Saw Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla last night in NJ at PNC. All 3 bands were really good and turned in great sets for a sold out crowd. Yep, sold out! After my post about the touring business recently and some of the tours we hear are struggling, it was great to see a packed house. No doubt it was helped by the fact that is was a Saturday night and a nice night in NJ, but it was really great to see. It’s also a well put together bill, with all the bands playing the big hits and doing it well. Tesla really hasn’t done a big tour as an opener for a really long time. Pretty much ever since they got back together. So this is a great chance for them to get in front of people that maybe forgot about them or don’t see them much. Understand I am not talking about their major fans. You already know what Tesla has been up to. But for the mainstream masses which this tour will draw there are no doubt many are seeing them for the first time in a long time. They open around 6:50P with a 40 minute set of the hits. Styx is up next and does an hour loaded with their many hits. The band sounded great and seemed to have a harder edge than usual. The guitars and vocals sounded great and the crowd was way into it. Easy to forget sometimes how many huge songs Styx has. Tommy Shaw also made mention on stage of the fact that all the vocals everyone was hearing were real and in the original key. Pretty incredible and good to see bands that band that are doing the work to truly play live taking credit for it when so many run tracks now.

Def Leppard are the headliner and are playing to the most amount of people on this tour than many of their recent tour packages. They’ve been able to reduce ticket prices some and put a great 3 band package together that has become one of this Summers winning tours (as per a recent article in Billboard). Leppard’s set is also loaded with hits, which is the right thing to do in a setting like this despite what us deep tracks fans would prefer. Highlights for me was the opener “Rock Rock Till You Drop”, “Switch 625”, “Let It Go” and “Foolin”. And speaking of vocals Joe Elliott sounded incredible! I spoke with Joe before the show and he was concerned with this show being the 3rd in a row but I was stunned how good he was singing. Better than I have heard him in recent years. And if anyone has a reason to put vocals on tracks it’s Leppard with the way their albums were made. But they don’t. What Phil, Sav and Viv do on the harmonies is remarkable. The tour goes through October with some changes to the openers, but see it if you can. Really well done by all 3 bands!

A few other things. I spent lots of time with Vivian. He is still getting treatments for his cancer but very optimistic for a full recovery. He seems to be really enjoying every moment on this tour. We sat on the bus and he played me the entire Last In Line album which sounded great! Like Black Star Riders channels Lizzy, LIL has a flavor of Dio, but is very much a new original band. The songs and vocalist Andy Freeman sounded incredible. This really has the makings of a great new metal album and it is great to hear Viv rip like he used to on it. The album likely won’t come out until January and the band will play on the upcoming Leppard cruise in Jan! See you on board and enter to win a cabin on this site. Joe told me the new Leppard album will be out in the Fall and said it is a real rock record and he’s real excited for it. The band produced it and he says it has many sides. I didn’t hear any yet. Finally Phil has a new band called Delta Deep. He gave me a copy I look forward to checking out. Said its raw and bluesy with a ton of guitar!

I hope to catch this tour again before it wraps up. Really was a great night. Photos on my Twitter @EddieTrunk and Instagram at @eddietrunkofficial

16 Responses

  1. I think “Jeff” and “Coredrum” are the ones smoking the hippie lettuce. Gonna defer to Mr. Trunk when comes to reviewing a concert. This triple bill sounds like a good one.

    1. WELL DOUG,I LOVE EDDIE TOO,but he was back stage hanging with his friends,im not saying at all that the bands were not good,what i did say or complain about was the that styx played 3 songs from other bands,when there fans paid alot of money to here styx songs not queen elton john,and oatis redding,and i comlained that the venue was over booked with the lawsuit settlement by live nation,where the lawn seats we so packed that you could not scratch your nose if you wanted to,and the video screens were shut off to make things even worse for those folks,eddie should mention the whole experience not just the good parts,sorry if the truth hurts,i never said the groups were not good,and yes it was a good bill,but the prices they were asking for sec 100 which are the good seats are way too much money for those groups,i love them too,but they do not have any kind of show(production)to talk about,so that kind of money to me is just not worth it,eddie was saying it was a bargin,i disagree,sorry

    2. The show was a sell out. So if prices were inflated by secondary sellers because of that it’s not surprising. I agree Styx shouldn’t have played a few covers. As for backstage with my friends I was indeed hanging with some people, before and after the show. During the show I was in my seats watching like everyone else. Not even on side stage. I like to see and hear properly.

    3. And as far as production none of these bands ever had huge shows. But the stage, lighting and screens I thought looked really cool for the top 2 bands

    4. I didn’t mind the Styx medley at all, gave me a chance to go to the restroom without missing any of the good stuff, the other 9 songs were AWESOME!

  2. I have such mixed feelings about these double / triple bill tours.

    They’re great if you’ve never seen either band/artist. In 2001, I saw Styx with Bad Company and Billy Squier and it was awesome.

    But, having seen Def Leppard in the past, I wouldn’t go again unless they did a full set. I saw them on their X Tour in 2003, and they played opened the show was Side 1 of the High and Dry album.

    These bills are great for first comers, and probably great for the bands, but they lead to predictable setlists that won’t have many hardcore fans coming back.

  3. ed it was not the secondary ticket sales,it was ticketmaster or maybe live nation i forget right now,but it was not a ticket agent,ticket master wanted 495.oo a seat to sit in sec 103 like row 12 -15 ,this is what got my goat,if it were say stub hub or whom ever i get it,supply and demand,but the prices they were asking for decent seats was over ,the top,and although you see that the show was a sell out,a ton if not most of the lawn seats were given away as a lawsuit settlement from live nation,and what was the deal with the large screens not being on? im not saying the show was not good,just think the whole thing together as a whole was just a bit much ,maybe im getting old????p.s im part of the styx fan club,and they wanted 300 a seat for there fan club seats which also were somewhere from row 10-15 sec 101-104 not even sec 103 center,so thats why im upset i guess these guys are way from there prime,and the short show,and the covers made it all seem like wtf,you guys have not had a hit in 30 years for gods sake

  4. and yes i agree,they never really had big production,thats my point,they are charging kiss,motley crue type of money,when your not getting the same high production value,they should be happy that folks still care enough to come out to see them,i think this late in the game ,prices should be a bit more in tune with there place in music

  5. I dislike these multi-big band shows. Too expensive, tickets sell too quickly, and the bands mainly only play the big hits. DL toured with Kiss last year. I didn’t go. I remember seeing DL with Journey around 2006, and I was left wanting more from each band. I’m going to see Toto in a couple weeks, but since they’re touring with Yes, they only play about 90 minutes.

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