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Def Leppard – and there will be a next time

Label: Eagle Rock
Format: DVD/CD
Released: 2017
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 7.5/10

Isn’t there always a next time…especially when it comes to the hard rock metal bands from the 80s. People love their nostalgia. Def Leppard, live in Detroit, is exactly that, all the MTV hits from “Pyromania”, “Hysteria”, ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ from “Adrenalize”, plus two from the latest self titled album in 2015. As an opener, ‘Let’s Go’ and that riff is a poor man’s ‘Pour Some Sugar’ rip off, doesn’t hold a candle to previous tours use of ‘Rock Rock till You Drop’. ‘Dangerous’, fourth song in, is a better one from the latest album. Even though Leppard have denied their metal edged roots for the past two decades, at least ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Heartbreak’ off ‘High n Dry’ remain in the set, and tunes like ‘Foolin’ and ‘Rock of Ages’ retain their edge.


‘Rock On’, the David Essex cover, is useless, as is ‘Man Enough’ from the latest album. Sure, it shows their ability for variety in composition, but those songs are better off as album tracks. They’d be man enough if more was played from their first two albums instead. The band - still Joe Elliott on vocals, bassist Rick Savage, Rick Allen on drums, with Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell on guitars. Always real tight live, Leppard are a well oiled machine of players, while Elliot’s voice has become more and more abrasive over time showing his age, sounding fine for cleaner parts where he doesn’t have to scream or hit high parts. Regardless of my nit picking this show is solid, high definition in audio and video, great editing (no rapid fast quick cuts) that includes close ups and wide shots. Perfect for a casual fan of the hits. But, for those like myself, one who bought “On Through The Night” and “High n Dry” in the early 80s, I prefer the “Viva! Hysteria” show instead - Ded Flatbird’s set – mostly Leppard from the first two albums. I want to look in the mirror (mirror) and let it go on through the night, ready for another hit and run (Saturday night) high and dry, while getting wasted! It’s too bad since the 90s Leppard feel they were not part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal foundation and choose to right light commercial rock instead.


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