home > tour history > 2013 > las vegas > Media Reviews

Saturday, 23rd March 2013

Las Vegas, NV - Media Reviews

Hysteria in the house: Def Leppard delivers a strong opening to its Joint residency By Josh Bell

With far more remaining classic members than Guns N' Roses and much stronger musicianship than Motley Crue, Def Leppard is probably the strongest of the three '80s hard rock bands that have taken up residence at the Joint in the last year, and they proved it over the course of two and a half hours on Saturday night. The second show of the band's eleven-date run was slick, energetic and a little unpredictable, even with the performance of 1987 mega-hit album Hysteria in its entirety.

The show was divided up into three segments, with the band taking the stage in front of a simple Union Jack backdrop for the opening set, the experimental portion of the show that the group is changing up each night. Singer Joe Elliott joked that the band was opening for itself, dubbing the group "Dead Flatbird" and introducing his bandmates with pseudonyms. The previous night featured one vintage B-side that the band hadn't performed since 1980, but this evening's set was a little heavier on the familiar, including hits "Too Late for Love," "Foolin'," "Let's Get Rocked" and "Make Love Like a Man," possibly the worst example of the band's cheesy pop tendencies.

But the overall effect was still loose and spontaneous, which was a nice contrast to the main act: The performance of Hysteria was a polished spectacle, with impressive graphics and a stage setup that allowed plenty of room for the band members to move around and interact with the audience. Performing the songs in their album order was a little awkward, since six of Hysteria's seven hit singles come during the album's first half ("It's pretty early to do that one," Elliott mused after "Pour Some Sugar on Me"), and the momentum lagged a bit around "Gods of War" and "Don't Shoot Shotgun." The band kept things lively all the way through the encore (featuring non-Hysteria hits "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph"), though, showcasing impressive musical proficiency and a sustained vitality that most bands of their era can't touch.

By Las Vegas Weekly 2013.

Concert Review: Def Leppard By Matt Jacob

During its 30-plus years in the rock 'n' roll game, Def Leppard has parked a handful of misses alongside their dozens of hits. Arguably the biggest blunder: introducing American audiences to their long-awaited album Hysteria by releasing the disc's initial track, "Women," as the first single in the summer of 1987. While guitar-heavy and sexually implicit, "Women" lacked the one ingredient required to be a 1980s rock-radio hit - a catchy chorus. As a result, after an initial sales spike, Hysteria stalled on the charts, displaying absolutely zero signs that it eventually would sell an estimated 20 million copies.

Flash ahead to Viva Hysteria!, the band's 11-show Las Vegas residency during which the British quintet is performing its 12-song epic from start to finish. Which means opening with "Women." Which means a second chance for Def Leppard to show their now middle-aged fan base what they missed more than 25 years ago. Sure enough, following a blistering seven-song, 45-minute set of classic and lesser-known material - the band is serving as its own opening act throughout the residency - Def Leppard returned to the stage and played the hell out of "Women." It would turn out to be one of the stronger performances on this night, and the packed house … still didn't buy it, standing mostly flat-footed for a good six minutes. In fact, the loud ovation at the song's conclusion probably wasn't an appreciation for the effort so much as it was an awareness that the hits were forthcoming. And they were, five of them in succession - "Rocket," "Animal," "Love Bites," "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Armageddon It."

As one hit fed into the next and the men thrust their fists skyward and the women swayed their hips, it was clear why Hysteria managed to survive one strategic misstep and go on to reach iconic status - and why Def Leppard has chosen to honor its legacy with this three-week Vegas gig. The good news is the band still has the musical chops to do its entire catalog justice (only frontman Joe Elliott required a little, shall we say, technical support on his vocals). And after the crowd erupted following the requisite encore of "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph" - "some songs you have to do, or they won't let you out of the building," Elliott quipped - there was little doubt that more than a few customers would be returning before the residency concludes April 13 … even if it means hearing "Women" one more time.

By Vegas Seven 2013.


share this page:

get def leppard news

Stay in touch with the latest updates.

explore def leppard tour history
All News
Tour News
Album News
All Tours