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  • Runnin' with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen
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Thursday
Sep242009

Darien, NY, - For many fans of classic hard rock this was to be the triple bill of the summer. The tour featuring headlining multi-platinum selling artist Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick just commenced days before. Before the show, the parking lot was jammed packed with tailgaters cracking music, bar-b-qing and drinking. Everything was cool, until walking up to the venue entrance and seeing a sign stating that the opening band Cheap Trick was not performing due to "unforeseen circumstances." It was learned latter that due to the severe weather in the Northeast, Cheap Trick were unable to get to the show. Some were upset, but for many others it just meant more time to drink.

Poison hit the stage at 8pm and played for an hour. The band was energetic, but at times frontman Bret Michaels' struggled a bit vocally. Poison has toured practically every summer since 1997. But, it seems that they perform much better in the headlining spot, in which they can utilize all of their visual effects and gimmicks.

Poison kicked off the evening with their usual opener “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” They then continued with "I Want Action," After the song, Michaels thanked Def Leppard for having them on tour, adding "They kick Ass!! The next song “Something to Believe In" was dedicated to all of the US armed forces.

Midway through the show, guitarist CC DeVille took center stage for a five minute long guitar solo that consisted mainly of him performing Eddie Van Halen’s infamous “Eruption” solo. Drummer Rikki Rocket also got a moment to shine during his drum solo later in the set.

Overall, it wasn’t Poison best performance, but by no means were they “awful “like the local news critic suggested.

Def Leppard went on at 9pm and had the crowd 15,000 in attendance standing for the rest of their concert. With an amazing stage show and a set list consisting of almost all of their hits, the band quickly proved why they were the headliners. The band was in great spirits. Earlier in the day, band members Phil Collen -guitar and Rick Savage-bass did an in-store signing at a Jackson guitar dealer in Hamburg, NY. During this event, they were given the key to the city as the mayor declared it “Def Leppard day.”
 


Highlights of the show included a performance of “Two Steps Behind” and “Bringing on the Heartbreak.” During this segment of the show, vocalist Joe Elliot guitarist Vivian Campbell , Collen and Savage advanced down a stage ramp into the center of the audience for an intimate presentation.

The instrumental “Switch 625” from the bands 1982 release ‘High and Dry’ featured some great guitar work from Collen and Campbell. Bassist Savage had his opportunity to shine with his bass intro on the David Essex cover song “Rock On.”

In the end this show proved that classic anthem rock never dies. With the current economic crisis, many have wondered if the concert industry will suffer. Well, on this night the classic rock fans of WNY proved that going to a good concert isn’t going to be something they are willing to sacrifice.


POISON setlist:

 Cat Dragged In
 I Want Action
 Something to Believe In
 I Won't Forget You
 Mama Don't Dance
 CC solo -eruption
 Fallen Angel- Bret explorer
 Unskinny Bop
 Drum solo
 Every Rose
 Talk Dirty To Me
 Nothin But A Good Time

DEF LEPPARD setlist:

 Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
 Rocket
 Animal
 Foolin'
 Too Late For Love
 Nine Lives
 Love Bites
 Bass solo
 Rock On
 Two Steps Behind
 Bringin' On The Heartbreak
 Switch 625
 Hysteria
 Armageddon It
 Photograph
 Pour Some Sugar On Me
 Rock Of Ages

www.defleppard.com