Concert review: Def Leppard, Poison
Published: June 21, 2012 11:00AM
Updated: June 21, 2012 11:00AM

In the spirit of the NBA Finals and the state’s upcoming Republican primary, it’s tempting to want to cast Wednesday’s Usana Amphitheatre concert as a Battle of the Bands.

Which hard-rock band — Def Leppard or Poison — bested the other?

In the end, it was no contest, though opening act Poison, led by the death-defying and eternally tanned Bret Michaels, certainly did its best to warm up the crowd before Def Leppard’s headlining set.

But Poison was at a disadvantage because the L.A. foursome went onstage at 8 p.m., with the sun still high in the sky. Compared to Def Leppard’s phalanx of lights, high-resolution video screens, enough fog to replicate London’s, and the oiled chest of guitarist Phil Collen, Poison’s set design of a banner proclaiming the band’s 25th anniversary was understated.

But showmanship goes a long way, and though Poison’s best song-writing days ended 20 years ago, Michaels showed why he is one of the most likable frontmen in rock, no matter what red bandanna and green-glittered cowboy hat he sports on any given day. There is a reason The Donald chose him as the Celebrity Apprentice several seasons ago.

To read the rest of the review and to see a photo gallery, go to: