ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 26, 1995
The big buzz for local rock fans this week circulated around the October 23 appearance at the Commodore of British chart-toppers Def Leppard. In order to get back in the public eye and help promote its upcoming greatest hits package, Vault, the never-say-die quintet—which has dealt with and overcome the drug-related death of original guitarist Steve Clark and the loss of drummer Rick Allen’s left arm—performed three shows on three continents in the same day.
The unplugged Vancouver gig followed concerts in Tangiers, Morocco, and London, England, and was only accessible to contest winners, media types, VIPs, and desperate Leppard fans willing to shell out up to $150 to the plentiful scalpers hawking laminated passes out front.
“Welcome to the third show in our long fucking day,” announced lead vocalist Joe Elliott when the show finally got rolling to the strains of “Armageddon It”, 90 minutes after its scheduled 9 p.m. start. As well as previous hits such as “Animal”, “Hysteria”, and “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the group showcased a couple of innocuous love ballads from its next studio recording, Slang, which is scheduled for release in the spring of ’96.
The biggest responses from the surprisingly tame crowd came for the cover tunes, which included Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”, David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (with a verse from Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” tossed in), and the encore version of T-Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”.
The band also teased the masses with a tiny taste of Canadian content, in the form of the intro guitar lick to Rush’s “Fly By Night”.