Reviews: Miranda Lambert, Rick Springfield, Janet Jackson, AC/DC, Def Leppard & More

Miranda Lambert christens a new amphitheatre in Syracuse, N.Y.; Rick Springfield raises temperatures in Hollywood, Fla.; Janet Jackson captivates in Vancouver, B.C.;AC/DC rocks Montreal; and Righteous Brother Bill Medley’s annual West Coast charity gig.

Photo: Paul A. Hebert / Invision / AP
Stagecoach, Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.

Miranda Lambert @ the brand new Lakeview Amphitheatre in Syracuse, N.Y. – “She kept banter to a minimum as she played hits like ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ and ‘Kerosene.’ She splashed in covers of ‘Mississippi Queen’ and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Travellin’ Band.’ She even closed with ZZ Top’s ‘Tush’ before fireworks lit up the harbor.” – Chris Baker/Syracuse Post Standard/

Rick Springfield @ Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. – “Riding a wave of estrogen that swept through the aisles with tsunami-like force, Rick Springfield took the stage in a black sleeveless shirt – the better to reveal his seriously ripped biceps – looking like a rocker half his age.” – Kevin Kaminski/Boca Raton Magazine

Janet Jackson @ Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia – “She was the woman taking charge (funk), the joyfully loyal lover (upbeat pop), the ballad singer, the woman left lonely (midtempo R&B), the party girl (dance club beats), the rocker (with guitar up front) and, in the end, the idealist.” – Jon Pareles/The New York Times

Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Accepting the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

AC/DC @ Olympic Stadium in Montreal – “As they ground into ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,’ you were reminded that there are no real special effects aside from the effective pro forma stage lighting. Because Brian Johnson’s voice is FX. The Brobdingnag riffs are FX. And every other song is just a stopgap before the next Angus Young duckwalk into a solo on the SG that is so DNA-encoded into three generations of rock fan that our future alien overlords will think every one of them was a national anthem. Boom: ‘Thunderstruck.’ ‘Rock’n’Roll Train,’ then ‘Hell’s Bells.’” – Mark Lepage/Montreal Gazette

Bill Medley @ Lido Live in Newport Beach, Calif. – “The program featured Righteous Brothers standards, such as ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’,’ ‘Soul and Inspiration,’ ‘Little Latin Lupe Lu’ and ‘Unchained Melody,’ along with Medley solo favorites ‘I Had the Time of My Life’ (sung with [daughter] McKenna) and ‘Brown Eyed Woman.’” – Shelly Ervin/Daily Pilot

Photo: Mike Oberg / Pollstar
California Mid-State Fair Grandstand, Paso Robles, Calif.

Def Leppard @ Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, Pa. – “Elliot also was strong through the night. He even sang ‘Two Steps Behind’ solo, at the end of the catwalk on acoustic guitar. With a slight aged roughness to his voice, the song took on a deeper meaning – a kind of pledge of support from an older perspective; really cool.” – John J. Moser/The Morning Call