Def Leppard & Heart Headed to SPAC: Does Anybody Care?

Now I’m not saying that this is a boring announcement, but it’s certainly a predictable one.

Def Leppard and Heart will be playing a double-bill at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center at 7:30pm on Sunday, July 10. Tix go on sale to the general public at 10am Saturday, priced at $39, $59, $79, $99 and $125.00; lawn $26.00. But if you buy your lawn tix this weekend (10am Saturday-12midnight Sunday), they’re just $15 (plus the usual service fees).

Am I excited about it? No, not in the least, despite the fact that both bands conjured up some mighty fine pop tunes in the ’80s. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is a great pop song, but, really, they haven’t had a Top 40 hit since 1993’s “Two Steps Behind.” They were also at SPAC just two summers ago.

Let’s face it, “classic rock” is really just code for “slightly more recent golden oldies.”

Heart’s classic debut album, “Dreamboat Annie,” was released in 1976 – 35 years ago. And the Wilson sisters have only released two albums in the past 15 years: 2004’s “Jupiter’s Darling” (which went nowhere fast) and last year’s “Red Velvet Car,” which in these download days somehow managed to make it into the Top 10. Raise your hand if you even heard off the album. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Their latest Top 40 hit? “Will You Be There (In the Morning)” back in 1993, the same year as Def Leppard’s last hit.

I’m not saying that this won’t be a good show. In fact, someone (who shall remain nameless) here at headquarters is pretty excited about the show. But I am saying that if this is the best that Live Nation and SPAC have to offer, then, well, it’s gonna be another loooong summer in Saratoga.

  1. Kevin Marshall says

    This s*** is embarrassing. Seriously. I want a list of everyone that buys a ticket to this and write them an angry letter explaining that it’s their fault (well, them and the music industry) that we don’t get better “big” acts to play in this area.

  2. Sara says

    Actually, I’m kind of gassed about this show, because I love both bands – especially Heart, who were role models for so many women musicians. Watching the DVDs of their early days is just breathtaking.

    I was thinking it would be cool if SPAC would cede some of their programming to an outsider much the same way MASS MoCA has collaborated with WILCO, but apparently LiveNation has the monopoly and that will be enough of that talk thank-you-very-much. Too bad.

    That said, Heart + Def Leppard = the first show I’ve wanted to see at SPAC in about six years. I think the last show I saw was NIN.

  3. Toast says

    Really? Some people just need something to complain about. Or maybe the weather has you crabby.

    No one said this is the best SPAC will do for the summer.

    No one is making you go to the show, since it’s not hip enough for you.

  4. Sara says

    Crabby? oh you bet!

    But yeah, I’m pretty sure this is the only show I’ll want to see. I mean, who else do you imagine will show up their schedule? Creed? Justin Bieber?

    It’s not a matter of hipness. It’s wanting to see good music that’s not being payola-ed down the public’s throat.

  5. rick reuben says

    Didn’t def leppard show up there 25 years ago and have Europe open for them?

    I think Europe’s big hit “The Final Countdown” takes on new meaning when the stage is filled with aging one armed rockers. I dearly hope the Lep covers it when they appear.

    Still need to learn that riff to Barracuda. Heart kicks ass (we will ignore their later years).

    The real question is will an AARP card get you access to back stage?

  6. Kirsten says

    I agree with Sara – I would go to see Heart. Especially ’70s Heart – “Crazy on You,” “Straight On,” “Kick It Out” if they even play that anymore. Then I would stay for the pure entertainment value of seeing what Def Leppard has to offer these days – and I would probably bang ma head along to “Foolin'” and “Photograph.” Too bad the NY Dolls aren’t opening this show!

  7. Paul says

    @rick reuben Yes Europe did open for them 25 years ago. As I recall, they opened and closed their set with ‘The Final Countdown.’ They knew where their bread was buttered.

    Re: SPAC. I moved away for 15 years and when I came back SPAC was booking the exact same acts. I blame the boomers and their oversized purchasing power.

    Another summer of driving past SPAC and never stopping….

  8. J. Welf says

    Way less excitng than NY DOLLS, POISON and MOTELY CRUE.

    NEW YORK DOLLS! Of course itd be much better if it was a Dolls solo show at Northern Lights but give and take i guess.

  9. TL says

    Saw Heart in 1980 at SPAC, but only went because the Ian Hunter Band w/ Mick Ronson were opening the show. I won’t be going to this one, but it sounds like fun for those who like their hard rock with an extra helping of sugar.

  10. RB says

    SPAC has earned a reputation as one of the worst big-room venues in the NE.

    ..from BOTH a fan and a music industry POV


  11. Matthew says

    I’m going.

  12. TL says

    Let me ask everyone this… who out of any living artists/bands would you want to see at SPAC? It is tough for me to go to any big arena or outdoor shed shows anymore as I have seen most of the bands and artists that I have wanted to see over the years. It really takes something special to get me out to something of that scale and off the top of my head I can’t think of (m)any??? So yeah, SPAC’s pop music schedule sucks again… but really.. who would you want to see there, that could actually fill all of those seats? Just curious…

  13. Sara says

    That’s a really good question. Like you, I’m having a hard time coming up with any act that I’d want to see that could play a venue that large and actually fill the seats.

    Thinking back to my favorite shows that I’ve seen there, there’s the obvious (Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails) and the not so obvious (Savuka, Joe Jackson.) But I think my favorite all-time show was WOMAD back in 1993. The first Lollapalooza was pretty cool, too. I guess I’d vote for more festivals – a group of smaller, non-blockbuster bands bands.

  14. Mike Hotter says

    ah, first Lollapalooza – went for Living Colour – left while Jane’s was playing to make it home early – my LTD Crown Vic tore it up that night – to be 17 again . . .hell no!

  15. Scott C. says

    Hey, it could be worse. I just saw this triple bill listed on Pollstar for the New York State Fair grandstand in Syracuse on 8/30: Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger. (shudder)

  16. Toast says

    Again, no one is making you go.

    Keep driving 90 mins east to see a band that wouldn’t fill half the seats at SPAC.

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