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DVD Review: Def Leppard: London to Vegas

When Hysteria hit the airwaves it took a band that had hit greatness coming of Pyromania and solidified their legacy. If Pyromania had been the high point there probably would have been no Hall of Fame. Ccertainly the band would have been able to capitalize on the NWOBHM glory days. But Hysteria put the band into a stratosphere than was unparalleled. It isn’t that Hysteria was ever absent from the band’s set list but to have an opportunity to play the full album in their homeland was special without question. Eagle Rock Entertain will release Def Leppard: London to Vegas this May. The first of the two shows captured the December 6, 2018 at the O2 Arena in London. As expected, the performance was spot on. Sure there are notes that Joe might fight for but those are notes that mortals can’t dream of. As Phil has said numerous times, they are the hard rock Beach Boys . The vocals and harmonies are as good as any band and doing them without Mutt Lange at the knobs is impressive. When you figure that all of the members are all at or approaching 60 and it’s flat out amazing. It’s hard to pick one moment in the show but the tribute to Steve Clark is touching. If the twelve songs of Hysteria weren’t enough, you get some tasty numbers like “Wasted” from On Through The Night, the required “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” from Pyromania, and even some “newer” songs like “Let’s Get Rocked” and “When Love and Hate Collide”.

Hysteria at the O2
5Love Bites
6Pour Some Sugar On Me
7Armageddon It
8Stephen Clark Tribute
9Gods Of War
10Don’t Shoot Shotgun
11Run Riot
14Love And Affection
17When Love And Hate Collide
18Let’s Get Rocked
19Rock Of Ages

The second show in the package was taken from the August 2019 run of shows at the Zappos Theater at the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas. The Theater provides a much more intimate and different look at the band. The shows in Las Vegas have become quite popular because the band includes many lesser played and dare I say forgotten tracks. You knew you were in for something different when “Die Hard the Hunter” led off the set. There is a nice mix of pre-Hysteria and frankly post-Hysteria Def Lep. Songs like “Slang” which was on the album of the same title that was released mid-90’s when Joe and the gang were at about their low point of popularity in the US. But it was an incredible song that got lost in the grunge wave. “We Belong” is a much newer long and one of the highlights of the package. Why would a song that many die-hard fans may not remember be a highlight? Because the band figuratively drop the mic on any theory that they all could not flat out sing with each member taken parts of the lead vocal. “Now” from 2002’s X album sadly gets lost in a sea of bigger hits is awesome to hear again. Maybe one of the only criticisms, if you could call it that, is that there aren’t more of these lesser heard song and a few too many songs that are also on the 02 show. They could have played easily another seven or eight songs outside of the mega-hits. It also makes any fan of the band start to wish they’d take this type of show on the road and not the dual-headliner shows they have done for the last few years. Give this reviewer 2.5 hours of Def Lep and leave the Crue at home. The other issue with the package is the price tag. The 6-disc versions (4 CD and 2 DVD or Blu-Ray) have been seen at $60 and up which when combined with the Early Years topping $50 it is an expensive year to be a fan of the boys from Sheffield. The two shows are available separately. If you are looking for quantity, the Las Vegas show is longer for the money.

Hits Vegas, Live At Planet Hollywood
1Die Hard the Hunter
5Too Late for Love
6Billy’s Got a Gun
9Paper Sun
10Let it Go
11Mirror, Mirror (Look into my Eyes)
12Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
13Switch 625
14Let Me Be The One
15We Belong
16Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
17Two Steps Behind
20Let’s Get Rocked
22Love Bites
23Armageddon It
24Pour Some Sugar on Me
26Let’s Go
27Rock of Ages

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