Nightcrawler: Leppard Spotting

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The Hysteria On The High Seas luxury liner had already left port when Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott came up mute — a case of laryngitis leaving him unable to take the mic for his boatload of fans.

Luckily, crewmate Andrew Freeman was equal to the task. The Valley native had tackled many a Def Lep tune as a regular performer at the Rock Vault show at the Tropicana in Vegas. And he had a pretty good reference in that Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell is also Freeman’s bandmate in Last In Line.

“I don’t know about you, but this is the best Def Leppard show I’ve ever been to,” Freeman quipped to the audience before delivering a faithful “Bringing On The Heartache.” A planned February Mohegan Sun play for Def Leppard was subsequently dropped in the wake of the ailment. Now reportedly fully recovered, however, Elliott and company have not only provided an official rescheduled date of May 15 for their casino engagement, they’ve added a Boston area stop at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on June 22 as well.

Speaking of Boston and Mohegan: the band that bears Beantown’s name celebrates four decades of existence Aug. 11 at the casino arena.

Boston has sold more than 17 million albums since registering on the rock radio radar with their self-titled debut back in 1976. Tix are $49 and onsale now.

And of course, who can think of Boston this time of year and not immediately be reminded of the city’s beloved boys of summer, the Red Sox? When those boys are away though, some of the best musical acts on the circuit will play at their friendly Fenway Park.

Zac Brown is the most recent entry in the Fenway summer concert series. The Georgia-based country boys come to town Aug. 20-21, joining the likes of Billy Joel (Aug. 18) Pearl Jam (Aug. 5 and Aug. 7) and the Dead & Company (July 15-16) this season.

Back to Freeman. As previously reported, the whole Def Lep experience was bittersweet for him at best, as he also recently lost his friend, mentor, and Last In Line bandmate Jimmy Bain.

Any self-respecting rock historian would know that Bain cut his teeth with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow back in the day. Among many other projects, Blackmore famously donned his six-string for an extended stint with Deep Purple, working with one David Coverdale along the way.

In late February, Coverdale revealed that there had been whispers of a Deep Purple reunion. A recently released Whitesnake Greatest Hits tour package — replete with a June 23 Hampton Beach Ballroom Casino play — all but confirms that such a prospect has been back-burnered at best. Tix for the Hampton Beach show are available at casinoballroom.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Last but not least, a cancer research benefit at The Enfield Tap on Spring Street in Enfield, Conn. this Friday, March 11.

Dubbed Strum For Life (Part 2), this annual evening of altruistic acoustic rock will kick of with a set by Shannon Morcus and Jay Denigris from Collective Difference, followed by turns by Sam Pursey, Kevin Crane and finally Josh Enemy, best known for his work with Pretty Penny and Negative Creep.

“The man in the charge of the event, Charlie Ragno, is a good friend and longtime student of mine,” Enemy reveals. “He asked me last year and I had a previous commitment but this year, the schedule worked out and I’m happy to be on board.” Additional funds will be raised by a raffle featuring a pair of Rihanna tix for her March 26 XL Center, Hartford appearance as the grand prize. Winner need not be present. This show starts at 7 p.m., raffle at 10 p.m.•

Catch the Nightcrawler on Wednesday mornings with Leslie at 6:20 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. o Lazer 99.3 f.m. Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email garycarra@aol.com.

Gary Carra

Author: Gary Carra

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