Kiss, Def Leppard and the Dead Daisies Wrap Up Their Summer Tour: Photo Gallery
We were there for one of the last dates -- Aug. 26 at Ohio's Blossom Music Center -- and our photographers captured some great photos of both bands, as well as their special guests the Dead Daisies.
The Dead Daisies are an all-star group that features current Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, Jon Stevens of INXS, Brian Tichey of Whitesnake and bassist Marco Mendoza. They kicked off the night in very proper style with an energetic set featuring songs from their debut EP 'Face I Love,' closing out with a strong cover of the Beatles' 'Helter Skelter.'
Def Leppard launched their portion of the evening with a pretty cool trick. As their taped intro music -- the Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again' -- reached its climax, they took over, playing and singing live along with Roger Daltrey's famous "YEAAAAHH!" scream. From there they were off and running with a 14-song performance that showed off the full range of their styles and influences. That included the impossible-to-resist pop chorus of 'Animal,' acoustic takes on 'Two Steps Behind' and 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak' and their smash 1988 ballad 'Love Bites.' Of course, when it came time to wrap it up, they brought out the tried-and-true hard-rock classics: 'Rocket,' 'Armageddon It,' 'Pour Some Sugar on Me,' 'Rock of Ages' and 'Photograph.' Simply put, it was a heck of a good show.
When one side of the Kiss stage curtain fell down while their crew was setting up for their headlining slot -- leaving a noble stagehand to rather futilely hold it up as high as he could by hand for about 15 minutes -- we'll admit we wondered if it was going to be an off night.
But even though their much-hyped "Spider" stage remained rather stationary all night -- without the typical descending intro and without Gene Simmons flying into the rafters during 'God of Thunder' -- the group had no trouble proving why it was closing out the evening.
As has been their tradition in recent years, Kiss also played a portion of 'Won't Get Fooled Again,' mixing it into the middle of 'Lick it Up.' Otherwise, it was pretty much wall-to-wall hits, sprinkled with a few pleasant surprises such as 'Hotter Than Hell' and 'Calling Dr. Love.' Of course, Simmons spit blood and breathed fire, and Paul Stanley flew out into the crowd during 'Love Gun,' but what really mattered is that the band sounded tight and impressively live and alive on each and every song. Forty more years, please!