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Def Leppard, Whitesnake & Black Star Riders at Genting Arena, Birmingham - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Triple bill of Classic Rock is a winner
When you've paid more than £50 for a ticket, and a wallet-punishing £10 to park the car, you want value for money from a rock gig. And this show at Birmingham's Genting Arena certainly came up trumps in that department.

Co-headliners Def Leppard and Whitesnake each served up full 90 minute sets, with openers Black Star Riders providing a satisfying starter to whet the appetite. It was like a mini Monsters of Rock festival.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist
Spectacle: Big screens, lights and Def Leppard on stage in Birmingham


Leppard closed the show with a Greatest Hits collection, bolstered by two songs, Let's Go and Dangerous, from their excellent new self-titled album, in my opinion their best long player since Hysteria and Adrenalize.

The all-conquering Hysteria provided most songs in the set – and the biggest cheers from the packed arena. Animal, Love Bites, Armageddon It, Rocket, Hysteria and Pour Some Sugar on Me had the fans singing along with gusto.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist
Hats off: Top hatted Joe Elliott and Rick Allen


Light and shade came from Two Steps Behind, a solo acoustic performance by frontman Joe Elliott, and a cracking cover of David Essex's Rock On with bass player Rick Savage contributing the iconic intro and Joe Elliott wearing a top hat and feather combo.

Guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell shone on the instrumental Switch 625. Drummer Rick Allen, as always, was the band's backbone, pounding away at the back of the stage.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist
Rock of Ages: Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Phil Collen


The double whammy encore of Rock of Ages and Photograph, from Pyromania, confirmed that Leppard are back on top of the rock pile.

At the end of Whitesnake's 90 minutes we questioned how Leppard would follow it. David Coverdale and his merry men were immense. Energetic, exciting and extraordinary – Whitesnake had it all.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist
Exciting: Whitesnake at Birmingham's Genting Arena


Unlike Def Leppard, the Whitesnake set was peppered with songs from their latest album. These songs, however, are re-recordings of tried and tested tracks by Deep Purple, Coverdale's former band, and are already well known by rock enthusiasts.

The inclusion of The Gypsy, Burn, Mistreated, You Fool No One and Soldier of Fortune lifted the set and fitted in perfectly alongside the likes of Give Me All Your Love, Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City and Here I Go Again.

Despite being 64 years old Coverdale sprinted around the stage and along the walkway jutting into the audience. He complained that it was like running a 100 yard dash.

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist
Walkway: David Coverdale before his 100 yard dash to the stage


His vocals are grittier these days but he still reaches the high notes. Whitesnake's glory days were recalled with a series of nostalgic photographs of past line-ups on the big screen during Bad Boys and there were some impressive guitar solos by Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra. Coverdale has again assembled a winning combination.

Black Star Riders warmed up the crowd for the main attractions and took the opportunity to warm themselves up for a headlining gig at Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on December 17.

Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Black Star Riders, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Gig Review
Black Star Riders


Their blend of original material like Bound For Glory and Finest Hour and Thin Lizzy classics like Whiskey in the Jar was potent, with singer Ricky Warwick a charismatic frontman.

DEF LEPPARD SETLIST

Let's Go
Animal
Undefeated
Dangerous
Love Bites
Armageddon It
Rock On
Two Steps Behind
Rocket
When Love and Hate Collide
Switch 625
Hysteria
Let's Get Rocked
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Encore:
Rock of Ages
Photograph

Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Joe Elliott, David Coverdale, Genting Arena Birmingham, Review, Setlist


WHITESNAKE SETLIST

Burn
Bad Boys
Love Ain't No Stranger
The Gypsy
Give Me All Your Love
Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City
Mistreated
You Fool No One
Drum Solo
Soldier of Fortune
Is This Love
Fool for Your Loving
Here I Go Again
Still of the Night

Remaining tour dates

December 13: Capital FM Arena, Nottingham;
December 15: Manchester Arena;
December 16: Motorpoint Arena Cardiff;
December 19: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield.



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Why? Three great bands for the price of one
When: Until December 19, 2015
Phone: 0844 33 88 222
Where: Genting Arena, Birmingham, then touring
Cost: £50.63 plus fees
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