Def Leppard, Poison & Cheap Trick in concert at Comcast Center (Mansfield, MA) – 6/30/09

The summer concert season is in full swing but I haven’t been to a show since March! The good news is that I have tickets to a few shows coming up but the first on the list was the Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick show last night at the Comcast Center (formerly Tweeter Center……formerly Great Woods) in Mansfield, Massachusetts. I got together with a couple of buddies from work and we bought tickets back in April so it was a planned day off of tailgating in the parking lot and good music in the arena.

Cheap Trick setlist (abbreviated):

Don’t Be Cruel
Dream Police
The Flame
Surrender

Usually I’m in the arena and in my seat 30 mins before the show starts and I always catch all of the bands on the bill because that’s what I paid for. The guys I was with had no interest in seeing Cheap Trick, and the party in the parking lot was going strong, so we ended up getting in halfway through the band’s set. I got to hear ‘Dream Police’, always a fave of mine so I was happy. Cheap Trick had a great sound and a lot of fire to the performance. Does Robin Zander age? I ask this because he sounded the best out of all three singers performing.

Poison setlist:

Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride The Wind
Fallen Angel
Something To Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Unskinny Bop
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin’ But A Good Time

I forgot the pen and pad in the car so I couldn’t write the setlist down as I usually do but these are the tunes they played and I’m almost positive this was the running order. First thing that has to be said, the sound was terrible and Bret Michaels acknowledged it. The mic kept screeching and he was barely audible during the first couple of songs. The sound got better as the show went on but you could tell that this wasn’t a gimmick and Bret was visibly annoyed by the technical problems. The band had a lot of energy and played well but the setlist needs to be mixed up a bit. I’ve seen Poison just about every summer since 1999 and they never really change things up.  I had read online that the opening night set in Camden, NJ featured ‘I Won’t Forget You’ instead of ‘Something To Believe In’ and an extra song ‘Stand’ but we didn’t get either in Mansfield. ‘Stand’ would have been awesome to hear live and I am sick to death of ‘Something To Believe In’ but what are you going to do? The only thing I would change would be the solos by C.C., Rikki, & Bobby…..when you’re an opener, you don’t do solos, you add in as many songs as possible. The crowd was huge into Poison, especially the ladies.

Def Leppard setlist:

Rock Rock Till You Drop
Rocket
Animal
Too Late For Love
Nine Lives
Love Bites
Rock On
Two Steps Behind (acoustic)
Bringin’ On The Heartbreak (acoustic…..until the end)
Switch 625
Hysteria
Armageddon It
Photograph
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock Of Ages
Let’s Get Rocked

I went to the show to see Def Leppard. I’ve been a fan of the band since HIGH ‘N DRY and I always go in with the hope that the band will pull out a few nuggets from the first two records. It was a PYROMANIA/HYSTERIA heavy set again with 10 songs out of 16 from those two albums…..the band knows where their success lies. Nice to see ‘Rock Rock Till You Drop’ added for the opener but I was disappointed that ‘Foolin’ was dropped from this year’s tour. The acoustic performances of ‘Two Steps Behind’ and ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’ were solid and Joe Elliot sounded pretty good. I’ve been critical of Joe’s vocals the last couple of times I’ve seen the band live but he had a decent voice going this time around. Better than Bret Michaels but no where close to Robin Zander! I thought the band was strong live…..Rick Allen and Rick Savage are really tight and the guitar duo of Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen are a solid tag team. Everytime I see Def Lep play, I always come away impressed with Phil Collen’s playing, he is so smooth but technical. The cool thing was that there was a mini camera at the top on the nut so you could see Phil’s fingers flying up and down the frets with ease…..a cool way to see the solos. I enjoyed the Leps’ show but I was hoping for a little more variety in the setlist but they played their biggest hits and the crowd loved it…..including myself!

Next concert: Judas Priest & Whitesnake next Tuesday!