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Did Heart Upstage Def Leppard at Darien Lake?


The guys in Def Leppard must have monster egos. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It just takes a certain amount of swagger to let a band like Heart be your opener, knowing that they could blow you away on any given night. Which Heart did last night at Darien Lake.

Ann Wilson’s voice was in perfect form from the opening cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock-n-Roll” to the closing covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore” and the Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” ( a fitting song for a day that had been marred with Thunderstorms only to clear right before showtime).

Oh and by the way, Heart has a few songs of their own that they managed to squeeze in between covers. While they didn’t have any pyrotechnics, the second song of the set “Magic Man”, produced an equally “magical” rainbow over the ampitheater that put the crowd at Darien Lake in a tizzy.

While some would argue that Heart sold out in the 80’s, even the 3 song set of 80’s cheese felt good on a summer night, as the crowd sang along to the guilty pleasure songs “These Dreams”, “Alone” and “Never”. From the sweet acoustic intro to “Crazy on You”, to the crunching guitar of “Barracuda” these ladies came to bring it.

Sure, Def Leppard was good too. They are showman and nobody does the rock pose to a video backdrop, like the boys from Def Leppard. 1987’s “Hysteria” was one of the biggest rock albums of all-time, “Photograph’s” opening riff and cowbell chorus is a rock anthem, the ladies love “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, and Phil Collen proves that you can be in your 50’s and still have six-pack abs. But from a musical standpoint Heart was the better band. Not that Def Leppard dissappointed, it just felt like I had seen this show before.

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