It was 1983 and this photographer was a kid who had just discovered music and was developing his taste for rock music, but finding new records or information about bands was difficult in Peru. It was the time when those who were lucky enough to go to the United States could buy records and bring them to our country, if you had a friend with money there was the possibility of listening to something new and recently released. That same year Def Leppard released their album Pyromania and it was “Photograph”, one of the singles, the song that caught my attention, the melody, the choruses quickly hooked my brain and I immediately started looking for information (no Internet at the time!) about the band and visiting the music stores to see if I could find it. The album was a worldwide success and months later it was released by a local record label. That was one of the first tapes that I owned.
That same year, the second album by a band called Motley Crue was released. The song “Shout At The Devil”, which also gave the album its name, was played on a local radio program that played heavy metal once a week. When I heard it, I was surprised, at that age I had never heard a song that sounded as heavy and devilish as that. It was time to go out again to look for information and to see if the album or something from the band was sold in local music stores. That record was never released in Perú, so the most I got at the time was for a friend to record it on tape for me. The years passed and both Def Leppard and Motley Crue continued to release records, some came faster than others. Both bands sold millions of records and became successful worldwide, but no matter how much we expected them, they never made it to Peru, neither in the 80s nor in the 90s nor in the new millennium.
In 2012, Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott arrived in Lima as part of the Rock & Roll All Stars tour along with Glenn Hughes, Sebastian Bach, Gene Simmons and other renowned musicians. A night to remember with songs from The Cult, Guns and Roses, Skid Row, Deep Purple, Kiss and more. From Def Leppard we could only listen to “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, it was the closest we got to the English band. Two years later, in 2014, Motley Crue announced that they were retiring from touring forever. The dreams of the Peruvian fans and the whole world came undone. We could never see them again.
You can already imagine the surprise that occurred when, four years later, the Stadium Tour was announced with Def Leppard and Motley Crue as headliners in the United States. Hopes were reborn and the dream of being able to see these two bands excited everyone. That excitement boiled over when after several successful dates in North America with Joan Jett and Poison, the two bands announced their Stadium World Tour that included South America and the name of Peru was on the calendar. A story that had to be read several times to be believed.
After problems with the National Stadium (the original venue), the concert moved to the Olympic Stadium of the San Marcos University located west of the city of Lima. There were some discomforts and protests from the public, but all that ended when on Sunday February 26, Def Leppard and Motley Crue arrived in our country, two days before their concert scheduled for Tuesday the 28th. The fans of both bands went crazy and many who hesitated immediately went to buy their tickets.
On Tuesday the 28th, just over 10,000 people attended the San Marcos Stadium early to meet with a historic moment in the musical history of Perú. After overcoming horrible traffic to get to the stadium, I had to get out of the taxi about five blocks from the entrance gate because the streets were closed, and cars were not moving. On the way you felt the atmosphere, food and merchandising vendors filled the streets and you could hear music from both bands mixing with each step you took.
I arrived at the accreditation post at 7.30pm. The Peruvian band chosen to open the concert was Por Hablar, they finished playing just as I approached the stage which was quickly rearranged to make way for Motley Crue who were in charge of starting the show in our country. 3 Puntos, the agency in charge of managing the concert press indicated to the few officially accredited photographers that we could only photograph two songs and that these would be songs numbers 11 and 12 on the setlist, that is, “Dr. Feelgood” and “Same Old Situation”. This was something not very common in my experience. The good thing is that we could see more than half of the show calmly, the bad thing is that a photographer cannot calmly see a show having in front of his eyes frames that he cannot photograph. The indication they gave us for the coverage of Def Leppard was that we could only photograph the first two songs.
Motley Crue started their show a few minutes after 8 pm. The first to go on stage were Tommy Lee and John 5, followed by Nikki Sixx who started with “Wild Side”. A few seconds later we saw Vince Neil appear on stage. I cannot deny that it was a very exciting moment for me and since I was not able to photograph, I concentrated on the joy of being able to see them after 40 years of discovering them. Some tears wanted to flow from my eyes. I looked around me and the feeling and emotion were shared by all the attendees. The next song was “Shout At The Devil” with Vince making the crowd sing as he usually does at this stage of his career. Then came “Too Fast For Love”, “Don’t Go Away Mad” and “Saints Of Los Angeles” where Vince suffered a bit in the high tones. With these first five songs we had already reviewed their entire career, the audience did not stop singing. Then we saw John 5 change his guitar and appear with a completely illuminated one that made the people cheer and he with a grateful smile began to play the first chords of “Live Wire” taking us back to 1981 and the beginning of the band.
