Def Leppard’s Phil Collen on 35 Years with the Band, an Unforgettable Jam Session, and a Return to Sioux Falls in April
It's become a hot trend in Classic Rock these days - two or three big name acts sharing the same stage, delivering decades of great music in one action-packed night.
Since the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center debuted in Sioux Falls, we've been treated to great combinations like Journey, the Doobie Brothers, and Dave Mason, as well as Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Now, Def Leppard and Tesla are returning, and this time they're bringing along an act that is no stranger to Sioux Falls audiences - Poison.
The show is Saturday, April 22, 2017 and you can get your tickets here.
The last time we saw Def Leppard, they were closing out that August night two years ago with their signature soaring twin-guitar sound that brought us the likes of 'Photograph', 'Pour Some Sugar On Me', 'Let's Get Rocked', and so many other classics. The band looked as good as they sounded, thanks to an impressive backdrop of high definition video screens.
(If you missed the show, or want to relive it, here's my review from that night)
About the only thing not up to par that night was lead singer Joe Elliott's voice. Elliott, and the rest of the band, arrived in Sioux Falls hours after an outdoor show at the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis the night before, and the combination of sucking in motorcycle exhaust and excessive dust in the Black Hills, plus the rigors of back-to-back shows, left Elliott with far less than a full voice for the show at the PREMIER Center. Those vocals issues would later force Def Leppard to scrap a dozen tour dates in the early part of 2016.
That night in Sioux Falls, Elliott soldiered on to an appreciative and understanding crowd, later taking to the band's Facebook to apologize, vowing to make it right with the band's legion of South Dakota fans.
He'll get this chance in April.
To whet your appetite for Def Leppard's return, the band is releasing a new concert film this Friday (February 10).
And There Will Be A Next Time: Live From Detroit is a DVD and two-disc CD featuring a show from the 2016 'Viva Hysteria' Tour at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkson, Michigan.
The 17-song collection chronicles the band's first recorded live performance in nearly 30 years.
If you need more Def Leppard while you're waiting for the April show in Sioux Falls, you can catch them on AXS TV, February 19, when the Classic Rock Awards 2016 are shown in this country for the first time.
That November night in Toyko saw Def Leppard wallk away with the 'Album of the Year' award, plus featured a once-in-a-lifetime jam with the band's guitarist Phil Collen sharing the stage with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Ruldolf Schenker of the Scorpions, the members of Cheap Trick, and Johnny Depp.
This week I had the chance to talk to Phil Collen, Def Leppard's lead guitarist for the past 35 years.
Among the things we discussed:
- His - and the band's - longevity
- Preparations for the latest tour, which starts April 8 in Manchester, New Hampshire
- Sharing the bill with Poison and Tesla
- Def Leppard's last visit to South Dakota and the ensuing vocal problems for Joe Elliott
- The new concert DVD
- His part in that incredible jam session at the Classic Rock Awards
- His side projects, including producing Tesla's new album, and playing with his other group, Delta Deep, which is putting out a live album later this year and is currently working on studio album number two
Here is my complete interview with Phil: