XL Center                                                                  Hartford, CT.  May 21, 2018

Photos By: Nancy Dagata

Def Leppard and Journey kicked off their co-headlining North American tour last night in        Hartford, CT, to a packed house.  I can't think of a better way to end a Monday night during a work week, can you?  Def Leppard was the opener, which is unusual for me to see, but I know with a  co-headlining tour both bands take turns headling.  Joe Elliott and company got the crowd rocking out of the gate as he belted out  hits “Rocket”, “Animal” and “Let it Go”.  The energy in the building was outstanding after those three songs.    Even if you are a casual Def Leppard fan, there were various hits played throughout their setlist to sing along too.  You could hear the crowd singing along to the majority of their songs, especially “Let’s Get Rocked”,” Armageddon It” and “Love Bites”.    The band took a step back and slowed it down a bit, like they normally do to perform  an acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind”.  It was great to see drummer Rick Allen step out from behind the drum kit early in the show versus just the end of the show. 

 

Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen took turns doing monsterous guitar solos on the catwalk showing their shredding expertise. Those two artists really play the guitar so effortlessly.   Rick Savage was his usual colorful self on bass.  He is all over the stage playing to the crowd.

 

The crowd was chanting for another encore after “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph”.  And who can blame them?  Every time I see Def Leppard, I always want them to play longer, as I enjoy their show immensely. 

 

Def Leppard comes with a huge light show and a great set list this tour.   However, I do have to admit, that the sound mix seemed a little off to me, but it was the opening night.  and I know that things have to get ironed out. Overall, they were awesome!

Setlist:

 1. Rocket

 2. Animal

 3. Let It Go

 4. Foolin'

 5. When Love & Hate Collide

 6. Let's Get Rocked

 7. Armageddon It

 8. Rock On

 9. Two Steps Behind

10. Man Enough

11. Love Bites

12. Bringin' On The Heartbreak

13. Switch 625

14. Hysteria

15. Pour Some Sugar On Me

 

Encore

16. Rock Of Ages

17. Photograph

Photos By: Nancy Dagata

Journey and Def Leppard opened their 2018 summer tour of 60 cities in Hartford, CT, last night and Journey won the coin toss, as the headliner for the evening.  Journey started their set with “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” which got the crowd energized. They plowed through a wide array of hits during the night, which included my favorites “Stone in Love”, “Lights”, Wheel in The Sky” and Lovin’ Touchin’ and Squeezin’”.  

 

Arnel Pineda does not miss a note when singing the legendary songs of this Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame band.  I think that he has proven himself that he can hold his own and has longevity with the band. He is also very energetic on stage and was making the couple tired next to me watching him run around.

 

Neal Schon had many over the top guitar solos during the night.  I never realized how many guitar solos were in the various songs within the setlist.  Don’t get me wrong, Neal can certainly play, but the things you notice when a band is playing live…

 

Jonathan Cain pulls triple duty with keys, guitar and vocals during the night.  He had an eloquent keyboard solo to segway into “Open Arms”. The crowd was almost overpowering the band singing along to this song.

 

Ross Valory is always having a great time on stage while strumming his bass.  Fan’s were really into the faces he was making at them during the night. There is something uniquely different about bass players.  They are the ones always having fun on stage.

 

Steve Smith, was killing it on the skins during his drum solo! Drummers are always hidden behind the band, but his solo brought him to the forefront.  

 

I have seen Journey numerous times over the years and they never disappoint and last nights show was no different.  They bring me back to a time when I was younger and I always leave their show with a smile on my face and fond memories going through my head.

 

Setlist:

 1. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

 2. Be Good To Yourself

 3. Only The Young

 4. Neal Schon Guitar Solo

 5. Stone In Love

 6. Any Way You Want It

 7. Bluesy Intro By Neal Schon

 8. Lights  With Neal Schon Guitar Solo

 9. Jonathan Cain Piano Solo

10. Open Arms

11. Who's Cryin Now

12. Rubicon

13. Ross Valory Bass Solo

14. La Do Da

15. Steve Smith Drum Solo

16. Neal Schon Guitar Solo

17. Wheel In The Sky

18. Faithfully With Jonathan Cain Piano Solo

19. Don't Stop Believin'

 

Encore

20. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

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