Music » Critics' Picks

Def Leppard/Journey

8 p.m. Friday, July 21. UMB Bank Pavilion (14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights).

by

comment
The vintage Def Leppard Hysteria T-shirt I often sport (to the derision of friends) isn't an ironic fashion statement; it's a show of solidarity for one of the most underrated U.K. bands of the 1980s. Although frequently dismissed as lame arena behemoths because of their many bombastic anthems (take your pick from "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Animal," "Hysteria," etc.), the guys in Def Leppard have more in common with ostentatious glam rockers than they do with hair farmers. In fact, their excellent new covers album, Yeah!, emphasizes these glitter-crunch roots with a wink and a swagger, thanks to faithful versions of hits by T. Rex, Roxy Music and Sweet (the latter complete with shrieks from Darkness vocalist Justin Hawkins). Even more revealing is a peppy take on the Blondie/Nerves thrash-up "Hanging on the Telephone" and a honeyed version of the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset," both of which reveal a little-heard, pure-pop side to the band. "[Some people] think that we grew up on Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and stuff," vocalist Joe Elliott told me last year. "It's like, 'No, we like them, we respect them — but they weren't our main reason for wanting to do [music].'" As for Journey, well — vocalist Steve Augeri came down with a throat infection and had to be replaced with Jeff Scott Soto. But he's still not Steve Perry, so we're still not interested.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.