FAMOUS as many know for its past metal refineries, Steel Panther didn’t forge ahead in Sheffield as maybe some would have hoped. With tongues firmly in cheek and doing their best to mimic past decades, this hairspray gang did knock out a few decent tunes, but sadly peppered their set with huge vulgarities. Not clever, when some fans had brought their young offspring.
That said, Motley Crue did the same. Why do bands have to keep doing this??
Song-wise they opened with huge pyrotechnics and the classic Crue track, Wild Side, setting the tone for the night which was predominantly a “greatest hits” package.
Not shy to spend cash, their set highlight had to be Tommy Lee’s drum solo. This was truly amazing, as he and his strapped-down drum kit did revolutions around a circular frame to back beats, video footage and more mobile phone watching than you could imagine. And to make it even better, he took an audience member for a ride too.
Opening with their last single Undefeated, the home team seemed pleased to be back as they too did a predictable “best off” set. This is a shame as the band have made some monstrous music since 1992, yet apart from a tiny clusters they tend to ignore this era completely as commercially these albums didn’t shift huge numbers, which disappoints me for one.
They did play Slang, which I love, and Love And Hate Collide, but mainly it was the normal Animal, Photograph, Women, Hysteria and the like which made the play-list.
What has to be said is how Joe Elliott commands the audience. He speaks to us, he doesn’t swear and he and the band seem totally genuine to receive the welcome that they got. Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell are natural players and Rick Allen never puts a foot wrong. Even Phil Collen, who according to Joe was as sick as a dog, never slowed down.
The lighting and stage set up was first class as it normal is, which really does transcend into a huge production.
With time moving on it was soon time to end, which they did to huge cheers with Pour Some Sugar and set-closer Let’s Get Rocked.
Def Leppard are, and always have been, a polished unit who show no signs of slowing down, which for fans like me is a happy sign. I just wish they’d vary the tunes.
WORDS & PICTURES: ROY GOODALL