– by Matthew Picken
As the weather heats up so does some of Perth’s outdoor venues and one of the best and most picturesque has to be Red Hill Auditorium. Once again it did not fail to deliver a great night with a brilliant line up of classic rock and roll.
To start the night off, we had Australian rock goddess Suze DeMarchi fronting the Baby Animals, during what is known as the golden hour in photography circles. When the lighting is just right as the sun starts to set. The crowd were on their feet and sang along to all the hits, sounding as good today as the day they were recorded. Songs like “Early Warning,” “Rush You,” and “Painless” had every one ready for what was to come next, so as the sun turned the sky pink, lighting up Perth city in the back ground the stage was set up for the American act of the night.
Live‘s first time to Australia with new front man Chris Shinn, who has taken up this roll without skipping a beat, slotted in with the band so well you can really see that the boys are truly enjoying making music once again. As for anyone who doubted that someone could fill the hole left by Ed they were shorty put at ease.
As they played all the old hits and some of their new stuff, sounding as good as ever, once again turning the Auditorium in to a giant sing along with tracks like “The Dolphin’s Cry,” “I Alone,” “Iris,” and “Lightning Crashes” also a definite crowd favourite. They then quickly became quite subdued as they sang along to the beautiful storyline that surrounds the song. They then quickly picked the crowd back up with their catalog of good old fashion rock and roll, and had everyone set up and ready for the British main act.
The stage darkened and you could see the silhouettes of band members walk onto the stage as a crowd heavily populated with Def Leppoard tee shirts started to go wild. Bang as the first beat hits, the stage is lit up and lead singer Joe Elliott runs to center stage to a microphone that has a union jack covered scarf hanging from it. The Auditorium is now packed with a large crowd on the dance floor, all rocking out to a band who have seen their fair share of ups and downs over the years, starting out in November of 1977.
On the 31st of December in 1984, drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car crash in the hills just outside of Sheffield in which he lost his left arm and has continued to be a great drummer and an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome a career changing accident, letting us know that anything is possible.
The boys may be getting older, but they still know how to get the girls with a few climbing on to someone’s shoulders and to the delight of all the men there – exposing their chests (getting them out for the boys as it’s called) despite this distraction Def Leppard still was able to keep the crowds attention as they played hit after hit from albums like Pyromania that has sold well over 10 million copies in America alone (not too bad for a couple of boys from England) and Hysteria with over 20 million copies sold worldwide. Def Leppard, a definite world class act with a well-oiled stage presence that a lot of younger bands can learn from. As they finished the last track of their unforgettable set, and began to leave the stage, they declared to the crowd; “Don’t forgets us, as we will not forget you.”
Photo Credit: Matthew Picken