DEF LEPPARD has already taken their live show on the road throughout Europe this summer, and now they're ready to rock the United States. On Friday (June 23) at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ, DEF LEPPARD begins a three-month jaunt all over the States with their co-headliner, JOURNEY. The band is primed for its best, freshest show ever. And, as guitarist and vocalist Phil Collen explained recently, they've put together quite a performance for their faithful fans.
"We've taken it up a notch," Collen said. "It's going to be production things. We've changed the songs, making them more concise so we can fit in more songs."
One thing that won't change is DEF LEPPARD's talent for making irresistible hard rock. It's a talent on full display on "Yeah!", the new album that celebrates DEF LEPPARD's roots with 14 covers of songs by bands DEF LEPPARD's members cut their teeth on while growing up in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s. The live set will be peppered with reworked gems from the KINKS, BADFINGER, MARC BOLAN and T.REX, DAVID BOWIE, SWEET, ROXY MUSIC, MOTT THE HOOPLE, FREE, THE FACES, BLONDIE and THIN LIZZY — and it'll contain the hits that helped DEF LEPPARD sell more than 65 million records in their long, storied career.
It's been a journey, all right, so it's fitting that they'll be joined on the U.S. tour by the band JOURNEY. "We went out last summer and last fall with BRYAN ADAMS, and we were always wary about going out with other major artists and what kind of effect it would have and what perception people would have with it," bassist Rick "Sav" Savage said. "But it was such a success that when JOURNEY was suggested to us, we just kind of thought, 'This is cool.' They've had that longevity and have been there and had the hits. They're a great live band, they've obviously still got a very big following, and we just thought that the two of us together could equal something bigger than the sum of the parts."
"We're more of a hard rock band, and moreso than even JOURNEY," Collen added. "But I think we do share something that's kind of radio-friendly, vocal-friendly melodies. You know, rock with memorable melodies that people can sing along to. So I think it's going to be wonderful for fans. Three hours with all this stuff going on. So I'm really looking forward to it. And if I was a fan, I'd be really digging it."
DEF LEPPARD got back in the rhythm of the road with festival gigs throughout Europe in early June, and Collen said the band is so well-rehearsed in the rigors of travel that it's just starting to find its groove again. "It's easier than recording, because it's the no-brainer part of the whole cycle," Collen said. "You're not wondering how the album sounds or wondering what the new lyrics are, or 'This chorus is crap, we have to change it,' or 'What should I do on the solo.' It's about stuff you've already done before, so you really don't have to think. You just enjoy."
For a complete listing of DEF LEPPARD/JOURNEY tour dates, click here.