Motley Crue and Def Leppard's anticipated stadium tour is finally ready to hit the road this week, two and a half years after it was announced.

To celebrate the tour, which also includes Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, three UCR writers attempt to guess what songs the Crue and Def Leppard will play onstage. We've set a 15-song limit since the co-headliners are each expected to play 90-minute shows.

We also asked them what they'd do if given control of the bands' set lists and to try and predict what wild new drum-solo stunt Motley Crue's Tommy Lee will attempt this time out. Here's what they said.

1. What songs do you think Def Leppard will play?

Matt Wake: Both are beloved and era-defining rock bands, but neither Def Leppard nor Motely Crue could do a tour of stadiums in 2022 by themselves. So set lists need to be different than if either was headlining arenas or amphitheaters on their own - let alone a residency or surprise club show where recent material and vintage obscurities go over better for classic bands. Def Leppard just put out a solid album, Diamond Star Halos. But playing more than one new song on this tour – and playing it in any position besides the opener, when fans are going nuts anyway – would be folly. “Kick” is the most stadium-ready song on Diamond Star Halos. Def Leppard make a statement by opening with a rocking new track but serve their audience by sticking to classics besides that.

1. "Kick"
2. "Animal"
3. "Too Late for Love"
4. "Let’s Get Rocked"
5. "Armageddon It"
6. "When Love and Hate Collide"
7. "Foolin’"
8. "Love Bites"
9. "Rocket"
10. "Bringin' on the Heartbreak"
11. "Switch 625"
12. "Hysteria"
13. "Rock of Ages"
14. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
15. "Photograph"

Matt Wardlaw: Looking at set lists, including their most recent show at the Whisky, there are 10-11 mega Def Leppard hits that seem to be on the “have to play” list. There are always a couple of wildcard positions for stuff that goes a bit deeper. “When Love and Hate Collide” had one of those slots before the pandemic. They’ve also used those positions to stick in songs like “Too Late for Love.” They’re going to want to stay competitive with a set list that will kill with the Stadium Tour crowd, so I don’t think we’ll see anything crazy on this run. Plus, I think they’re going to use those slots to play at least two new songs, probably the two they’ve already been playing, with “Fire It Up” being a possible third. I put in “Let’s Get Rocked” as probable because of the 30th anniversary of Adrenalize.

1. "Take What You Want"
2. "Animal"
3. "Foolin’"
4. "Armageddon It"
5. "Kick"
6. "Love Bites"
7. "Let’s Get Rocked"
8. "Rocket"
9. "Fire It Up"
10. "Bringin On The Heartbreak"
11. "Switch 625"
12. "Hysteria"
13. "Pour Some Sugar on Me
14. "Rock of Ages"
15. "Photograph"

Matthew Wilkening: They opened their recent pre-tour club show with "Take What You Want," the best song on the new Diamond Star Halos album, so here's hoping that's the start of a tour-long tradition. They'll probably play "Kick" and "Fire It Up," the two other singles from the new album and then stick to their biggest radio hits.

1. "Take What You Want"
2. "Photograph"
3. "Animal"
4. "Fire It Up"
5. "Let’s Get Rocked"
6. "Armageddon It"
7. "Kick"
8. "Foolin’"
9. "Love Bites"
10. "Rocket"
11. "Bringin' on the Heartbreak"
12. "Hysteria"
13. "Too Late for Love"
14. "Rock of Ages"
15. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"

2) If you were in charge, how different would Def Leppard's set list be?

Wake: Def Leppard are much better studio craftsmen than the Crue. But I’d also say Motley have more better-known songs that are raucous or shaggy or have more of an edge. So I would love to hear Leppard slip one or two more bangers like “High ‘N’ Dry (Saturday Night)” or “Let It Go” into their set. But any deep cut or recent song deviations from the classic hits - by either band – in the set probably needs awesome visual production to go along with it. Or it will immediately ignite a town-sized exodus to beer lines and merch tables.

Wardlaw: Honestly, for the crowd they’re playing to that largely will just know the hits, their set list is pretty perfect. But even still, they’ve always been good about spiking in a couple of things for the die-hards. I don’t think that will happen this time. But if they were going to go rogue, I’d sub in “Billy’s Got a Gun” or “Stagefright” from Pyromania, or “Two Steps Behind” to throw in an extra power ballad moment. But because of the new album stuff, it’s hard to imagine what you could take out as far as the hits.

Wilkening: I get that Hysteria sold millions more records and spawned much bigger hit singles than its predecessor, but I'd love to get a much bigger slice of Pyromania in the set list, particularly "Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop)," "Comin' Under Fire" and "Stagefright."

Hear Def Leppard's 'Take What You Want'

3) What songs do you think Motley Crue will play?

Wake: Because of The Dirt biopic, Motley Crue have a headband’s-width more wiggle room to deviate from a greatest-hits set list and still have every song connect. Six songs from the Crue’s Too Fast for Love debut album were on the soundtrack. That Netflix film introduced the band to a new generation of fans and reintroduced the early material to older fans. I think they’ll include at least one Too Fast tune besides “Live Wire” in the set. “On With the Show,” which has a chorus and glam-anthem vibe that are easy to get into, seems like a decent bet. “Without You,” which Motley did the last time I saw them in 2014, would be a savvy way to take the foot off the gas and give the set some dynamics. As far as quality recent songs, Leppard have a major advantage. But Motley’s accessible and raucous deep cuts are an advantage, too.

1. "Live Wire"
2. "Shout at the Devil"
3. "Girls, Girls, Girls"
4. "Wild Side"
5. "Smokin’ in the Boys Room"
6. "Looks That Kill"
7. "Without You"
8. "Primal Scream"
9. "Too Young to Fall in Love"
10. "On With the Show"
11. "Looks That Kill"
12. "Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
13. "Dr. Feelgood"
14. "Kickstart My Heart"
15. "Home Sweet Home"

Wardlaw: I think Motley is in a similar situation to Def Leppard. There are a lot of hits that seem like they won’t budge from the set list. The drum solo is an obvious thing they’re not going to cut, and I think most rock fans are looking forward to seeing how Tommy Lee is going to top all of his previous solo shenanigans. Hopefully, they’ll skip any other solos. They’ve got some “new” material to play with thanks to The Dirt soundtrack, and I think they’ll probably end up doing at least two of those songs. I can’t see them playing their recent cover of Madonna's “Like a Virgin” but just imagine if they did!

1. "Wild Side"
2. "Live Wire"
3. "Primal Scream"
4. "Girls, Girls, Girls"
5. "The Dirt (Est. 1981)"
6. "Same Ol’ Situation"
7. "Smokin in the Boys Room"
8. "Shout at the Devil"
9. "Looks That Kill"
10. "Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
11. "Crash and Burn"
12. "Too Young to Fall in Love"
13. "Dr. Feelgood"
14. "Kickstart My Heart"
15. "Home Sweet Home"

Wilkening: Seeing as how they haven't played in seven years, and since the impetus for Motley Crue ending their retirement was the big new (and younger) audience they gained from The Dirt, this is going to be a straight-up hit parade, with the movie's recent title track thrown in somewhere.

1. "Shout at the Devil"
2. "Girls, Girls, Girls"
3. "Live Wire"
4. "Wild Side"
5. "Looks That Kill"
6. "Primal Scream"
7. "Without You"
8. "Dr. Feelgood"
9. "Too Young to Fall in Love"
10. "The Dirt"
11. "Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
12. "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)"
13. "Smokin’ in the Boys Room"
14. "Kickstart My Heart"
15. "Home Sweet Home"

4) If you were in charge, how different would Motley Crue's set list be?

