Steel Panther / Motley Crue / Def Leppard – SECC

[Flickr sets for the three acts can be found via these links: Steel Panther / Motley Crue / Def Leppard]

Steel Panther
Image by Iain Purdie via Flickr

Three big bands, one expensive ticket… and in my view a very upside-down bill with the best band of the night opening and the weakest closing.

I missed Steel Panther a year or so ago when they played the Garage. I found out about the gig the day after they were on. Gutted. We predominantly got tickets for this shindig because they were on the bill despite it working out at over £50 per person with the booking fees. Of course, with the opening slot they only got about 40 minutes to play. And, of course, we were running late courtesy of traffic on the Squinty Bridge being rubbish for absolutely no reason and a huge queue to pick up pre-ordered tickets.

As a result, we caught maybe 30 minutes of the set. Thankfully a) what we saw was excellent and b) they’re headlining their own show at the Academy in March for which we’ve already got tickets. A large number of people were definitely there to see them (in particular the guy dressed up in a “Shocker” costume) and I think they’ve made themselves a lot of fans from this tour, too.

Let’s give them credit. They’re taking the piss out of the rock and roll lifestyle that the likes of Crue led during the 80’s and 90’s. However, they’re doing it with imagination and great musical talent, plus a desire to put on a genuinely fun show. I’m really looking forward to the gig next year.

After a surprisingly short set change, Motley Crue exploded (quite literally) onto stage with fireworks going off as the curtain dropped. I was on my way back from the bar with some overpriced soft drinks as the lot went off and I’m glad I didn’t drop anything.

Now, I’ve seen Crue twice before. The first time was at Graspop a few years back where they headlined… and were awful. Marina and I gave up after maybe three songs of flat-vocals and badly-tuned instruments. I then caught them at Sonisphere (I think) last year where there was definitely some improvement.

Motley Crue
Image by Iain Purdie via Flickr

Tonight they put on the kind of show you’d expect from a band who’ve been doing this for so long. They’re definitely not as young as they once were, but – like Steel Panther before them – they gave it everything. For those who’ve seen them live before, there were no real surprised. Indoor fireworks, flames, explosions and part of a roller coaster stolen from an amusement park somewhere which has had Tommy Lee‘s drum kit welded to it.

One of the highlights was a blink-and-you’d-miss-it appearance by Justin Bieber… as one of the photographs displayed on the huge backdrop during “Girls, Girls, Girls“. A cheap shot, but who cares.

Although they’re not one of my favourite bands, and I really wasn’t expecting much from them Motley Crue did themselves proud and certainly entertained a sizeable crowd for ninety minutes. I reckon their stage set along accounted for 50% of the ticket price.

And so to the headliners. Def Leppard have been going for about as long as Crue and, during the Hysteria heyday, apparently went through an equivalent amount of drugs, booze and women as did their American counterparts. They had a comeback at Download last year which received rave reviews with an energetic performance. Sadly, tonight, I don’t think they pulled that off.

Def Leppard
Image by Iain Purdie via Flickr

The set was fine. Every song was a hit, but it was obvious even before they took to the stage that they weren’t the band of choice from the three on the bill. The crowd had visibly thinned as soon as Crue departed and those that were left began trickling out less than a third of the way through the Steel City’s finest’s set. In honesty, we only stayed as we begrudged paying over £50 per ticket only to leave early. That and Gillian and Wendi were busy perving the guitarist.

In all honesty, though, we were all bored. After half an hour or so, we were checking our watches and I was spending more time on Tweetdeck than I was on watching the show. They weren’t that great to start with, but following on from two such good acts just made it worse for them.

I just wish I’d seen Def Leppard about 20 years ago when I was really into them. This just wasn’t the right time to catch their show. For the die-hard I’m sure it was a great performance, but for those who were just there to see the rest of the bill it was somewhat disappointing.

Full marks to Joe Elliott, though, who battled his way through a sore throat. This meant the high notes just weren’t going to be hit but it’s better than cancelling. One note to the band, though. If you’re playing a city split by royalist sectarianism such as Glasgow… don’t emblazon your stage with Union flags when you walk off before your encore. There was a notable section of the crowd booing them as a result. Sad – but even sadder that it wasn’t surprising when it happened.

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Big gig update

I have five gigs to attend this week. In fact, I’m just in from the first (Machine Head at the SECC). However, due to this silly “work” thing I have to go to each day I’m going to struggle to get the reviews up shortly afterwards, so expect a deluge over the weekend.

In addition, I got a new toy – a Panasonic Lumix TZ20. It has a cracking zoom and the photos from the gig tonight are definitely a step above what I’ve been getting in the past. Not professional level by any shot, but definitely more “keepers” than “chuckers” out of the 200+ I took. This means more upload time to Flickr, but what the heck. It’s all fun!

I also promise that I’ll try my best to get back to some general posts on here rather than the constant film and gig reviews.

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