Def Leppard + Tesla @ Bell Centre – 17th July 2019

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When Def Leppard declares Montreal as the “loudest crowd” in the world, they mean it. The British hard-rock legends and 2019 Rock’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees brought 90 minutes of a solid 16 song setlist to the Bell Centre on Wednesday night as part of their 11-city Def Leppard Hits Canada tour – complete with the blazing energy to keep the crowd crazy. 

And the 10,000+ fans did just that…sing, cheer, scream right from the start as the screen lifted, hearing the familiar drumbeat intro to  ” Rocket “ from their immense multi-selling 1987 Hysteria album, to the very end as the band segued into a repertoire of songs from their catalog of greatest hits; Animal, Let’s Get Rocked, Armageddon It,  and ever-popular Pour Some Sugar on Me among others. It was a simple stage with a catwalk, no-over-the-top distractions needed, just a huge video wall showing footage relevant to each song, pictures of years gone by, memories of the band’s start to present day.  

Lead singer Joe Elliott was rock solid;  his voice and energy better than it has ever been. For a band that has been around for 40 years, it was easy to see why the harmony between the 5 band brothers goes beyond their impressive vocal cohesion.  The highlight was having all 5 together on the catwalk belting out Two Steps Behind. Even the ballads Love Bites, Bringing on the Heartbreak and Hysteria didn’t slow down the crowd. 

Throughout the set, Elliott kept mentioning how much they loved being in Montreal and feeling right at home. The crowd’s reaction only fortified that sentiment.  The encore brought iconic hits Rock of Ages and Photograph to round out a night of rock’n’ roll heaven straight out of 1983. 

No signs of slowing down for these guys, from the signature guitar riffs of guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell to the rhythmic bass of Rick Savage and incredible solo from one-armed drummer Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s staying power is one to be reckoned with.  Much more, their enthusiasm and interaction with the fans make it easy to understand why they have sold over 100 million albums worldwide and continue to be a favourite in this city.

For years now, Elliott always ends the show with the line “Don’t forget us; and we won’t forget you!”  No doubt, this “loudest crowd in the world” will always be along for the ride. 

California band Tesla opened up the night with hits from their latest release, Shock, produced by Leppard’s Phil Collen as well as hits like “Signs”, “Changes”,  and “Love Song”, a testament of their 30-year friendship with Def Leppard. They opened up for the band back in ’87 on the Hysteria tour and have managed to keep their sound as hard rock as day one.  

SETLIST

  • -ROCKET
  • -ANIMAL
  • -EXCITABLE
  • -WHEN LOVE AND HATE COLLIDE
  • -LET’S GET ROCKED
  • -ARMAGEDDON IT
  • -ROCK ON ( COVER)
  • -TWO STEPS BEHIND
  • -MAN ENOUGH
  • -LOVE BITES
  • -BRINGIN’ ON THE HEARTBREAK
  • -SWITCH 625
  • -HYSTERIA
  • -POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME
  • ENCORE:
  • -ROCK OF AGES
  • -PHOTOGRAPH

Review – Giosi Tortorici
Photos – Alex René

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