Def Leppard kicked off their North American summer tour in Tampa, FL on June 23.
Opening night saw Trixter guitarist Steve Brown sitting in for Vivian Campbell, who recently announced that his ongoing battle with cancer – he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013 - had returned for the first time since he underwent a stem cell transplant last fall.
Campbell also revealed that he will receive cancer treatments around the band’s schedule and that he’ll only miss the first two dates of the trek with Styx and Tesla; he will rejoin the tour this Saturday in Birmingham, AL.
Def Leppard’s 17-song set in Tampa opened with their 1983 classic, “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)”, and relied heavily on material from their 1980s heyday.
“Hello America,” said singer Joe Elliott the day after the show. “Wow !! What an opening night !!! I have seen some rain storms in my time, but last night’s takes the biscuit !!! We were THAT close to having to pull the gig for safety reasons, but the second that was mentioned, the lightning seemed to change direction & it started to clear. Too late, however, for Tesla the Band to perform so they gracefully surrendered their spot to allow the show as a whole to take place …. good on ya boyz !!!
“Styx went down great as usual & then it was our turn to stand in the 90% humidity & 100 degree temperature, as I said what a start !!! GREAT crowd, thank you Tampa, you’ve set the tone for what hopefully will be a loud & proud tour !!! 1 down 59 to go … & Viv is hopefully back on Saturday !!!!”
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