Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick Concert Review

DEF LEPPARD AND COMPANY ROCK HARTFORD

Show Date: July 7, 2009
Location: Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Venue: Comcast Theatre
Reviewer: Bill Garfield
Band Websites: www.defleppard.comwww.poisonweb.comwww.cheaptrick.com

On July 7th I had the privilege to attend the Cheap Trick, Poison and Def Leppard concert at the Comcast Theater in Hartford, CT. This show did not disappoint at all. I have to admit that beers in the parking lot forced us to miss a large portion of Cheap Trick‘s set, but we did manage to catch the last few songs and it is obvious they have been around the block a few times.

They closed with “Surrender”, which is one of my favorite songs by the band and it sounded great. These guys can still bring its ‘A’ game and is very entertaining in all ways – from playing a five-neck guitar to Robin Zander‘s silver hat. I hope to have the chance to see them again.

Next up was Poison and this was the most energetic hour of the show. It was great to have these bands play on the ticket, but Poison is not an opener. The energy, songs and attitude can’t be crammed in a one hour set. Opening with the classic “Look What the Cat Dragged In” these guys never stopped. Singer Bret Michaels had the crowd on its feet from start to finish and sounded great. I have seen this band about 18 times now and every time this guy gives 100%. It amazes me that he never has an off night. He made an effort to connect with the fans in the front and sang his heart out on all the tracks you want to hear.

During the cover “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, the stage lights went and I swear every single person was jumping and singing along. It was once quoted by Bobby Dall that “performing on stage was better than sex” and while I am not sure I believe him 100%, this has to be a moment in the show when the blood is pumping.

CC DeVille took the stage for a very short solo – another reason why they should be headlining – and led us into “Fallen Angel” which just about blew the roof off and then it was a fast track of greatest hits…”Unskinny Bop” and “Talk Dirty To Me” continued the party.

Drummer Rikki Rockett also had a moment alone with the crowd and was awesome. He is a very underrated drummer in my opinion and really keeps the band going without much fanfare. The guys wrapped things up with the party anthem “Nothin’ But A Good Time” and then left the stage leaving the crowd buzzing.

I took the time to walk around a little and heard more than a few people say that Def Leppard was going to have to be great to compete with what Poison packed into 60 minutes. Thankfully for us, the boys across the pond were solid from start to finish.

They opened with “Rock Rock (Till you Drop)” and played a number of hits. I may be in the minority when I say this, but one of the highlights was watching the band perform “C’Mon, C’Mon”. Being then newest song in the show, it sounded like it has been played live for years. It really showed how much the band enjoys playing music together and how polished they are from start to finish.

Joe Elliot and the boys gave Rick Allen a rest with an almost two song acoustic set that was really good. “Two Steps Behind” was the best time to hear what a great rock voice Joe possesses and “Brinin’ On The Heartbreak” sounded awesome stripped down. Then as they hit the final verse, it blasted through the place the way it was written. A great mix for the audience.

“Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” were by far my favorite two songs played as the band sounded like they were twenty years younger playing the classic hits.

Two of the highlights of the show were “Switch 625” and “Rock On” when Rick Savage and Allen were really able to showcase their skills musically. It is obvious the talents of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, but these other two are amazing at what they do.

Savage led the way leading into “Rock On” while Allen stole the show during “Switch 625”.

The show wrapped up with party anthems “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and the encore “Do You Wanna Get Rocked.” Both were flawless and had the place on their feet.

I saw Def Leppard a few years ago and they were far superior on this night and I believe that that crowd appreciated every note, as it was a great night of music.The two bands are different in the sense that Poison entertains with energy while Def Leppard plays solid and strong rock. Both are great bands live and worth every penny.

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