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def leppard / Hysteria 1988 UK Tour Start

on this day - 10th April 1988

On this day in Def Leppard history the second UK 'Hysteria' tour leg started in Bournemouth, England.
The second tour of the band's homeland following a sold-out leg in 1987.

Def Leppard 1988.

"Playing Wembley and the NEC is another dream come true for this band!."

Def Leppard 1988.

This section looks at the opening night of the second UK 'Hysteria' tour in Bournemouth, England. The last UK tour to feature original guitarist Steve Clark and promoted with the new 'Armageddon It' single.

"The audience loved every second of the entire performance."

Def Leppard started their UK Hysteria tour in Bournemouth, England on 10th April 1988.

The show took place at the Bournemouth International Centre.

They were supported by Loverboy after Poison had pulled out of the tour only a few weeks before.

A 16 song setlist was played which included 'Tear It Down'. The only known time this song was played on this second UK leg.

This was the second time the band had played in Bournemouth.

The first show dated all the way back to February 1980 on the UK warm-up tour prior to the release on 'On Through The Night'.

The Town Hall venue was played on 26th February 1980 with Witchfynde in support.

Read an archive UK media review which contrasts the performance with those on the first UK Hysteria tour of August/September 1987.

Def Leppard 1988.

UK Tour 1988

Five shows were initially announced for the tour in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Whitley Bay.

Due to strong ticket demand second nights were added in London and Birmingham with extra shows added in Bournemouth, Leeds and Belfast.

The tour was promoted with the 'Armageddon It' single released on 28th March which would become another hit for the band in the UK reaching Number 20.

UK Tour 1988 Setlist/UK Arenas

'Animal' was moved to the first encore spot due to its popularity having been a Number Six hit in August 1987.

It would be the most well received song at the shows alongside 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'.

Of the ten shows played four would be the band's first ever arena dates in the UK.

Two nights were played at Wembley Arena and the Birmingham NEC.

Having played two shows at the smaller Sheffield City Hall in 1987 this would be the first ever UK tour leg not to feature a show in their home city.

Sheffield Arena would not be built until 1991.

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988

December 1987 Hysteria Tour - News Quotes

Leppard '88 Dates: Poison To Support

Def Leppard have announced five British dates, including the band's first ever headline appearance at London's Wembley Arena, scheduled to take place in April next year!.

Originally, the band had been expected to stay out on the road in America for much of '88, but, as vocalist Joe Elliott explained to Mayhem this week;

"It seems like the demand is there for us to come back and play some more shows in the UK."

"Which is great for us because I always think it's a drag when a band does the sort of 'British leg' of a world tour and then disappears until the next time they've got an album out that they want everybody to buy."

Joe was speaking from his hotel room in Washington the morning after Leppard had slain 30,000 hairies at a concert in Tacoma.

Note - This dates Joe's quotes to 2nd December 1987 after the 1st December show at Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. A venue they would return to in October 1988 to end the tour.

Big stuff, but how does he and the rest of the band view coming back to Britain and filling out the more modestly-sized but still huge by British standards concert halls like Wembley and the NEC?.

"Are you kidding?." he laughs.

"Playing Wembley and the NEC is another dream come true for this band!."

"It's always been our ambition to play the biggest places possible - especially in our own country."

"And anyway, when when you think of all the classic British rock bands that have done those same halls and done well at them, like Zeppelin, Purple, Queen and so on, I say if it's good enough for those bands then it's good enough for us."

Considering the size of the halls, Joe and Leppard are now contemplating ib the UK, how much of the present American live show will the band be able to bring to Britain?.

"Well, unfortunately there's no way we'll be able to put the stage in the middle of the hall like we're doing for all the US dates - those buildings may be the biggest Britain has to offer, but, believe it or not, they're still not big enough for us to fit everything we have in America into them."

"All the same, it'll be a much bigger, more flash and much better presented show than the ones we were doing around Britain last September."

"I mean imagine, by then we'll have been out on the road for the best part of eight months and the band will be as happening as it's ever going to be."

"I'm really looking forward to it."

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988

Support Act - Poison

Supporting Leppard on their UK dates will be American Glamsters Poison.

"We haven't really told anybody about it yet." says Joe.

"But, yes, it will be Poison opening the shows for us in Britain."

