Def Leppard

Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre Level 6, Hall 601 – 604, Singapore
Date: 24th November 2015
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Maisha G.
Special thanks: Andre, and the LAMC Productions team
Photos by Aloysius Lim and Alvin Ho for LAMC Productions

80s glam metal is always a go to comfortable genre for me when I want to have something for a change, after listening to a particular song on repeat. More so, it’s the genre where I feel most at home and bears great meaning to me. I’m pretty confident my dad saw me jamming it out in my diapers whenever he puts on music when I was just a little girl, possibly just getting hold of the idea of walking. The genre itself it was what I saw in my old man but he took the extra effort to tell me more about a band which he holds close to his heart. The band is none other than Def Leppard.

Knowing him, he has this soft spot for English bands; he explained why they’re so special to him. One reason was because he was captivated by Rick Allen, whom he calls his idol. He tells me, “He’s a one armed drummer and he’s more of a badass than many of the self proclaimed badasses I know. And also, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was the vital song that scored me the first date with your mom.” I chuckled at the thought of the latter reason but I was in awe after watching videos of Rick Allen rocking the drum set. His tenacity and such prowess exuded in the performance blew me away and I was sold. At the age of 13, I got my very first band shirt and it was a Def Leppard shirt and I still have it though it’s almost in rags.

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and saw ‘DEF LEPPARD LIVE IN SINGAPORE’ and the first thought that came to my mind was ‘MY PARENTS’ SONG’ and also the fact that I have my shirt and was anxious that I might have misplaced it. Looking forward to watching the band that has been well talked about by my dad almost every other day definitely gets me pumped up and all excited.

I was not familiar with the venue but have heard good feedback from people who have watched shows at the venue and upon entering, though the space was huge but the setting was intimate, no matter whether we’re standing or seated down.

I was chanting Rick Allen in my head the whole time and to think that I’d finally get to see him live in action as oppose to the usual YouTube visits to see this magnificent gentleman working his magic on the drums, it got me elated more than ever.

The night started with the familiar intro to boost the crowd’s energy. A popular crowd favourite of “Shoot To Thrill” by AC/DC rang across the crowd as it cues for the opening song of the band. It’s none other than “Let’s Go”. The riffs from the guitars sent sweet melodies that rings the ears followed by the legato of Joe’s, that rang across the crowd as they cheered as one, putting their hands up high and clapping in unison, welcoming the glam metal heroes on stage, giving them a warm Singaporean welcome.

The night went into a roaring cheer as Phil strummed his instrument of choice to a familiar or more so, longing following of riffs, the crowd went wild and it can only mean one thing. A powerful ballad that’s popular – “Love Bites”. The lyrics, of which many might find corny, is as honest as it can get and most direct, not bothering with the usual musical puns many try to pull. A song with lyrics explicitly telling you how it is. A powerful song, nonetheless.

Joe recalled having last came here 19 years ago and that he was glad to be back here again. Taking the night a notch down, he created a more intimate setting with his acoustic guitar and sang lyrics and strummed chords to such familiarity. It rang in my head “Wherever you go, I’ll be two steps behind you”. This song speaks volumes as to how it is, and such great lyrics just make it all the more and all around meaningful and lasting.

The moment I’ve been waiting for the whole night was to have the spotlight shone on Rick as he hits the crash and snare, in unison, giving the crowd a massively tight drum roll. That got the crowd cheering and roaring louder than before, and he candidly gave us a peace sign and a thumbs up with his smile as they broke into the intro of “Hysteria”. Indeed, it got the audience hysterical with the band’s photos of yesteryears and snippets of the videos playing on the screen. It brought me back to the times when I spent watching them on YouTube, feeling like I was at their 1993 live in Sheffield concert. It felt surreal as both Phil and Vivian worked their magic on them 6 strings, giving the fans a taste of their melodic riffs and solos.

Joe bellowed “Do you want to rock, Singapore?” followed closely by the intro of the song from Phil. The crowd chants, “Let’s get, let’s get, let’s get, let’s get rocked”. The guitars in this song are almost like a celebration of screams and whammy bars, marrying well into the drums and the bass, Rick Savage’s amazing iconic bass with the Union Jack across the body.

The very words I’ve waited for the whole night came as Joe screamed into the microphone “Step inside, walk this way. You and me babe, hey hey!” I could literally feel the ground shaking as people around me were standing and stomping their feet to the rhythm of the song. I fished out my phone and recorded the whole performance. I don’t usually practice such ethics, but I made this an exception for my father because he was not able to attend the show and I thought that this might be a good refreshing of my parents’ memory when they first dated. Indeed, I saw their faces lighted with glee, nothing short of an ear-to-ear grin.

Thinking that it was their last song, the crowd beckoned for an encore and I must say, they aren’t made up of the usual wave of adolescence. Instead, possibly with ages ranging from 35 onwards and man, these people can rock harder than us teenagers put together. Their energy was massive and it brought the band back for an encore as Joe introduced Rick to lead us to the intro of the song with the hard snare hits, it can only be one song; “Rock of Ages” reverberated across the hall as the fans went wilder than expected. The band, having made up of veterans themselves, spared no space on the stage untouched. They were literally pacing back and forth and Joe actively sashayed across the extended runway with his mic stand, greeting the crowd.

We were gifted with an amazing encore and Joe’s voice and the band’s energy remained strong and coherent throughout the years. Standing for 38 years, Def Leppard delivers the best for each and every show they’ve ever put on ever since they embarked on this amazing journey of Rock and Roll. I could close my eyes and think that I just have my earphones in my ears while watching a video.

Their live performance was an impeccable one and not to be forgotten in the many years to come. This is one of the shows that I’ll jot down and share with the future generation, telling them how great music still stands and remains celebrated and enjoyed by people of many walks of life. I may be 25 but I am an oldie at heart and nothing gets me more than a good old Rock and Roll band. Thank you LAMC Productions and ONE FM for bringing them back here to our humble shores and allowing us to relive the dreams beyond the computer screens. As Joe said, “Until next time. There will be a next time. Do us a favour. Don’t forget us and we won’t forget you.”

Most definitely, this night goes down in history for one of the best nights of my life. Having my parents enjoy the show vicariously through me meant so much more, notably for the band’s significance in the role it has played as part of their love story.