Gig Report by Chris Martin (Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like calling what I do reviews. Blog posts are likely a more accurate description. Pages torn from the journal of a heavy metal junkie sounds much more badass though. I pretty much just write what I see and feel about…well, whatever I happen to be writing about at the time. Mostly it’s concerts, but as some of you know I do write some album reviews (there’s that word again) and periodically interview people. My true passion lies in writing about the shows I attend. Obviously I go to a lot of them compared to your average person (not that I’m not average as well, but you get my point.) I’m just lucky that good shows come to my area these days and that most of the time I can afford to go. The thing about what I do is, my perspective will always be different from you, the reader- my so called peeps. I have a feeling this write up will be a bit more scrutinized by folks than usual. Some of that has to do with the fact that there will actually be a lot more people reading this one that were actually at the show than usual Also, two of the three acts are fairly well-known and liked (though Lita had a pretty good following back in the day.)
There are so many factors that go into doing what I do after a show, and so many additional factors that play into the actual concert experience that will either add or taint the experience. I may see the same awesome show that you did, then again you could’ve enjoyed the performers, but had jackasses in your section that ruined the event for you. So if you were at the show and happen to be reading this, I hope you had a blast and enjoy what follows now. Oh, and for those of you reading my reviews for the first time, there’s always a running narrative throughout with call backs to other reviews and shows and stuff, so I hope you don’t get lost and confused along the way either.
Initially I wasn’t planning on seeing this show. Ticket prices were a bit steep for my taste and I already had a couple high dollar shows right around the same time. I’m pretty sure I made mention in a recent review that while at the Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper show we were able to score $15 yard seats, and we figured why not (we got to do the $10 upgrade to seats again like at KISS so that was even better.) I’ve seen Def Leppard a couple times over the years, Poison a few times as well, and Lita Ford for a couple minutes during a Queensryche show. I’m not a huge Poison fan. I love the first album and the two without CC Deville, and I think the song “Fallen Angel” is an incredible song. The last time I saw Def Lep musically they were on, but Joe Elliot’s voice was horrible. Lita, sadly, sucked, but I factored that as the songs she mostly played were from a horrible album that she should never have recorded. However, my girlfriend and sister were excited about seeing the show (AJ had seen Poison, but not Def Leppard and this was a first time for both for Kim.) Laura was going to join us, but she forgot that this was the day she was leaving for a family beach trip. Of course Roger, Stacey, and Andrew were meeting us in Charlotte. Rick who went to the Maiden and KISS shows with us was to attend as well, but a prior engagement ran longer than he expected so he bowed out as well. We met at Macado’s in Charlotte, had a great meal, and then made our way to Verizon Wireless.
First up for the night was Lita Ford. If you know her history, then you know she got her start with the legendary all-female rock band in the 70’s The Runaways. Otherwise, she’s the hot blond that sang that song with Ozzy back in the 80’s. I’d say I gave all my masturbatory fantasies about her in the last review, so I’ll spare you from that again. I was eager to see her again live after the previous fiasco. I was afraid that it wasn’t a song thing and she simply wasn’t a good live act. It happens sometimes. With little fanfare, Lita and the band took the stage, and she announced to the crowd, “The bitch is back,” or something to that effect, and started playing the Elton John classic by that title. My fears washed away quickly. She sounded great. Sure, there were some mistakes, missed notes and whatnot, but that’s part of the live experience. She had a short set that consisted of a couple songs from her latest album that is actually pretty good. It’s a step in the right direction for sure. Of course she also played her hits, ending with “Close My Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly.” Overall she sounded and played great, has a pretty solid band backing her, and hopefully this will keep her going and making great music.
Next up was Poison. Like I said, I’m not a huge fan. In fact, I pretty much vowed the last time I was at a show of theirs I’d never go again. I detest CC Deville. Not a big Brett Michaels fan either, but he is a good frontman if not a good singer. The thing that bugs the shit out of me about CC are his antics (I leave alone his terrible guitar playing.) The whole shtick of rolling around on the ground just drove me absolutely crazy the times before. Their setlist was damn near the same every time I saw them as well, and that was a detraction for me as well. I have mad respect for Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dahl though. They’re good players and seem to be good guys. But being the awesome boyfriend and brother that I am I decided to endure them one more time. Doing my usual setlist cheating I saw they weren’t playing a long set, and actually were playing a couple of things I’d not seen them play that I could recall.
Also “Fallen Angel” was still there so I knew I would love at least one song. I actually have to admit that the show was pretty good. They sounded great (minus CC) and really put on a good show. As usual though CC’s frenetic playing just grated on my nerves bad. He’s just fast, which requires no skill just practice. If he did more than just play fast I’d cut him some slack. I will give him credit though; he didn’t roll around on the ground at all that I saw so that was a plus. I actually enjoyed them enough that I would be willing to go again.
Ending the night was Def Leppard. I had warned Kim and AJ prior that the last time I saw them they put on a great show, but Joe’s voice just wasn’t hitting it. I was hoping that since they took a week or so break that it would be enough to refresh his vocals. Well guess what? Something happened because he sounded fantastic. Is he still able to go like he did when he was younger? Hell, no! The only guys I know from those days that can still pretty much sing like they could are CJ Snare from Firehouse and Tony Harnell formerly of TNT. Of course, it goes without saying there’s no need to mention Halford or Dickinson in this as we know both of those guys still got it too. But back to what I was saying, he’s done something (or the last time was a bad night…a REALLY bad night) because he was spot on all night. As is always the case, the band was very tight and sounded great. And though there were a couple personal clunkers on the list I don’t care for (I can’t stand “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Pour Some sugar On Me.” Just hideous songs,) it was a strong list of songs they performed. They even did a pretty cool acoustic set in the middle as a medley of songs they either hadn’t played in a while or never played before. It was a very nice touch.
I’m really glad I decided to go to the show. I had a great time, despite there being some people seeming to intentionally block my camera while I was trying to take pictures and a slight drizzle that apparently was the side swipe of a huge storm that could’ve cut the show short. It’s a much better tour package than I had previously thought. Of course, I’d imagine that both bands draw essentially the same crowd, so big fans of those bands likely saw it as the tour of the summer. All three bands played the best I had seen them and encouraged me to want to see them again, and that is what it’s all about in the end right? So until next time my peeps always remember: I went to a party last Saturday night. I didn’t get laid and I got in a fight. Uh huh, it ain’t no big thang.