Playing one of the venue’s last shows ever. English rock band Def Leppard hit the Qantas Credit Union Arena this Tuesday, accompanied by openers Baby Animals and Live.
Aussie rock outfit Baby Animals kicked off the night, starting off with limited energy that picked up as more and more fans trickled in for their early set. The band played their 90’s hits to great reception, with talented singer Suze DeMarchi looking most comfortable as a front woman with a guitar in her hand. Baby Animals were followed by American rock group, Live. The band started off their set to dubious audience interaction, the crowd seeming somewhat bored at the beginning, but warming up by the time what were clearly the two most popular singles were played. I can’t say much in either direction for this arguably misplaced band, other than that if you’re not a fan of Creed or Hinder, or a suburban white dad, they might not be for you.
Before the end of the night, Def Leppard came on stage to show their openers exactly how to captivate a middle-aged, primarily Caucasian audience. The band opened with their new track, “Let’s Go” priming their fans for the 80’s classics they came there to hear. As a front man, Joe Elliott was commanding and high-energy the entire show, delivering on most high-notes without flaw, though occasionally choosing to drop an octave lower, particularly during second track, “Animal”. The singer joked about playing an ACDC song before setting into a solo acoustic performance of “Two Steps Behind”.
The rest of the band, including guitarist Vivian Campbell, bassist Rick Savage, and perpetually shirtless and glistening guitarist Phil Collen, had their chance to shine during relentless instrumental track, “Switch 625” bringing the hard and fast guitar solos that the 80’s were known for to the stage. The highlight of the night belonged to drummer Rick Allen, who, if you were sleeping during 80’s Rock 101, lost his arm to a Corvette accident in 1984. This hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest, as Allen performed a solo that would still put the twice-limbed Tommy Lee to shame. Playing what would usually be hit with his left arm instead with his foot, The Thunder God lived up to his name to truly remarkable audience reception, with the crowd roaring in a response greater than any of the entire night.
Throughout the set, Def Leppard offered up their greatest hits such as “Armageddon It,” “When Love And Hate Collide,” “Rocket,” and of course, the provocative “Pour Some Sugar On Me” before performing a two song encore of “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph”. Overall, the band delivered exactly what the eager audience came there for: an entertaining, nostalgic, balls-to-the-wall 80’s hair metal performance, in a way that only Def Leppard can.