Sheffield, England’s Def Leppard long ego eclipsed its humble New Wave of British Heavy Metal beginnings. Founded by vocalist Joe Elliott and bassist Rick Savage in 1977, and joined by drummer Rick Allen in 1978, the band ultimately became one of the biggest selling and most legendary of its era. From the moment they connected with producer Robert John “Mutt”Lange in 1981, the quintet’s path would move well beyond its roots. Unheralded guitar hero Phil Collen would join the band in 1982, and a decade later, former Dio and Whitesnake guitarist Vivian Campbell would solidify the line-up that continues to this day. This year, Def Leppard celebrates its 40th anniversary, celebrated by the release of their latest concert set; Def Leppard: And there Will Be a Next Time – Live from Detroit. The package includes a Blu-ray/DVD and 2 CDs, capturing the band on its most recent tour in support of its self-titled 2015 album.
Live from Detroit showcases the rock and roll icons doing what they do best; delivering a high energy show packed with massive hits, dazzling visuals, and their incomparable trademark vocal harmonies. Watching Def Leppard perform, it is almost impossible not to be awestruck by how incredibly tight they sound, and how flawless their delivery, and how they seem to do it with such ease.
The band’s 17-song set is an electrifying display of anthemic songs that have served as the soundtrack for rock music the last four decades. The band opens the show with, “Let’s Go;” one of three hit singles pulled from its latest album, which also includes the raucous “Dangerous,” and the Queen-centric, “Man Enough.”
The band dips back to its 1981 sophomore album, High ‘n’ Dry for “Let it Go,” “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” and the instrumental classic, “Switch 625.” From the band’s 1983 multi-platinum breakout album, Pyromania, the band delighted fans with “Foolin’,” and show closers, “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph.”
Much of the show was dedicated to Def Leppard’s 1987 seminal multi-platinum masterpiece, Hysteria, from which they performed 6 songs; all of them huge radio hits. These included; “Rocket,” “Armageddon It,” “Love Bites,” “Animal,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and “Hysteria.” The latter of which offered a brief nod to David Bowie’s “Heroes.”
The set also included the David Essex cover, “Rock On,” and the band’s 1992 anthem, “Let’s Get Rocked.” The walls of LED display screens offered fans an explosion of visual effects to accompany the audio bombast. In all, Def Leppard: And there Will Be a Next Time – Live from Detroit. proves that the boys from Sheffield are as impressive and vital as ever.
Catch Def Leppard on tour this spring with Poison and Tesla.