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New York State Fairgrounds; Syracuse, NY; 08/28/00

Reviewed by Joe Hughes

After two decades and nine albums, Def Leppard is still rocking arenas and sheds through out the world supporting their latest release, "Euphoria." Once again the Leps invaded the Syracuse Fairgrounds and delivered a set of classic Def Leppard hits along with a couple of new tracks.

Def Leppard took the stage in blaze, ripping through "Rock Rock (Till You Drop)" from their 1983 release, "Pyromania." From the moment they hit the stage, it was obvious that the Leps still have the fire they had back in the early eighties. The pace was continued with a Leppardized rendition of the classic Sweet song "Action," a song rarely performed in the States. They then ripped through such singles as "Make Love Like A Man," "Animal," "Foolin'," and "Slang," the title track from their 1996 departure album.

The band then took the pace down with an acoustic set including "Two Steps Behind" from the "Last Action Hero" soundtrack, and a semi-acoustic version of "Bringing on the Heartbreak" from the "High and Dry" days. This live version of "Two Steps Behind" may soon be featured as a downloadable file on the official Def Leppard website,

The night was a battle of the guitar gods, as Phil Collen offered a set of guitar solos of intense speed and accuracy, while Vivian Campbell delivered bluesy and sustained solos, leaving every guitarist green with envy. A highlight of every Leppard show is Vivianís ride-out solo on "Love Bites," a number one hit from the "Hysteria" album.

Highlights of the evening included an amazing version of "Excitable" from the "Hysteria" album as well as "Gods of War" which featured a light show that brought the song to life. Other high points of the evening were "Paper Sun" and the hit single "Promises" from the "Euphoria" album.

The entire night was one hit after another as they blasted through fan favorites that ruled the eighties such as "Rocket," "Photograph," "Armageddon It," and, of course, the record-breaking hit "Pour Some Sugar On Me." 

The show ended with drummer Rick Allen introducing the fist throwing rock anthem "Rock of Ages" from "Pyromania."

Def Leppard returned to the stage for a emotional encore performance of "Love Bites" and the first single off the "Adrenalize" album, "Letís Get Rocked."

The Syracuse Fairgrounds shouldnít have wasted their time putting in seats for this show because I donít think one person sat throughout the performance. There were times when the band was drowned out by the noise of the crowd. 

You wonít find lasers or flashy guitar solos at a Def Leppard show anymore - just a stripped-down, in-your-face rock show packed with hit songs that everyone knows the words to. The audience included people whose ages ranged from five years to seventy years old. 

Def Leppard has been the soundtrack to many of our lives. They are able to create the same vibe and sound in an arena as they do in the studio, without the use of samples or a fancy laser show. They did it back in the 80s and they can still do it today and that is a testament to their incredible talent and their continuing strong fan base even today.

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