Def Leppard are one of those bands that have embedded themselves in the psyche of most rock music fans. Admittedly they are one of those bands that are perhaps better remembered for their older material than their new material. Remember their Songs from the Sparkle Lounge album?? (me neither!!). However, their older material immediately springs into mind and so when they announced a tour where they will celebrate over 30 years of “Hysteria” being released by playing the album in its entirety. Tickets were like gold dust, selling out numerous arenas throughout the UK.
Nottingham Arena was packed to the rafters with fans who were mostly trying to recapture their youth or be transported back on a nostalgia trip to the 80’s, when rock bands were excessive, wild, outspoken, and unique. Vocalist Joe Elliot and the band delivered the goods in the most exceptional manner. Def Leppard kept their promise and performed “Hysteria” in its entirety.
To be fair there are few albums that have impacted rock music as much as “Hysteria” and maybe it was a case of right music, right songwriters, right time, and right place that helped it to become one of the most iconic mainstream rock albums of the 1980’s. Sadly we will possibly never have another album quite like “Hysteria” ever again.
Over the years, Def Leppard have earned a reputation for being a cut above the rest when it comes to playing live, and tonight was no exception. Opening with “Women” and then ploughing their way through the “Hysteria” album track by track. This was a sublime, passionate and energetic performance from Joe, Phil, Vivian and both Ricks.
Throughout the evening the band members were making frequent use of the ramps that launched out into the middle of the audience so that their loyal fans had a chance of seeing the whites of their eyes.
Part of the show paid tribute to former band member Steve Clark, by playing a video of one of his guitar solos which lead into “Gods of War”.
In no time at all Def Leppard had whizzed through the album “Hysteria” and as the dying notes of “Love and Affection” reverberated around the arena. The band waved goodbye, as the sell out crowd gave the band a volcanic round of applause.
As expected, the band returned to play some material from “before and after” as Joe Elliot stated. Joe informed the sell out crowd that it was Phil’s Birthday, so after an impromptu happy birthday sing along it was down to Phil to select which song to play. “Let it Go” was Phil’s choice and then things were slowed down with “When Love and Hate Collide” with the arena being lit up with mobile phone lights swaying to the chorus. (Majority of the audience were probably old enough to remember when rock fans used to hold their lighters in the air during the ballads). The pace shifted up a gear for “Lets Get Rocked” with everyone in the arena singing along (possibly reliving their younger days).
“Rock of Ages” is always a crowd pleaser and considering they were celebrating over 30 years of “Hysteria”, it felt quite an apt track to have in the setlist. The set ended with “Photograph” taken from “Pyromania”, an album released four years before “Hysteria.”
Once again Def Leppard set the bar high when it comes to live performances. They are one band that you can guarantee will provide you with an evening of great rock music. Judging by this show, their appearance at Download 2019 will be one not to miss.
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Gods of War
Don't Shoot Shotgun
Love and Affection
Let It Go
When Love and Hate Collide
Let's Get Rocked
Rock of Ages