Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison & Joan Jett: The Stadium Tour at Coors Field, Denver 07.21.22
All of these iconic ’70s- and ’80s-born bands continue to leave their undeniable mark on the pages of rock and roll history books. Both Joan Jett and Def Leppard began their musical careers in the Seventies, while Poison and Mötley Crüe were not far behind, dominating the Los Angeles hard rock/ glam metal scene for years as they honed their skills on the Sunset Strip. Millions of fans around the world have been rocked to the core by all of these incredible musicians and are coming out strong to support the current stadium tour presented by Live Nation.
Joan Jett began her musical journey in the late Seventies as a founding member of the Runaways and has never strayed from her hard-rocking beginnings. She is a gifted singer, songwriter, composer, guitar player, and actress. Her mezzo-soprano vocal range is unmistakable. She and her band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. With the Blackhearts, Jett is well known for her rendition of “I Love Rock & Roll,” which landed her a number one spot on Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982.
Def Leppard began in Sheffield, England, and established themselves early on as part of the new wave of British heavy metal. The band’s explosive, hard-rocking metal and arena sound were all over the Eighties, releasing several albums and getting worldwide exposure on MTV, and the band has never let up their ambitious touring and recording work ethic. Hysteria, the band’s fourth and more pop-oriented album, exploded worldwide in 1987. That album went 12x platinum in the United States and 13x platinum in Canada, selling twenty-five million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling albums in rock and roll history.
Poison was birthed in 1983 out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and achieved huge commercial success in the mid-’80s through the mid-’90s and has since sold over 50 million albums worldwide. After establishing a loyal following in Pennsylvania and honing their hard rock skills, they moved west to Los Angeles, where Poison’s stage show attracted a lot of attention in West Hollywood. The story from here is simple: the band worked hard and rocked their fans to the bone. Songs like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” and “Nothing But A Good Time” are just a few of the hits that propelled the band to superstardom.
Mötley Crüe absolutely dominated the ’80s. They cut their teeth on the L.A. club circuit and probably left a few of those teeth on the streets of West Hollywood. No band rocked harder, lit themselves on fire, or had the ambition and desire to rock their audience to the core more than they did, leaving fans stunned, shocked, and completely mesmerized by their stage show. The list of accolades, record sales, mega tours, highs, lows, and all of the crazy shit that went down is and always will be monumental in the rock and roll history books. When you look at the monster hit songs this band has put out to the world, along with the talent and attitude behind them, that is the true essence of Mötley Crüe. They have lit the torch for generations of young musicians to follow and have opened doors that remain open and always will.
What an amazing night of music in Denver, Colorado, Thursday night (July 20), for The Stadium Tour. The sold-out crowd welcomed every band to thunderous applause as they each ripped through what many fans would call the soundtrack of their lives. The longevity of Joan Jett, Poison, Def Leppard, and Mötley Crüe is staggering, to say the least. Each band and their songs remind us of different times in our lives, and the songs mean something special to so many. The music lives on, and it sounds fresh and vibrant as ever. The audience was fully into it, and many traveled from other states and have seen multiple shows on this tour. You could see the expressions on their faces and feel the energy as they belted out every word of their favorite tunes.
Joan Jett opened her set with “Victim of Circumstance,” and her voice sounded fresh and powerful as she and her band lit up the late afternoon crowd. Jett didn’t waste any time, jumping right into the classic Runaways hit “Cherry Bomb.” She had some interesting covers, including “Lighting of Day” by Bruce Springsteen and “Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone. Jett’s band was in the groove, and the crowd was in awe of the undisputed queen of rock and roll.
“I Love Rock n’ Roll” was also in the diverse, rocking set. The crowd was as loud as the band, singing along to every word. “Crimson & Clover,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” and “Bad Reputation” closed out her set. Jett sounded amazing; she rocks you to the bone with power, style, and unprecedented flare.
Poison took the stage next and ripped right into “Look What The Cat Dragged In.” Brett Michaels’ voice was fresh and powerful, reaching the very top of the stadium with every note he sang. The core four of Michaels, Rikki Rockett, Bobby Dall, and C.C. Deville exploded into “Ride the Wind” and “Talk Dirty To Me.” Deville’s guitar-playing was pinpoint sharp and cut through the crowd with incredible power and remarkable tone from his gear. The bottom end from Rockett and Dall was a like a locomotive barreling down the tracks that physically shook you.
Michaels always makes the crowd feel very welcome and thanked everyone for the years supporting this band. He shines positive light on many topics and always acknowledges our veterans and their commitment to our nation.
The set was stacked with favorites including the incomparable “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Michaels played acoustic guitar on the rock anthem, and the crowd sang every word back at him. It was a touching, almost sacred moment in the set. Michaels has a big heart, and it really comes across in the tune. “Nothing But A Good Time” to close the set in true Poison fashion was the end cap on what was a great set of music that brought back so many memories for the audience.
Def Leppard opened up their songbook of hits in a big way as well as new music from the 2022 release of Diamond Star Halos. “Take What You Want,” the leadoff track on the new album, started the set, and also included was the rocker from the new album titled “Kick,” the sixth song into the set. “Kick” was released as a single from the new album. Man, the band sounded tight, and the guitar assault on your senses was incredible as Phil Collen’s and Vivian Campbell’s searing guitar licks and hard-rocking rhythms echoed through the stadium with razor-sharp accuracy. Rick Allen on drums and Rick Savage on bass kept your heart pounding for ninety minutes. Everything you could ask for was in the set, from “Animal” and “Love Bites” to “Promises,” “Rocket,” “Heartbreak,” and “Sugar.”
“Photograph” was the last song after “Rock of Ages,” overall a mind-blowing set of music. This band has a lot of history among themselves and with their devoted fans. I spoke with some of the fans, one in particular from Wisconsin who told me that Def Leppard saved her by getting her through a very tough time of loss in her life. It’s amazing how people will open up about things that effect them, and it’s also amazing that this band writes music that effects people in many positive ways. Long Live Rock, and Long Live Def Leppard.
The boys from West Hollywood closed out a marathon day of music in the Mile High City. Mötley Crüe doesn’t just appear on stage, they literally explode all over it. From the opening note you know you are going to get your ass kicked for the next two hours. Appropriately, “Wild Side” was the opening number, and it was nothing short of it. Mick Mars bending guitar notes like they owed him money was all over the neck of his axe.
‘s bass sounded like thunder coming over the mountains, and Tommy Lee just pours every inch of his power into everything he does. Vince Neil’s voice was clear as a bell and so familiar to the frenzied crowd. Someone turned up the volume on Crüe’s se,t and I would like to buy that person a beer. “Shout at the Devil,” “Too Fast For Love,” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” followed.
Things were heating up, alright, as the set was full of hits from many different periods in the band’s career, including covers of “Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” “White Punks On Dope,” “Helter Skelter,” and “Anarchy In The U.K.” Mick’s guitar-playing is over the top, and the band fits all the pieces to the rock and roll puzzle together effortlessly. From “Live Wire” to “Looks that Kill,” the band’s history is deeply imbedded in every song — you can hear the streets, you can feel the pain and pleasures that come with everything we do. Crüe’s music is so damn honest; it just hits you and sticks like glue to your soul. “Home Sweet Home” is always a special one for the crowd as it touches many different emotions. It was a strong set that just kept building: “Dr. Feelgood,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” “Girls Girls Girls,” “Primal Scream,” and “Kickstart My Heart.” WOW, what a gig!
Thank you to all of the bands, crews, guests, and Live Nation for bringing us these incredible opportunities!
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts