MOTLEY CRUE / DEF LEPPARD / POISON / JOAN JETT LAUNCH ‘THE STADIUM’ TOUR TONIGHT

The long wait is over — the twice delayed “Stadium” tour featuring co-headliners Def Leppard and a reunited Motley Crue, along with Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts finally launches tonight (June 16th) at Atlanta’s SunTrust Park. The 36-date trek will play through the summer, finally wrapping on September 9th at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.

Earlier this year, when the rescheduled dates were all rolled out, the bands issued statements to fans:

Mötley Crüe said in a joint statement: “It’s on! We don’t think we’ve ever looked forward more to kicking off a tour than this one. We can’t wait to finally see all the fans across North America again. Get ready for a wild ride this summer!”

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott added: “On behalf of the band, we’re beyond thrilled that the stadium tour is finally happening this summer. . . it’s been a while coming and we can’t wait to get back on stage again & we can’t wait to see you in one of the many stadiums soon!”

Poison’s Bret Michaels said: “There are not enough words to thank the three generations of fans for making this such an exciting, record breaking, historical tour with the fastest sell outs in history at these stadiums.”

Joan Jett added: “We are so excited to be back out on the road! We missed doing what we love most and can’t wait to see the fans out there again!”

A while back, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott told us that there’s nothing more important than staying healthy on the road and explained how he preps strenuously before each and every one of the band’s tours: “I’ve seen a lot of people start a tour out, and then three days into the tour have to cancel at least a couple of gigs ’cause they’ve blown their voice out. So what I try and do is make the first gig we do actually the 20th that my body’s done, and I have my blowout 17 days before the tour starts. It’s a muscle. You’ve just got to stretch it and get it into shape.”

Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars told us a while back that personality has a lot to do with the Crue’s appeal: “I think it’s something to do with the music, but I think it’s just the charisma — like what the (Rolling) Stones have, or like Aerosmith has, or like Kiss has, or like the Beatles had. It’s the charisma of the four people together and, like, the music’s okay and it comes in and it’s a vital part of everything, but it’s just like seeing that together, y’know what I mean?”

Poison’s Bret Michaels has long maintained that although Poison might not be deemed “high art” by the rock press establishment, that doesn’t mean that their music doesn’t matter in a big way for a lot of people: “We don’t always know what we’re doing, we just do it with conviction. (Laughs) And somehow originality comes from that, y’know? And writing what I think are really, really strong songs both musically but mostly lyrically, like ‘Something To Believe In”‘ or ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn.’ They hit people’s soul.”

At her 2015 Rock Hall induction, Joan Jett spoke frankly about the passion and promise of true rock n’ roll: “I come from a place where rock n’ roll means something. It means more than music, it means more than fashion, more than a good pose. It’s a language of a sub-culture that has made eternal teenagers of all who follow it. It’s a sub-culture of integrity, rebellion, frustration, alienation, and the glue that set several generations free of unnatural societal self-suppression.”

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