LIVE: Def Leppard and Poison, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Photos by: Victoria Ford (Sneakshot)

Def Leppard and Poison’s Rock of Ages tour wailed into Merriweather Post Pavilion this past Tues.  It was just what I expected the atmosphere to be; beer, blondes, bandanas and day glo.  I had to guard my photo pass –a crew of women dressed head to toe in day glo gear side-eyed me…hard.

Unfortunately, I missed mostly all of Lita Ford’s set, but what I did catch was her long flowing blonde hair…then “Good night”.  Kinda sucked I so wanted to hear “Kiss Me Deadly.”

Poison was next up to bat, of course all the ladies howled with delight when the toned, tanned Bret Michaels, who donned his signature bandana, true religion jeans with the American Flag sewn on and a torn Poison tour t-shirt took the stage.  Poison started their set with “Look What the Cat Dragged In”. Then churning out their hits, “Talk Dirty to Me”  and “Unskinny Bop”, as well as covers of Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” and an interpolation of Rick Derringer’s “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo”.  All in all Poison provided  the right amount of 80’s rock.

So….you always hear some crazy story while waiting in the alcohol/beer line between the opening act and the headliner –this time was no different.  Between a guy telling me about how he was laying in the grass and just got propositioned to get teabagged to the age old debate; who’s the better band –we ALL know the answer to that one right???

The answer: Def Leppard (but you knew that already)

I always wondered how they choose the setlist –they have two decades of singles to choose from.  Def Leppard opened with a new tune, “Undefeated”, I say start off with the song the crowd doesn’t know, grab em from the beginning and then take them on the musical journey.  Which is exactly what they did.

All of the chaps in the band look and sound amazing, Singer Joe Elliot, didn’t miss a note.  Guitarist Phil Collen (who performed shirtless for the entire show, had great abs for a man of 54 years old), the crazy thing was the guitar cam that was attached to the guitar, which gave the audience a crazy view from the guitar’s perspective.

One of the highlights of the show, besides drummer Rick Allen’s solo, was the acoustic set. It was quite emotional especially when Allen walked down the catwalk to join his band mates during the acoustic set while playing a maraca. Its hard to believe that its been twenty-five years since the release of Hysteria.  But the band is still on point, performing fan favorites “Hysteria”, “Photograph”, “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”  Their set lasted for roughly 100 minutes rounding out the evening the band tore into “Rock of Ages.”


I got rocked!