Stadium Tour Brings Nothing But A Good Time Out At Highmark

Concert Review
The Stadium Tour
Def Leppard
Motley Crue
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Wednesday August 10, 2022
Review & Photos: Joseph Suto

After many obstacles and roadblocks, the Stadium Tour finally found its way to Highmark Stadium on Wednesday. The tour which features Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, was a few years in the making. The tour was first announced in 2019 but was pushed back in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Unlike some concerts the atmosphere was unique as there had not been a package like this out at the stadium since 1988 when Van Halen’s Monsters Of Rock was in town.

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts got things rolling with a fast paced 50-minute set. The former Runaway did not talk too much but kept her calvacade of hits coming with her cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crimson And Clover”, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and her signature song, the chart topping “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Closing her set with the song she used to open her show with “Bad Reputation”, gave her band a great send-off and helped set the table for Poison who was up next.

Bret Michaels is a warrior. Make no mistake about it. He was forced to miss a show last month and has just started to feel himself again. It was quite evident how happy he was to be playing the biggest stage there is here in Buffalo. Bret has played the area many times and calls Darien Lake one of his favorite venues to play in. The band had last played here in 2018. From the time Poison took to the stage Bret seldom slowed down one bit.

Poison opened with their traditional opener “Look What The Cat Dragged In” (as if there is any other way to open a Poison show). The band kicked it up a notch when they went into their classic “Ride the Wind” before going into the song Buffalo helped break back in 1986, the MTV staple “Talk Dirty To Me”. Bret made several Buffalo references and bassist Bobby Dall wore a Buffalo Bills shirt. The cool thing about Poison and Motley Crue is they still have their original lineups intact here in 2022. Drummer Rikki Rockett played solidly all set and guitarist CC DeVille dazzled on guitar. The only real valid complaint with their set was how they only squeezed in 7 songs. Did we really need a ten-minute version of “Your Mama Can’t Dance”?

Up next were Motley Crue who had been inactive as a band since NYE 2015 when they played what was supposed to be their final show after signing the infamous “”cessation of touring agreement” which was supposed to prevent them from ever touring again. Things change and here we are. Now one thing I can say about the crowd was judging by which band had the most t-shirts there were clearly many more Crue shirts than any other band.

The band came out to “Wild Side” before ripping into “Shout At The Devil”. Vocalist Vince Neil who is always taking the brunt of criticism for his vocals actually sounded good early on in the show. By show’s end maybe not so much but the muddy mix for sound did not help any. The band ended with the powerful “Primal Scream” followed by “Kickstart My Heart”. The one thing Crue has going for them is drummer Tommy Lee, bassist Nikki Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars have all been around since the debut album. Where they go from here after the Stadium is anyone’s guess.

With Motley Crue and Def Leppard alternating headline slots during the tour, tonight it was Leppard’s turn. Early on in the tour Leppard had new song “Fire It Up” and the worst song from Hysteria, “Excitable” in the set. Thankfully the band decided to replace them with two stellar classics from their catalog in the fan favorite gem “Let It Go” and the underrated “Promises”. Joe Elliott led the band whose current version has been intact since 1992 when guitarist Vivian Campbell joined and also includes drummer Rick Allen, bassist Rick Savage and guitarist Phil Collen.

Def Leppard has a brand new album entitled Diamond Star Halos. The band did not just rely on the old classics as they mixed three new songs in the set. Highlights from their set were “Two Steps Behind” which was played during the acoustic segment, “Animal” and their lone number one song “Love Bites”.

This tour had something for everybody. From Joan Jett and The Blackhearts to Poison to Motley Crue to Def Leppard these bands have amassed many radio hits that dominated the airwaves since the early 1980s. Hopefully we can get another package of bands for next year and start an annual Stadium Show Tour.

Best sounding song of the night from each band

Def Leppard- Promises
Motley Crue- Looks That Kill
Poison- Fallen Angel
Joan Jett- Bad Reputation

Set Lists
Def Leppard
Take What You Want
Let It Go
Armageddon It
Love Bites
This Guitar
Two Steps Behind
Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
Switch 625
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages

Motley Crue
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.
Home Sweet Home
Dr. Feelgood
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
Girls, Girls, Girls
Primal Scream
Kickstart My Heart

Look What the Cat Dragged In
Ride the Wind
Talk Dirty to Me
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Guitar Solo
Fallen Angel
Drum Solo
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Nothin’ but a Good Time

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Victim of Circumstance
Cherry Bomb
Light of Day
Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)
You Drive Me Wild
Everyday People
Fake Friends
Crimson & Clover
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll
(I’m Gonna) Run Away
I Hate Myself for Loving You
Bad Reputation

Opening the show with a fast paced set was Classless Act who are based in Los Angeles. The band has received rave reviews by reviewers and Motley Crue themselves. Formed in 2019 and consisting of five former strangers who met by way of social media, Classless Act — Derek Day/vocals, Dane Pieper/guitar, Griffin Tucker/guitar, Franco Gravante/bass, and Chuck McKissock/drums — quickly formed a brotherhood. As the band demonstrated to the Highmark Stadium crowd of those who did get there on time, they are going to be a force in the new music scene.

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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