"We've had Tesla opening for us on all the US dates, and of course they toured the UK with us in September, so we thought it would be nice to have someone new on the bill with us, and, hopefully, someone who would compliment us well."

".This will be Poison's first visit to play live in the UK and I think it's going to be a gas watching them trying to stir the British rock fans up they way they have been in America this year." he confesses.

"Most of us in Leppard spent about three weeks solid walking around singing 'I Won't Forget You'. (a track from Poison's 'Look What The Cat Dragged In' album, currently a ginat hit single in the States!), so when it was suggested to us that we might have them on the road with us in Britain we didn't have to think for very long about it."

If you've got any brains, you shouldn't take you very long to decide you want tickets for one of the coming UK Leppard shows.

Right, so get ready to memorise the details.

The full date sheet is a follows - London Wembley Arena - April 11, Edinburgh Playhouse April 14 and 15, Whitley Bay Ice Rink April 16 and the Birmingham NEC Apil 18.

Ticket prices are set at £8.00 and £7.00 (apart from Whitley Bay where they are all one price of £7.00) and are available through the following outlets.

Note - Poison pulled out of the tour before the European leg started on 4th March. In Europe they were replaced by M.S.G (McCauley Schenker Group).

Poison would instead join David Lee Roth's 'Skyscraper' North American tour which ran from 4th April in Lakeland, FL to 14th August in Detroit/Auburn Hills, MI. They then started their own US headline arena tour on 16th September in Green Bay, WI with Lita Ford and Britney Fox in support.

In the UK Poison were replaced by Loverboy who Phil would later go on to work with in the 2000s. Tom Allom had produced their single 'Lovin' Every Minute Of It' in 1985.

The song had been written by Mutt Lange and had a very Leppard like sound and was a #9 hit in the USA.

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988

Kerrang! - Concert Review Quotes

"Seven months on and the difference is astounding. I didn't know what to fully expect, the stage seemed huge, all three sides (no, they didn't attempt to go on in the round) cloaked with 'Hysteria' curtains which suddenly and quite unexpectedly fell to the floor as the band struck up those beefy intro chords to 'Stagefright': a golden oldie."

"Exposed, the band used the expansive stage set, bare and uninterrupted except for strategically placed catwalks, like chimps in a cage. I mean, they must have covered around 20 miles apiece during the first number."

Def Leppard 1988.

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988

"Rick Savage, looking as always like the archetypal British rocker with cut-up T-shirt and more hair than Dolly Parton, moved and grooved swinging his huge bass in the face of Steve Clark and Phil Collen pulling out the best in both."

"Up front as ever, the totally unflappable gob of Joe Elliott this time moving like he wasn't strapped to an orthopaedic bed. Looking streamlined, healthy and fit, Joe's stage craft has reached the point of perfection, all he has to do for a reaction is to point a digit at any section of the audience and they go utterly bananas."

"But the best thing is that he doesn't use this power like a total w**ker - he's as genuine as the hair on my palm. Real people, real music, real good fun."

"The audience of course, loved every second of the entire performance, lending them solid commitment and tremendous support. They went nuts for the older material, stuff like 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)', 'Die Hard The Hunter', 'Too Late For Love' and, during the latter half of the show, for such classics as 'Foolin'', 'Let It Go' and 'Rock Of Ages'."

Def Leppard 1988.

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988

"But what about the mega-complex material half inched from 'Hysteria'? Those synthetic sounding drums, could they keep up with the pace or would they pour out of the speakers sounding alien and detached?. No way, pal, these boys have got it sounding dead right and Rick Allen's drumming is the best these ears have heard since Billy Cobham was last in town."

"Frankly the album versions of songs like 'Women' and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' pale into flat-capped insignificance when placed alongside the mighty bollocks of Leppard live. Now, of course, having heard the real thing I hate those vinyl versions and the sooner they release a double live album the better."

"Better still, though, was 'Animal', a song that had everybody singing along, the prime AOR splendour of 'Hysteria' (built on Waite's 'Missing You' principles) and my favourite tender track 'Armageddon It', a song with even more melody than Nightranger muster. Yeah!.

I could go on and on telling tales of specific incidents, lasers erupting mid-song, the great light show, the faultless PA and the semi-acoustic version of 'Bringin' On The Heartbreak', but that would take me forever."

Read the full review via the Bournemouth show page.

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