For any self-respecting classic rock fan, Def Leppard alone is a good enough reason to come out if you’re looking for a good rock show. But for two very special dates on their 2013 tour, Def Leppard tabbed guitar legend Slash to open the show for them. With the addition of Slash – and his supporting band, featuring Myles Kennedy, Todd Kearns, Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris – you’ve got the perfect rock show.
Slash kicked the night off, and took fans back in time with Guns N’ Roses classics like “Nightrain”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Mr. Brownstone”. He mixed in the bass driven “Slither” from his days with Velvet Revolver, and showed off only a bit of the talent he’s yet to show the world with his solo material. Between songs like the powerful ballad “Anastasia” and the pulse pounding “You’re a Lie” Slash’s work on the guitar coupled with Myles Kennedy’s exceptional vocals showed the classic rock fans; there’s still great music being made today.
The set wasn’t all about Slash and Myles though, bassist Todd Kearns took a turn on lead vocals for “Welcome to the Jungle” and really had the venue rocking for the whole song. With so much material to choose from you may think that a Slash solo show would be filled with overplayed songs, but that’s far from the case. Slash’s performance was loaded with a perfect mix of Guns N’ Roses classics, new classics such as “Slither” and his strong solo material that continues to impress even the most cynical rock fan.
Headlining the show were British rock legends Def Leppard. Coming out to a part tape, part cover of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” Def Leppard left no doubt about their influences and allegiances. The show kicked off with the Def Leppard rendition of “Action” – originally written by Sweet – in what may have be the first time I’ve even see a band open with two covers.
Most of Leppard’s hard rocking set would see material from the mega hit album “Hysteria”. Staples like “Animal”, “Love Bites” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” were mixed with rarities including “Don’t Shoot Shotgun” which was played for the first time in the United States, outside of the band’s Las Vegas residency, since 1988.
Of course no Def Leppard show would be completed without getting an answer to the question “Do you wanna get rocked?” Getting rocked is exactly what the Gilford, New Hampshire crowd did for the last few songs of the performance as Leppard hit them with monster hit after monster hit playing “Let’s Get Rocked”, “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph”.
Def Leppard’s set was a tour de force in classic 80’s rock. Whether you were there to relive your glory days as a young metal head, or experiencing the raw power of Def Leppard for the first time, fans of all ages could agree that a hard rocking show was put on by both acts from start to finish. Slash only performed on this date and one other, but after witnessing this show, one can only hope it’s just a taste of things to come.