The Crue brought us a show full of lights and impressive screens, as well as the well-known dancers Hannah Sutton and Ariana Rosado, better known as the “Nasty Habits”, who gave the show a party touch and made us remember those videos we saw in the middle of the 80s. Before “Looks That Kill” Nikki Sixx walked with a Peruvian flag, took the microphone, and showed us his joy at being here and his surprise for not having come to our country before, even promising to return in the future.
It was the turn of “The Dirt”, one of the last songs recorded to date and then the long-awaited solo by John 5 who by now had already won over the public with his talent and professionalism. Let’s remember that he replaces Mick Mars who for health reasons could not go on tour outside the United States. After the solo would come the medley where they perform covers in their own style like the well-known “Smokin In The Boys Room” from the well-remembered album Theather Of Pain.
The time would come for Tommy Lee who left his drums to go to the front of the stage and speak to the public. With his peculiar humor he asked to see some tits but unlike California here he couldn’t see many. He smiled and sat in front of the piano and began to play “Home Sweet Home” with the other band members by his side. It was another very emotional moment. From there the party intensified with five more songs from their discography that sounded furious: “Dr. Feelgood”, “Same Ol´ Situation”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Prímal Scream”, this last one sounded as brutal as the first time I heard it on the radio. When the chords of “Kickstart my Heart” began, we knew that the show was ending. The atmosphere among the public was festive and the band enjoyed it from above. Thus ended the first part of this show, perhaps the noisiest and most festive of the night.
Vince Neil: Vocals
Nikki Sixx: Bass
Tommy Lee: Drums, Piano
John 5: Guitars
2.Shout at the Devil
3.Too Fast for Love
4.Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
5.Saints of Los Angeles
7.Looks That Kill
8.The Dirt (Est. 1981)
9.John 5 Guitar Solo
10.Medley: Smokin’ in the Boys Room / Helter Skelter / Anarchy in the U.K. / Blitzkrieg Bop
11.Home Sweet Home
13.Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
14.Girls, Girls, Girls
16.Kickstart My Heart
After a rearrangement on stage, it was the turn of the British Def Leppard, who took the stage with the punctuality that characterizes their country amidst the cheers of the fans. When the lights came on, the chords of “Take What You Want” were heard, the single from their new album Diamond Star Halos released less than a year ago and from which they would also perform “Kick” and “This Guitar”. After this song that has the unmistakable stamp of the band: a good riff and recognizable choruses, would come a series of great hits that made the public quickly get into the emotion of singing the choruses of “Let’s Get Rocked” from the Adrenalize album at the top of their lungs. ”, “Animal”, “Foolin’” and “Armageddon It”. Joe Elliott’s voice sounded great for someone over 60 and a life spent on the stage. The guitars of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell formed a perfect duo that doubled the melodies or interspersed the solos in such a precise way that at times it seemed that we were in the living room listening to studio albums.
A little further back, the powerful rhythm section of the group also drew applause. Bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen were the basis for all the power of the band. Savage provided the attitude and Allen, the one-armed drummer, made the forceful rhythm of his hybrid drums feel and even had the luxury of doing a spectacular solo during “Switch 625” that received the warmest applause of the year from the fans.
With the stage in dim light, “Love Bites” began to be heard, a song that began the most romantic part of the night that included an acoustic interpretation of “When Love And Hate Collide” with all the members of the band standing at the end of the catwalk and closer to the public. Then would come “Rocket” that was chanted by the entire stadium. One of the characteristics of Def Leppard are those choirs designed for stadiums that demand a great participation from the public and that could be heard during the more than an hour and a half of the show.
After the emotional “Bringing on the Heartbreak” would come the turn of “Hysteria”, one of the most emblematic songs of the fourth album of the band named in the same way and that to date is one of the best sellers in musical history. Then would come the other Hysteria single “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock Of Ages” from Pyromania before the obligatory presentations and the grand finale with that song that, when I heard it for the first time, I didn’t imagine would be the soundtrack of my life: “Photograph”.
That was how one of the most memorable nights of my life as a hard rock fan ended. Two bands so emblematic and so different musically speaking. Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe showed us that they are still intact and that they the energy to continue on the road for a few years more. Hopefully we can see them again in these lands as promised.
Joe Elliott: Vocals
Phil Collen: Guitars
Vivian Campbell: Guitars
Rick Allen: Drums
Rick Savage: Bass
1.Take What You Want
2.Let’s Get Rocked
10.When Love and Hate Collide (Acoustic)
12.Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
13.Switch 625 (w/ Drum Solo)
15.Pour Some Sugar on Me
16.Rock of Ages
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I’m a photographer with extensive experience working for national and international media. I’m also a passionate photography educator with extensive experience working with students of different ages. I love Heavy Metal music and I began shooting concerts in 1992. Concert Photography is my passion. I’m based in Perú but willing to travel anywhere.