at Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, U.K., December 13, 2011

With the holiday season fast approaching and everybody getting into the party mood, an evening with Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Steel Panther was the perfect way to kick off the revelry in style.

Steel PantherSteel Panther seem to be getting a ton of press at the moment, so the chance to see what all the fuss was about was just too much to resist, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Being an amalgam of every ’80s Hair Metal cliché you can think of, combined with a fine line of between song banter that makes American Pie seem more like Shakespeare, Steel Panther grabbed their opportunity to shine with both hands. Backed with trashy songs like “Supersonic Sex Machine” and “Gold Digging Whore”, Steel Panther will win no awards for subtlety, but the crowd simply lapped it up.

Steel Panther

For all the brash and flash, these guys can actually play. Lead guitarist Satchel has plied his trade over the years with the likes of Rob Halford’s post-Priest outfit, Fight, as well as Jeff Pilson’s War and Peace, before donning the sequins and glitter. Whether they are able to develop beyond a flash in the pan novelty act is anyone’s guess, but with anthems like “Death To All But Metal”, they’ll have a lot of fun trying.

Steel Panther

Whereas Steel Panther were forged in the image of ’80s excess, Mötley Crüe are the real deal (having lived through it, died through it, and survived it). Crue have continued to flourish when many of their peers now ply their trade at County Fairs and on board cruise ships.

With a stage set built around Tommy Lee’s ginormo-drum rollercoaster, incorporating a light show of Pink Floyd-esque proportions, Crue created an impressive backdrop to their firework-fuelled frenzy of a show.

Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe may not be the most virtuoso of musicians around, but they more than made up for it with their energy, attitude and collection of Glam Metal anthems such as “Wild Side”, “Shout At The Devil”, “Looks That Kill”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, to the shit-kicking “Kickstart My Heart”, and the menacing “Dr. Feelgood”. Newies like “Saints Of Los Angeles” slipped perfectly into the set alongside the long established classics.

Motley Crue

Nikki Sixx was an imposing sight on stage, stalking around like an outcast from The Walking Dead, while Vince Neil, who was in fine voice, personified the flamboyance of the Sunset Strip era. Tommy Lee’s rollercoaster ride of a drum solo was a jaw dropping showstopper, and ensured absolutely no-one left the hall for a swift pint or a pee. One lucky punter was strapped in behind Tommy for the ride of his life. Mick Mars, in his own understated way, just let the music do the talking as he delivered riff after riff with some stylish slide guitar chucked in for good measure.

Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe may no longer be the hot young things from LA, but they don’t half know how to put on a cracking show. One thing’s for sure is that Def Leppard had their work cut out to match that.

With only half an hour between bands, major kudos was due to the road crew who not only managed to remove all traces of Crue’s huge stage set, but in the blink of an eye assembled the stepped pyramid construction across the backline just in time for Def Leppard to hit the stage to “Undefeated”.

Def Leppard

Being Def Leppard’s hometown, this was going to be a special show as the crowd welcomed them back as conquering heroes.

While Mötley Crüe had the rough Rock ‘n’ Roll edge with plenty of dirt and grime, Def Leppard had a polished, glossy sheen that a times was a little sterile … not that this bothered the legions of their fans who lapped up hit after hit with “Hysteria”, “Animal” and “Photograph” eliciting huge roars, while thousands of arms shot into the air for “Pour Some Sugar On Me” . Only “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” and “Switch 625” survived from their early days as naive young whippersnappers from the suburbs of Sheffield, but it would have been a real treat to hear something like “Wasted” from their debut release. But alas, it was not to be.

Def Leppard

Although a long, hard year of touring took its toll on Joe Elliot’s voice at times, Def Leppard made sure the crowd went home happy with “Love Bites” and the anthemic “Let’s Get Rocked” still ringing in their ears.

With three bands over four and a half hours, few people could complain that they did not receive value for their hard-earned cash. Steel Panther provided the laughs, Mötley Crüe the Rock ‘n’ Roll edge, and Def Leppard the polish to ensure that there was something for everyone … and what better way to get into the party spirit than this?

Def Leppard


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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