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def leppard / Hysteria In The Round Stage Unveiled

on this day - 1st October 1987

On this day in Def Leppard history the 'Hysteria' US tour began in Glens Falls, NY.
The first North American show of the tour and the first to use the new In The Round stage design.

Def Leppard 1987.

"It's such a buzz playing on that stage."

Def Leppard 1987.

This section looks at the unveiling of the 'Hysteria' In The Round staging in Glens Falls, NY. The opening night of the 1987/1988 North American tour when Def Leppard became the first rock band to tour using this unique stage setup.

"We hadn't even seen the stage before we got to America."

Def Leppard opened their US Hysteria tour on this day in 1987 in Glens Falls, NY using their unique In The Round stage for the first time.

The first North American show to promote the 'Hysteria' album was performed 'In The Round' at Glens Falls Civic Center.

Def Leppard were the first band to use a dedicated In The Round concert set up for a full tour.

This first show was attended by just 5,786 fans in the 7,500 capacity venue where they had rehearsed prior to opening night. The gross sales were $93,155 with tickets priced at $16.50.

The main world tour had started on 27th August 1987 in Dublin, Ireland.

The new stage was placed in the center of arenas with the lighting rig hung from the ceiling. Rick Allen was sat in the middle of the stage on a rotating drum riser so he could face all four sides during the show.

The concept was thought up by then co-manager Peter Mensch after seeing an In The Round style performance by Frank Sinatra.

Lasers were bounced off mirrors located around the stage and lighting rig creating the effect of hundreds of beams (as seen in the 'PSSOM' video). The computer circuit board imagery from the album cover was painted on the stage.

The unique stage design was captured for the In The Round-In Your Face concert video filmed in Denver, CO in February 1988 and eventually released on VHS in September 1989.

The band would play well over 100 shows (over three separate tour legs) in the USA and Canada using the stage to almost 1 million fans from October 1987 to the end of October 1988.

The tour ended on 27th October 1988 in Tacoma, WA where the band returned to in October 2016 for the first time since that show, the last live concert with Steve Clark.

A modified version was then used during the 1992/1993 Adrenalize tour in the UK/Ireland, Australia/New Zealand, USA and Canada.

Tesla were the opening band at this show and became the first act to play on the new stage.

Included below are a few quotes from the band from 11th October 1987 in Hartford, CT after the first six shows. Plus Joe's tour of the stage recorded on 7th October 1988 in Atlanta, GA. As shown on the magazine advert, the tour was originally due to start on 26th September.

View backstage footage from the Hysteria tour filmed in 1988 in this YouTube playlist filmed by then Tour Manager Ian Jeffery.

Def Leppard 1987.

Def Leppard 1987.

Joe Elliott - 30th November 1987 Interview Quotes

In The Round Stage Origin

"It was a suggestion made to us by our New York based manager called Peter Mensch. Whose religion we will keep quiet. Who suggested we stick it in the middle because we could sell more tickets."

"No seriously we wanted to do it differently on this tour. We'd played at one end on the Pyromania tour and when we were selling out like in big arenas, there was a vast amount of seats that couldn't see anything and it used to really annoy us. The PA would be blocking the sides and they'd be selling tickets behind. So people would be looking at our backs all the time."

Def Leppard 1987. Def Leppard 1987 Stage

"So we figured if we put it in the middle we'd cut down maybe 3,000 bad seats to maybe 300 even, if that many. And it would bring all the nosebleeds, as they call them, which is the seats right up at the top. A little bit nearer. In fact everybody's at least fifty percent nearer than they would normally be. And we get four front rows to play with. So it makes us work harder and it just makes for a better show really."

"And from what we can gather it's probably the first rock band to play In The Round."

Backstage Pass 1987.

Def Leppard - 11th October 1987 Interview/Article Quotes

Phil Collen

"It's such a buzz playing on that stage. You can spin around like an idiot and wherever you end up you're facing kids. We're a lot closer - you can actually see faces."

Joe Elliott

"There are four front rows. (Joe has) "trouble figuring out what end of the building is where." just before the curtain drops at the start of the show."

Steve Clark

"You should have seen us after the first show, we were all absolutely f**ked."

Joe Elliott

"We were panting after four songs. We've got more used to it now."

Def Leppard 1987.

Animal 1987. Def Leppard 1987

96.9 97 Rock - 18th February 2015 Phil Collen Interview Quote

Support Acts

"In fact Tesla were the first - when we played In The Round in '87 on the Hysteria tour, they were the opening act. They were actually the first band to play you know In The Round - the first hard rock band because they went on before us so that was kind of interesting. It'll be great to have those guys back."

In The Round-In Your Face - Back Cover Quote

"Well, here it is - the final piece of the 'Hysteria' puzzle (so to speak). First the album, then the 227 date world tour, then the 'Historia' video collection and now a movie of 2 great nights in Denver (with a little help from 3 equally great nights in Atlanta)."

"We hope you enjoy this film as much as we enjoyed playing this show. Playing in the middle of the arena was a challenge for us every night as well as a challenge for Wayne Isham who directed this concert movie. No one had ever quite dealt with this setup before! For those of you who missed the show, fear not, it shall return in the near future (with a couple of modifications). Until then, enjoy 'In The Round - In Your Face'."

Def Leppard 1987.

Def Leppard 1987. Def Leppard 1987

Kerrang! - 1987 Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

In The Round Stage

"We had eight days to get used to the new stage."

"We finished in Britain and went straight to America and into production rehearsals."

"Eight days later we took the whole thing out on the road."

"We hadn't even seen the stage before we got to America."

"None of us, the sound guys, the lighting guys, knew anything about it other than a few drawings we'd been shown before we got there."

"We just had to go for it."

"The first few shows were quite strange."

Sounds - December 1987 Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

In The Round Stage

"I'd be a liar if I said it wasn't exhausting."

"The first night we did in the round was like the first gig of the Hysteria tour, in Dublin I think."

"We did eight days rehearsals on that stage before the first U.S. show, but we still ended up trying to fill the stage too much."

"And by the end of 'Hit And Run' everybody was looking for a bucket to throw up in."

"After three gigs, though, we were really cooking."

"It is exhausting, but now we've reached a certain fitness peak we can deal with it, and the set's paced well enough to take care of itself."

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