strictly enforced no camera policy too. Boo.)
Heading into the centre I was greeted to Lita Ford, 80’s hard rock “hottie”, just kicking off. Many of the older guys in the crowd clearly still hold a torch for Ms Ford as she belted through half an hour of hits (along with some new material), with quite a few of the gents in raptures. Nice start.
But really, most people were here for the other two bands, in seemingly equal doses, as when the lights went down again in preparation for Poison, people started losing their collective shizz. And when they opened with Look What The Cat Dragged In, I figured we were going to be in for a pretty fun ride, especially if they stuck with the hits. And they pretty much did. When you consider the 10 song set included Fallen Angel, Unskinny Bop, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn (in which the older woman next to me teared up bless her), and the great finisher Nothin’ But A Good Time, it was exactly what I wanted really.
It is at this point too I have to acknowledge the dude to my other side. A younger dude with his gal, he lost it multiple times during Poison (a sign of things to come for the whole show) which was quite endearing to be honest. Sporting his Van Halen jersey, he was clearly here for a good time (and is the devil horn sporting chap in the top photo). I really should have got a photo with him.
And so on we go to the main event. Def Leppard arrived to a backdrop of a huge Union Jack and then proceeded to rock out in that 80’s British hard rock / soft metal fashion they’ve pedalled for the last 30 years. Rocket from said Hysteria album got a run second up, so I was thinking oh yeah! this shall be fun.
And you know… it kinda wasn’t unfortunately. As their set progressed through pretty much the whole Hysteria album along with other tracks (including the now-obligatory acoustic rock out section in the middle of the set) I found all the songs blended into a mash of kinda-boring mid-tempo soft rock. Apologies to any Def Leppard fans who find this… I mean no disrespect… but it wasn’t quite the rock show I wanted. I think I got wrapped up in Poison earlier, and even listening to Pour Some Sugar On Me just a few days earlier.
Do I regret going? No way. But the longer it went on, the more kinda bored I got. Sure, Pour Some Sugar On Me was second-to-last which meant I got to get my air guitar out before I left, but the show just wasn’t as rockin’ or actually as bombastic as I would have hoped… Poison were easily the highlight for me.
So kudos to Def Leppard for making 1000’s of Denver-ites either relive the 80’s, or wish they grew up in the era of 80’s metal. They lapped it up, especially the young dude next to me. But me, I just wanted to rock out a little more.