Stadium Tour : August 22, 2022 @ Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.

The second leg of the Stadium Tour featuring Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is in full swing. The Monday night stop at Globe Life Field in Arlington marked the midpoint of the tour’s 18-date second leg.

The Arlington date wasn’t just another stop on the tour, it’s a date that has ties to the DFW market. One old and one new.

Exterior, live and behind the scene footage for Crue’s video for “Home Sweet Home” and the Uncensored VHS Home Video from Reunion Arena in Dallas can be seen.

The newer connection leads directly to the Classless Act, the support band on the tour. One of their guitar players, Griffin Tucker, he’s from Dallas.

Unfortunately miscommunication delayed reviewing media’s entrance into the stadium, a full hour after the doors opened. Classless Act’s set was missed entirely. As for Joan Jett, her set was coming to a close with “I Love Rock and Roll” and “Bad Reputation.” 

Once inside and seated, the visuals were nonstop. Pleather, leather and form fitting spandex dresses and miniskirts. Newly stitched and pristine battle vests adorned with band patches. There were dudes sporting 80’s hair metal wigs. There were Wal-Mart KISS shirts and high heeled zip up boots that eventually took a toll on the feet. 

The Union Jack was a common site. Whether as a cape, sleeveless shirts reminiscent of Def Leppard’s Pyromania tour or grungy, smelly looking socks in dire need of a washing.

Bouncing beach balls and plenty of opportunities for selfies with the stage in the background or groups of aging rockers attempting to time travel back to the 1980’s.

The stage faced where home plate is. The load-in area was anchored in center field against the warning track.

Tunes from Black Sabbath, RUSH, Blue Oyster Cult and Deep Purple along with other 1970’s guitar rock played on.

AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle”  ushered in the 1980’s, setting the vibe for Poison. With the last chord ending “Welcome to the Jungle,” Poison kicked into “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” The extended intro built up the excitement sending an electrified charge throughout the crowd.

Poison’s momentum from Rikki Rocket’s first drum kick was undeniable and the band was on fire. Each member owned their element. Poison continued like this with “Ride Like the Wind” and “Talk Dirty to Me.” 

Large video screens allowed those who didn’t feel like standing up to see the band.

The joy of being on stage in front of a Dallas Fort Worth crowd was evident for Poison. The smile on bassist Bobby Dall who was sporting a Texas Ranger hat never faded. 

Following the third song, the band took a quick breather. Vocalist Bret Michaels expressed his gratitude to veterans and narrated a brief, sentimental story that involved a harmonica and his father, a veteran.

The momentum the band was riding began to fade as Poison went into the Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama don’t Dance.”

CC Deville’s guitar solo paid homage to Eddie Van Halen with pieces from “Eruption.” Deville is a respectable and solid guitar player no matter what the naysayers say. 

Poison worked through “Fallen Angel,” Rocket’s drum solo and “Unskinny Bop.” The pace slowed as Michaels brought out the 12-string acoustic for the hit “Every Rose has Its Thorn.” Poison wrapped up their set with “Nothing but a Good Time.”

The band delivered and sounded great but the charge was missing by the end of the set.

An odd mixture of songs from “Fox on the Run” to “Rhinestone Cowboy” and others kept fans milling about occupied. 

Throughout the tour, Crue and Leppard have alternated the headlining spot. For the night at Globe Life Field, the Crue would follow Poison.

There were beeping sounds of a National Alert warning and crazy graphics on the video screens. With that, Crue took to the stage opening with “Wild Side.”

There was an onslaught of lights, visuals, nonstop video camera actions and footage constantly jumping from one member to another. Cameramen flanked both sides of the stage for Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars.

Much of the footage for Mars included close ups and details of his guitars and tattoos on his hands. The wear and tear of use is evident.

As for Tommy Lee, there’s a multi camera angle set up on his kit. He definitely puts forth more than 100% into his performance.

Crue pulled out some old shit as vocalist Vince Neil stated with “Shout at the Devil”and “Too Fast for Love.”

There was even a melody of songs.  “Rock and Roll Part II,” “Smoking in the Boys Room,” “White Punks,” “Helter Skelter” and “Anarchy in the UK”, called Crue Karaoke. 

As a segue into “Home Sweet Home,” Lee utilized the time to talk about his two week bender between legs and his exposure on social media. Lee even attempted to jump start a game called, “I showed you mine, now show me yours.” There weren’t any takers from the males but two females upfront did.

Crue was tight and the onstage eye candy was nice but the gut punch of anticipated energy was missing. A lethargic feeling hoovered and never went away. 

With their discography, Crue has plenty of material and they utilized it. As a whole, the setlist was a proper representation of the Crue’s music for the time on stage. 

The same goes for Leppard. The band has the songs, longevity and swagger for the stage. Leppard’s sound, image and presentation was polished. The band was just chilled as they proceeded through a historical representation of their repertoire dating back to 1981’s High n’ Dry.

The hits were there, “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Love Bites,” “Rocket,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and others.

The evolution of the two headliners over the years is a strange thing. The vibe is not there even though the songs are. The songs are perfectly executed. For Gen Y and Z, hearing the songs that Gen X grew to love is an experience but lacks that kick of energy.

By all means, the Stadium Tour is a tour to see. Time is not on any side of the bands now. Whether any of the bands roll through town again on a smaller scale is unknown. 

With a handful of dates left, it’s to take a trip to the rock sound of the 1980’s.