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Def Leppard – Viva Hysteria

Label: Frontiers
Format: DVD/CD
Released: 2013
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8/ 10

As much as Def Leppard deny their New Wave Of British Heavy Metal roots, whether they like it or not this release is all about celebrating that period of the band, along with the chart topping “Hysteria” album performed in its entirety. Posing as an opening act called Ded Flatbird, before running through the “Hysteria” album, played an opening set every night of this Vegas stint mostly focusing on their first two, and much more hard rockin/ metal albums. I mean how freekin cool is this setlist; ‘Good Morning Freedom’ (B-side to ‘Hello America’ from 1980), ‘Wasted’ and ‘Rock Brigade’ off the debut ‘On Through The Night’, the entire first side of “High n Dry” which means you get ‘Let It Go’, ‘Another Hit And Run’, ‘High n Dry’, ‘Bringing On The heartbreak’, ‘Switch 625’, and to boot ‘On Through The Night’, and ‘Mirror Mirror’. Top it off with the excellent ‘Stagefright’ from “Pyromania”. Just go out and buy now! Lol.


The “Hysteria” portion of the show is great because Side 2 of the album, ‘Gods of War’ (with old footage of guitarist Steve Clark in tribute), ‘Don’t Shoot Shotgun’, ‘Run Riot’, ‘Love and Affection’, gets due respect in the live setting. Leppard still sound and play spot on, especially those vocal harmonies. Joe Elliot for the most part belts em out with his gritty tone, does get a little help sometimes from the other guys (‘Stagefright’ is a tad fuzzy and not sung with the clarity like he use to), but elsewhere Elliot is strong and the boys all deliver for ‘Promises’. Great stuff. Guitarist Phil Collen throws in some tasty little accents with the whammy bar joined by Vivian Cambell on those tight crunchy riffs (and gets a couple solos here and there) with Rick Savage on bass and drummer Rick Allen holding down the solid bottom end.

I have a lot of respect for Def Leppard musically “On Through the Night” up to “Hysteria” (clearly most of what came after “Adrenalize” has pretty much been weak) , but as men and a band for keeping Rick Allen a member after he lost an arm. We (as hard rock and metal fans) have Leppard, and Bon Jovi, to thank for helping this music open the doors to a larger audience in the 80s.

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