Wake: With Hulu’s limited series Pistol, the Sex Pistols have been back in the news recently. Motley’s “Anarchy in the U.K.” cover was an MTV hit, so that’s something that could rock a stadium right now. Like “Anarchy,” “Angela” is another bonus track from the Crue’s Decade of Decadence 81–91 compilation. I’d be shocked if they’d ever play “Angela” live on a big tour like this. But that song is a boogie-metal hit-that-should’ve-been – and I think it would quickly connect, even in a stadium.

Wardlaw: The “other” songs they could play are ones they’ve played, so it seems like “Knock ‘Em Dead Kid,” “Too Fast for Love” and “Piece of Your Action” are all on the table. Looking at streaming numbers, their set lists from the last tour and before account for all of the big guns, song-wise. But “Without You” isn’t always an automatic in the set and seems like it’d be perfect for this kind of tour, so it would be great to see them play that. Beyond that obvious one, I’d love to see “Toast of the Town” or something similarly deep like that as a nod to their early history.

Wilkening: Since I loaded Def Leppard's set full of Pyromania songs, it's only fair to arm Motley Crue with a bigger dose than usual of tracks from their 1983 breakthrough, Shout at the Devil. "Bastard," their cover of "Helter Skelter" and, most importantly, new show opener "Red Hot" would be the first songs added.

Hear Motley Crue's 'Red Hot'

 

5) What’s one song you’d personally love to hear that each band is very unlikely to play?

Wake: It would be incredibly risky for Motley to do the John Corabi-era “Hooligan’s Holiday” with Vince Neil on the mic. But if they pulled it off, what a cool moment each night for Crue fans and the tour. Subtraction-wise, it would be a woke-era publicity masterstroke if Motley dropped “Girls, Girls, Girls” from the set. They have plenty of other hits. And there are more than a few journalists who can’t wait to ding them for that song again. Take “Girls” out of the set and those same writers instead have to deal with how effective the rest of Motley’s classics are. For Def Leppard, my Stadium Tour dream sequence would involve “Getcha Rocks Off.” That tune’s a raw and riffy standout that goes way back to Leppard’s original 1979 self-titled EP. Before they became Mutt Lange-led overdub androids (and brilliant at that), they were just lads with guitars looking for kicks. “Getcha Rocks Off” is the sound of that.

Wardlaw: Def Leppard playing “Overture” from the first album (and their indie EP before that) seems pretty unlikely, so that would be a fun one. For Motley, I can’t see in any universe that they’d ever play “Hell on High Heels" from the Tommy Lee-less New Tattoo, but I think that would have the right energy for this tour. And just imagine if they were to pull out “Hooligan’s Holiday.” I could see Vince Neil pulling that one off.

Wilkening: This is about as likely as David Lee Roth breaking into "Dreams" during one of his solo shows, but it would be a blast to see the Crue light into "Smoke the Sky" from 1994's Corabi-fronted Motley Crue. Would New Tattoo's amusingly self-aware "1st Band on the Moon" be too much to ask for? Def Leppard don't have any lineup-change-mandated forbidden fruit in their back catalog, but it's been nearly a decade since they've played "Stagefright."

Hear Motley Crue's 'Hooligan's Holiday'

 

6) What’s Tommy Lee’s new drum solo stunt going to be?

Wake: How about some kind of onstage collaboration with Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen? It would be interesting to hear the rhythmic and textural stuff those two could put together, between Tommy Lee’s King Kong pummeling and Allen’s electronic savvy.

Wardlaw: He’s seemingly done it all with the various drum solos he’s done over the years. But something that would be cool would be a multimedia compilation that pulls together the best of his solos through the years - with him playing along - and it would function as an intro to whatever this year’s gimmick is going to be. What if they used holograms for those earlier solos? I’d love to see that.

Wilkening: This question is the rock 'n' roll version of "How is the next Fast & Furious movie going to top the last one?" Except of course that Lee's been at this death-defying stuff for almost twice as long. Vin Diesel's franchise went to outer space last time out, and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to see Lee take off from the stage in one of Jeff Bezos' penis-shaped rockets right in the middle of the Crue's opening-night show.

Watch Tommy Lee's 'Cruecifly' Drum Solo

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