Just one year ago, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot used a global press conference to pick a fight with Mechanicsburg, Pa.'s most glamorous export, Poison. Seems ol' Joe claimed that, unlike the European glam originators, the Hollywood butt-rock crowd got it all wrong with too much focus on superficial imagery. Poison drummer Rikki Rocket shot back with allegations of Leppard lip-synching on a TV show, and for the rest of 2008, they seemed to be gearing up for a brawl along the lines of the unintentionally hilarious Vince Neil vs. Axl Rose challenge.
Apparently the Poisoners and Def Leppard made up -- or made up the feud. They've hit the road as curious partners on a summer flashback tour that visits the Post-Gazette Pavilion Fri., July 10.
During your tailgate celebrations, if you hear "I Want You to Want Me" in the distance, finish your brew, touch up your tease and catch the pop 'n' roll genius of openers Cheap Trick. Perhaps it's a stretch to say that without Cheap Trick there would be no Def Leppard or Poison, but these Illinois oddballs were tearing up the charts when Brett Michaels was a just a tranny-in-training stealing mommy's makeup.
Jabs aside, Poison (along with those $8 drafts you've been guzzling) will play an integral role in fueling your relapse back to 1986. Although the hair spray and Spandex have strategically been replaced by bandannas and designer jeans, these guys continue to deliver nothin' but a good time.
No other band owned the decade of excess with more aplomb than Britain's kings of light alloy, Def Leppard. While the group began as a high-octane T.Rex meets AC/DC hybrid in the late '70s, the Union Jack garb, neckerchiefs and pointy guitars were firing on all cylinders by the advent of MTV. Three decades later, the Lepp's rock of ages continues to stand the test of time. Expect a greatest-hits set list that makes just a brief, obligatory nod to their current long player, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge.
Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick. 7 p.m. Fri., July 10. Post-Gazette Pavilion, 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown, Pa. $29.50-127. All ages. 724-947-7400 or www.livenation.com