#BGReviewer: Def Leppard Hits Canada Tour
Guitar, drums…yeah! To say that the atmosphere downtown was in a state of “Euphoria” last night would be an understatement. On Monday, July 22nd, Budweiser Gardens played host to two hard-rock icons; Tesla and Def Leppard.
Once the ‘Def Leppard Hits Canada’ summer tour was announced, the buzz was electric. Fans travelled from all around and assembled outside the Gardens, band shirts in tow, with budding energy. The mood was set by our local radio stations playing hits from Def Leppard, Tesla and other classics from the 80s. That same atmosphere was carried inside where thousands of fans were welcomed to purchase a variety of merchandise, reflective on some classic merch designs as well as some new band looks.
Tesla opened the arena with the same energy that had been building throughout the audience. They blazed through their set list of some of their greatest hits over the years. Their set seemed to just fly by as they continued to power through with smooth transitions from song to song. Their set ended with thunderous applause and a standing ovation, with clear die-hard fans screaming at the top of their lungs. I’ve always been a big fan of what goes on behind the scenes in live entertainment. Watching the stage crew move like clockwork is such a unique experience, and I do not think that the production teams get enough credit for what is actually going on. The whole stage literally transforms before your eyes, and massive pieces of set are often moving all around you, even being lifted above your heads. What I personally enjoyed about these bands, is that there were no gimmicks; no special effects that were needed to enhance the performance quality. The bands were just as they were, raw and kept it to the basics. A use of video both above and behind them along with a stellar lighting rig and show design kept the visual interest while the talent on stage spoke for itself.
The party continued when the countdown on the screens that were lowered during the set change was counting down the mere seconds to the top of Def Leppard’s set. The crowd erupted with 15 seconds left on the count, with everyone getting to their feet. The loud and proud audience even stayed on their feet for the remainder of their 16-song set list of hits from their complete discography. As the first note played, and the screens lifted to reveal lead singer Joe Elliott highlighted by top light, you knew the audience was about to be taken down a journey. Fans were re-introduced to the band through the first number of the set, ‘Rocket’ and taken through accompanied video footage of NASA and their massive accomplishments. My guess, to honour the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight that just passed not too long ago. Their set was one big trip down memory lane, with tips of the hat to past performances, tours and memories that the fans and the band have shared together. Of course, their closing number (before encore of course), was the song that without-a-doubt, everyone knows. ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ was the loudest fan driven song I’ve heard in a concert. The sound was deafening. I took a moment during this number to just look around at everyone else. Pure joy, fond memories, and nostalgia was definitely alive and well. Music is said to bring people together, and I think that these bands did just that.
Photos: Bill Woodcock