The Stadium Tour Comes to Fenway Park – August 5, 2022
Hard rock legends Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe kicked off the second leg of the Stadium Tour with the first of two sold out shows at Fenway Park, joined by Poison, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Classless Act.
The Fenway area was a party early on, with thousands of fans making their way to the iconic ballpark, with rock music blasting out of every corner. The crowd was very diverse, from couples in costumes, to families, to large groups of young women, and the energy was vibrant despite the ominous weather that was approaching the venue.
California rock band Classless Act would take the stage first, with a fast and furious set that surprised many fans who arrived early. The band erupted on stage with great energy, playing tracks of their recently released debut album, Welcome To The Show. Lead singer Derek Day’s powerful vocals captured the attention of fans immediately, paired with the loud guitars of Dane Pieper and Griffin Tucker and a solid rhythm section with Franco Gravante on bass and Chuck McKissock on drums. The band takes up space and stands out with catchy tracks like “This Is For You” and “Time to Bleed”, a breath of fresh air in modern rock & roll. They were later seen walking around the venue and talking to fans.
The weather would bring the show to a halt shortly after, as a strong thunderstorm hit Fenway Park directly. The crowd was quickly evacuated from the field before the rain started, and there would be a one hour delay. Once lightning and heavy rain stopped, the production quickly readjusted the set times and cleared the area for both fans and performers to return safely to the field.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts would take the stage after the delay, with a shortened set. The iconic rocker started off with a bang with “Cherry Bomb”. The trimmed down setlist packed a punch with a combination of early hits from The Runaways, well known covers, and solo hits. Jett and the band shared bits and pieces of the stories behind their compositions, like “Fake Friends”. The crowd went wild and chanted “I Love Rock & Roll” and “Bad Reputation”, to close the satisfying post-storm set.
The sun was out, the ballpark was almost at full capacity, and the crowd was ready for Poison. The anticipation grew as tour members came out to hype up the crowd, and singer Bret Michaels could be heard introducing the band as they took the stage. Poison’s energy is always fun and genuine, as Bret ran to the edge of the stage to shake hands with fans. Kicking off with “Look What The Cat Dragged In”, Poison’s set was jam packed with hits, like “Talk Dirty To Me” and the power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. The slightly shorter set was just as energetic as any Poison performance, with C.C DeVille and Bobby Dall joining Michaels constantly at the end of the catwalk, interacting directly with fans. The closer, “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” was the perfect setup for the headliners to come.
Def Leppard would set up their usual 10-minute countdown on the screens, and fans were excited to see the British band live after a long wait. The lights went down, and the band took the stage to “Take What You Want”, off their most recent album Diamond Star Halos, then threw it back to “Let It Go”, one of their very first singles. The band sounds as solid as ever, with a powerful set that highlighted fan favorites like “Rocket” and “Armaggedon It”, while also focusing on tracks off of their latest release, which they completed remotely during lockdown.
One of the highlights of the set was the acoustic section, where the entire band joined singer Joe Elliott at the edge of the stage for an intimate performance of “This Guitar” and “Two Steps Behind”. The instrumental “Switch 625” gave way to “Hysteria”, and then another highlight: guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell went right into “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, and the entire stadium roared with excitement. Even staff members could be found singing and dancing to the popular tune. Closing with “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph”, Def Leppard gave an unforgettable performance.
Los Angeles bad boys Mötley Crüe were in charge of closing the show on the first night at Fenway. As the lights went down, an apocalyptic newscast played on the screens, with a red sign that read “The Future Is Ours”. The panel went up to reveal the band, going straight into “Wild Side” and the anthemic “Shout At The Devil”. With Vince Neil at the front, the band sounded solid, and the crowd was excited to see them return to the stage after their retirement. The band played classic tracks like “Too Fast For Love”, as well as recent songs like “Saints of Los Angeles” and ‘The Dirt (Est. 1981)”, taking the time to address the many younger fans that found the band through the biopic of the same name.
The party continued with a medley of covers that included the band’s first hit, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, as a tribute to their early performances and influences. Drummer Tommy Lee would then take center stage for “Home Sweet Home”, not without a few revealing requests. The highlight of the performance was the giant blow up robot girls that appeared for “Girls Girls Girls” as back up dancers and singers The Nasty Habits were prominently featured. The set would close with an explosion with “Kickstart My Heart”, ending an evening of pure rock and roll.
From newcomers Classless Act to the seasoned Mötley Crüe, the Stadium Tour has something for everyone, and with two sold out shows at Fenway Park, rock is most certainly not dead. Follow the second leg of the tour in a city near you.