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Motley Crue and Def Leppard’s Stadium Tour Brought the Heat to a Steamy Busch Stadium in Saint Louis Tuesday

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

After numerous cancellations Hard Rock icons Motley Crue and Def Leppard were finally able to launch their much-anticipated Stadium Tour to the masses.

When Motley Crue announced their retirement from touring in 2014 I have to admit I thought their final show here July 9 of that year was the last time I would see them here. Then came the autobiography movie “The Dirt” (if you haven’t seen it, why not? Where have you been? It’s really good.) and the renewed interest in the band.

Motley Crue performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Fast forward through two tour announcements in 2020 and 2021 only to have them be pushed back a year due to the pandemic, and here we are.

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Here we are, indeed. With 34,000 fans inside beautiful Busch Stadium fans have waited for this tour for years, literally. So, when the temperature hit triple digits with a heat index nearing 110 degrees you couldn’t blame some fans for waiting until later in the show for the heat to relax a bit. But those that did missed out on great sets from the opener Classless Act (which I missed shooting by 10 minutes, but could hear them onstage coming in. I definitely regret that.) who came on at 4:00 pm.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts came out with a rockin’ set dressed in all black. I was in a white t-shirt and hat to deflect the sunlight, I think I would have passed out if I wore all black in that heat. kudos to her and her stamina. The stage was super hot to the touch in the photo pit so you know it had to be even hotter on the stage and facing the sun to boot. The crowd that braved the early heat were treated to scorching performances of songs from Joan’s time in the Runaways like “Cherry Bomb” to her solo material like “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and her cover of The Arrow’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Hot set indeed.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Poison was up next and some fans had wondered in they would play after vocalist Bret Michaels had to bow out of the Nashville show last Thursday due to a reaction to a medical issue. He availed those concerns with a statement ahead of the show on Twitter Tuesday which read: “Although I am not fully recovered from my medical setback, I’m going to be on that stage tonight and give all I’ve got for as long as I got. Unfortunately, to save up the energy for the show, I will not be able to do one of my favorite things which is meeting, greeting and hanging with the fans at the VIP.”

Poison’s Bret Michaels recognizing a fan while performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

When he came out the only issue that could really be noticeable was a bandage where he gets his preshow medicine. Which, if you didn’t know about his medical history and what he has been through one would think he just had a random cut on his arm. His positivity level was high as the heat, as was his spirit. Sure, everyone was melting from the heat but Michaels made the very best of it and plowed through, cutting no corners and giving a high energy performance that has become his trademark.

Poison performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The hour long set from the band (C.C. DeVille- guitars, Bobby Dall – bass, and Rikki Rockett – drums) was tight and Michaels voice was solid throughout, especially on songs “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Nothin’ but a Good Time”.

Poison performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

By the time Def Leppard hit the stage at 7:30 the heat had dropped by a few degrees, allowing Busch Stadium’s oven setting to go from “Scorching” down to simply “Melting”. Vocalist Joe Elliott commented after a couple songs: “No rain, finally! After having it rain every show for the first 9 shows, today no rain! … but fuck it’s hot!… We are from England, we aren’t used to this.”  It’s ok, Joe. I’ve lived around here for 40+ years and I am still not used to this extreme heat we have been having.

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Def Leppard (Elliott, drummer Rick Allen, bassist Rick Savage, and guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell) came out to a raucous opening of “Take What You Want” from their latest album Diamond Star Halos, it is a perfect way to kick off a show. Throughout the 90 minute set the band mixed classic rockers: “Foolin'”,”Rock of Ages” ballads: “Love Bites” “Two Steps Behind” new: “Kick” and “This Guitar” with radio hits “Photograph”, “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. It was a typical stellar Def Leppard show. They also performed “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” in a new arrangement and honestly, it doesn’t sound so dated now. Excellent choice!

Hi Viv! Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Joe’s voice sounded great, the rest of the band was spot on, and the lightshow was great. My only complaint was as a photographer – we were positioned right in front of the stage runway and we couldn’t get a shot of Rick Allen behind the drums. I was able to get the top half of The Thunder God’s head, but nothing else behind the kit. 1st world problems, right?

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

With 45 years of performing it seems these guys never get old. As Joe sings “It’s better to burn out, than fade away.” True Joe, True.

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Getting Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, wasn’t a matter of cymbals blocking him, but the tons of smoke and weird lighting on him for their set. Lee stayed in throughout the band’s full set. It was only the 3rd show on the tour so far which he has done so. It was reported just before the kickoff that he broke his ribs and had to bow out after a handful of songs, in favor of a replacement drummer. But Lee showed no signs that anything was hurting him as he bashed away on tunes such as ‘Wild Side”, “Looks That Kill” and “Kickstart My Heart” or the medley of covers that was included in the set.

Motley Crue performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

He was sure feeling the heat as he posted on Instagram after the show ‘Massive St. Louis asses were kicked! Including ours.” with a pic of him and bassist Nikki Sixx looking like they were spent. They certainly left everything they had onstage in what was a spectacular performance and gave the fans their money’s worth in grit and sweat.

Motley Crue performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Guitarist Mick Mars was still providing shreds that could melt faces even without the St. Louis heat. Vince Neil even sang most of the lyrics. Joking aside Vince’s voice sounded great. He sounds like the Vince Neil of old, a stark contrast to the last two times I saw him perform.

Motley Crue performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

It was almost a feeling of rebirth for the band. Maybe the break was just what they needed. They certainly took me back to my teen years in the 80’s rocking out to Shout At The Devil over and over in my tape deck. and for the 20-somethings sitting next to me who were rocking out giving them appreciation for what seasoned rockers can do in a full on concert experience that you can’t really appreciate on your electronic device.

Motley Crue performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The crowd seemed amped up enough, but given the extreme heat over 7 hours of baking in the Busch Stadium oven while rocking out to 5 great bands who can blame them for being spent as the show culminated. The bands surely were.

Def Leppard performing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of The Stadium Tour Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Lee predicted this show would kick their ass before the tour started, and he was right, but I am not sure he meant the heat as well. Even so, St. Louis knows how to rock and this show will easily be the show to aspire to this year for the area. If you aren’t in the St. Louis area you absolutely need to check this tour out, in Chicago Friday, Detroit Sunday, Milwaukee July 17, and KC July 19. Check out more dates at https://www.motley.com/stadium-tour-2022

Be sure to check out the large gallery of photos from the day after the setlists below.

 

Motley Crue Setlist:

Wild Side

Shout at the Devil

Too Fast for Love

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

Saints of Los Angeles

Live Wire

Looks That Kill

The Dirt (Est 1981)

Rock and Roll, Part 2/Smokin’ in the Boys Room/ White Punks on Dope/ Helter Skelter/ Anarchy in the U.K (covers from Gary Glitter/Brownsville Station/ The tubes/ The Beatles/ Sex Pistols}

Home Sweet Home

Dr. Feelgood

Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)

Girls, Girls, Girls

Primal Scream

Kickstart My Heart

 

Def Leppard Setlist:

Take What You Want

Animal

Fire It Up

Foolin’

Armageddon It

Kick

Love Bites

Excitable

This Guitar (acoustic)

Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad (acoustic)

Two Steps Behind (acoustic)

Rocket

Bringin’ on the Heartbreak

Switch 625

Hysteria

Pour Some Sugar on Me

Rock of Ages

Photograph

 

 

 

 

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