WORDS AND IMAGES BILLY SEAGRAVE
Tonight, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard are bringing their collective decades of rock and roll experience and catalogue of timeless hits to Lytham Festival 2023. The combination of two of the greatest glam rock bands of all time promises to be a high-octane show full of big hits, big hair, tight pants, and energy that will have the air crackling, a night filled with classic anthems and rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia.
From early afternoon the queues have been building for the show, lines and lines of dedicated fans have come early to gain the best position for this Juggernaut double headline bill, as soon as the gates are opened it is a mad dash to the barriers, and very quickly every vantage point near the stage is full.
Today support is from Rock outfit, Vivas, hailing from Sheffield and gaining a favourable reputation, on the local scene, as well as carving a large following from the larger rock community. VIVAS consists of James Wilson (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Tyler Savage (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Kane Ibbertson (Bass/ Backing Vocals) and Keaton Barker (Drums). Their lead guitarist Tyler is the son of Rick Savage, the bass player for tonight’s co-host, Def Leppard.
The lads delivered a superb set, it was tight, sharp, high energy, uplifting and enjoyed by the crowd immensely. “Out To Get Me”, and “It’s All Right”, stand out for me, For those that like to rock, look them up on their current tour. Opening for tonight’s headliners could have been difficult, however, Vivas did a brilliant job.
By now you can almost taste the anticipation from the crowd, both old and new fans are gathered together to witness something that is going to be very special, and as Def Leppard takes to the stage to the backdrop of David Bowies’ “Heroes”, the noise is deafening, Joe Elliott (lead vocals) Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals) Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals) Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals) Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals) all look amazing, “Take What You Want”, starts things off and the band instantly set about covering the stage, using every vantage point to connect to the fans.
The huge backdrop is used to great effect, projecting visual images from glories past, but the band are not all about nostalgia, they are keen to show they are still working and producing new material, and a number of tracks from their latest album are given an airing, but of course, it’s the big hit songs that transcend everything else, these tracks were written for arenas and festivals, “Animal”, “Foolin” and “Promises” deliver what the fans want, “This Guitar”, sees a semi-acoustic downturn that neatly leads to, “When Love Hate Collide”, which produces an intimate feel in the arena. The musicianship is exemplary, the band is so tight
The band cannot cover every album, but what they have done is deliver e real sense of stadium rock to a fanbase that is as strong as this wind blowing through the arena. “Switch 265”, has the obligatory drum solo, so we now have the air drummers in the crowd playing alongside the air guitar brigade, it’s a beautiful thing,
“Hysteria” along with “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, take it to eleven on the dial of ten and that brings us to the penultimate song “Rock Of Ages”, Finishing with “Photograph” the adulation the band received from the crowd is fantastic, coming together at the front of the stage, Joe Elliot leaves the crowd with the words “We love you Lytham, we will be back, I can assure you”.
1/ Take What You Want
2/ Let’s Get Rocked
5/ Armageddon It
7/ Love Bites
9/ This Guitar
10/ When Love and Hate Collide
12/ Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
13/ Switch 625
15/ Pour Some Sugar on Me
16/ Rock of Ages
It was a quick turnaround, and I’m heading back to the stage as Mötley Crüe are due to take up residence on it. The sun is dropping the light is fading and the stage is ready to be lit up along with the Lytham skyline, the locals who are lucky enough to have viewpoints over the festival are all out in force.
So as we arrive at the final act for this season Lytham Festivals 2023 set in the picturesque town of Lytham, I take a minute to reflect on what has been a wonderful 5 days,
Now it’s time for Motley Crew the band’s image and lifestyle are notorious, characterized by excess, debauchery, “Sex, Drugs, And Rock ‘n’ Roll” a mantra the band very much took to heart.
As the strains of “Requiem in D Minor“, K. 626 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which give way to a spoof video of Breaking News introducing the band to the stage, “Wild Side”, starts and it’s blast off and the crowd is up for it. As Vince Neil beckons to the crowd, “Do you like old shit”, judging by the reception, I guess the answers yes.
The current lineup of Nikki Sixx Vocals and guitar, Tommy Lee Drums, Vince Neil lead vocals and John 5 guitarist look the part and they waste no time in getting into the hits, working the crowd like the seasoned performers they are and bringing musicianship is another level. The band come into their own when they enter a medley of songs, “Rock and Roll, Part 2 / Smokin’ in the Boys Room / Helter Skelter / Anarchy in the U.K. / Blitzkrieg Bop / (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) as you can imagine the atmosphere was electric with arms aloft fans on shoulders lapping up everything being thrown at them. “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and “Primal Scream” have brought us near to the end of the set, the night seemed to go by so quickly, the band finish with “Kick Start My Heart”,
Today has shown that Lytham is a place to come and rock out, two huge rock bands brought the glam/rock/metal to the coast, and a fanbase that turned up in force, who played their part, so kudos to Lytham Festival and everyone involved in making this happen, the last 5 days have been phenomenal all round, we salute you, and we will be back.
1/ Wild Side
2/ Shout at the Devil
3/ Too Fast for Love
4/ Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
5/ Live Wire
6/ Looks That Kill
7/ The Dirt (Est. 1981)
8/ Guitar Solo
9/ Rock and Roll, Part 2 / Smokin’ in the Boys Room / Helter Skelter / Anarchy in the U.K. / Blitzkrieg Bop / (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)
10/ Home Sweet Home
11/ Dr. Feelgood
12/ Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
13/ Girls, Girls, Girls
14/ Primal Scream
15/ Kickstart My Heart
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