Bangor gets rocked with Def Leppard, Poison, Lita Ford on the waterfront

Posted Aug. 22, 2012, at 10:10 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 23, 2012, at 1:19 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Everyone — from the people in the general admission lawn seats to the fist-pumping fans in the pit — got 100 percent rocked Wednesday at the Bangor Waterfront as Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford rolled into town. A seemingly capacity crowd, comprising people who were in high school when the three bands were at the height of the popularity as well as younger fans, spent nearly four hours rocking to some of the biggest bands of the 1980s.

“I’ve seen Poison three times and Def Leppard twice,” said Belinda Swett of Ellsworth, who sported a T-shirt reading “Property of Bret Michaels Party Crew.” “I’m a huge fan and I have been since high school. I got in line at 10 a.m. to buy tickets the day they went on sale.”

Def Leppard started out their headlining set with the song “Undefeated,” played many of their biggest hits, from “Animal” to “Foolin’,” and displayed some serious rock star cool, from lead singer Joe Elliott’s long black duster coat to guitarist Phil Collen’s shirtless shredding.

The audience sang along and raised the rock horns throughout the whole set. Leather pants, cheetah-print halter tops and countless well-worn band T-shirts could be seen throughout the crowd.

Poison gave Bangor the full rock ’n’ roll treatment, rolling out a hit parade of songs from set opener “Look What The Cat Dragged In” to “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” to “Unskinny Bop.”

Bret Michaels proved himself a consummate showman, constantly running around the stage, high-fiving fans and speaking of his band’s commitment to supporting and performing for the military and his personal crusade to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes, from which he has suffered his whole life.

Guitarist C.C. Deville — who played a totally sweet turquoise Gibson Flying V guitar — and drummer Rikki Rockett each took extended solos before closing with “Nothing But a Good Time.”

“They’re all such great entertainers,” said Bob Danson of Saint John, New Brunswick. “You can’t have more fun than at a Poison show.”

Opener Lita Ford played a brief but satisfying set. She sported a pair of black-and-red leather pants and played a white double-necked guitar. She closed, naturally, on her biggest hit — the irresistibly catchy “Kiss Me Deadly.”

Up next for the Waterfront Concert Series is teen pop band Big Time Rush on Aug. 31, followed by Keith Urban on Sept. 1 and Jason Aldean on Sept. 2. For tickets and information, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.

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