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Rock Stadium Tour

Rock Stadium Tour

Article: Nathan Rose | Photos: Sean McCloskey

The moment had finally arrived, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and Classless Act, did their second show of their Stadium Tour at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Originally scheduled to kick off in 2020, it was pushed back because of COVID until this summer. With the sun out in full force, Classless Act started up at 4pm for an what would become a seven-hour concert event.

The newbies, Classless Act, fired up the crowd with their in-your-face rock and roll and, despite their name really were a “class act”. Even though the band started late in the afternoon, many of the people had already arrived and were enjoying new songs by a group most of the audience had never heard of before. Looking back the band really held their own amongst the rest of this legendary lineup. I know for certain I will be checking out their music more because of their performance.

Next up was Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. While the songs were one third from her days with the band, The Runaways, one third covers and one third Blackhearts, every song hit its note and sounded just as fresh as they were when first released. Joan was personable with the audience, and we had a great time singing along to her bad ass punk rock sound.

After a small intermission and with the sun finally starting to go down Bret Michaels and Poison jumped on the stage for their set. Michaels was very personable with the crowd and the band played all the hits fans grew up listening to including, “Fallen Angel,” “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” “Ride The Wind,” “Every Rose has its Thorn,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” and “Unskinny Bop” to name just a handful. One particularly fun moment, especially for our photographer was in the pit taking pictures, the Michaels called out from the stage requesting the photographers be brought back into back into the pit for one more song as they were being escorted out by declaring he needed them for one more song. Ever the showman! Poison’s set was the most energetic of the night with Michaels pointing and acknowledging what seemed like every single fan sitting the floor seats.

Def Leppard brought the quality of stage production that most are used to seeing in their videos and concerts. Aside from classic hits as “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” and “Photograph,” the band also played a few songs of their spectacular brand-new album, Diamond Star Halos, including “Kick” and “Fire it Up.” While they did a great set, they unfortunately didn’t interact with the crowd at the same level the acts before them did, which resulted in a bit of a letdown for me since I had waited a long time to see this band. Surprisingly only one song was played from Adrenalize and nothing from Euphoria (two of their very popular albums in the 90s). In the middle of their set they also sang Happy Birthday to Sir Paul McCartney (he turned 80 on June 18th).

Another intermission ensued with much more complicated setups being brought onto the stage. After about 30 minutes, the bad boys of Rock and Roll came out to an energized crowd who enveloped the band in excited energy that I rarely see at most concerts. After all these were the boys who had swore they would never tour again back in 2015. They opened with their hit song, “Wild Side,” and followed it up with one of the tracks that put them on the map, “Shout at The Devil.” It then became a greatest hits set ending with “Kick Start My Heart” pumping so much bass into the stadium, I thought my body was having irregular heartbeats (yes I actually did a EKG on my Apple watch to see if I was ok).The band showed they were still the Bad Boys of Rock by having a group of back-up dancers (almost strippers – come on it’s rock and roll!) scantily clad joining them on stage, wearing some interesting outfits. In the wake up of the #MeToo movement I was shocked at first then happy to see they hadn’t changed a bit.

After about an hour and a half set, they left the stage with me just not wanting to leave my seat to so I could process all that I had witnessed. This was basically the cultivation of hair bands I was not allowed to see in concert when I was younger (yet watched all the time on MTV, go figure). While it would have been great to see everyone in the 80s, where the hair was higher and the shirts were a little smaller, this show does not disappoint, and it will go down as one of the best rock shows I have ever seen.

The one disappointing thing at the show, and will be for probably the entire tour, is that Tommy Lee played very little as he broke four ribs 2 weeks before the tour was going to start. He played for the first three songs, and home sweet home (on piano), but was replaced for the rest of the set by Tommy Clufetos who did a very good job subbing for him. While not idea I do want to give him credit for at least trying as I am sure drumming with droken ribs must be pretty painful.

Even though Def Leppard was the act I wanted to see the most heading into the show, I enjoyed the rest of the acts much more than them, with Mötley Crüe coming out on top. They sounded great but just lacked the crowd interaction I was hoping for.

Keep on rocking Classless Act, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Posion, Def Leppard, and Mötley Crüe. I can’t wait to see any of you again next time you come back around to the sunshine state.

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