Def Leppard / London Rocked to the ground with pure platinum performance
9 June 2020
At a time when we are all missing live concerts and the roar of a crowd, it seems like the perfect opportunity to dive into some new concert films and they don’t much better than the new one from Sheffield’s finest sons.
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Filmed during the end of 2018, ‘Hysteria Live At The O2’ sees the mighty Def Leppard celebrating their most successful album ‘Hysteria’ by playing it in full, from start to finish.
There is very little to be said about that album that has not already been written. What is amazing is that it has found its way to the hearts of successive generations of rock fans. As their audience seems to keep getting younger, the band themselves have aged like fine wine.
Opening with ‘Woman’, the entire band sounds fantastic, none more so than frontman Joe Elliot who still sounds pitch perfect some 30 years since the album’s release.
‘Love Bites’ may just be the most well crafted power ballad of the 80’s and this live rendition absolutely glows. Vivian Campbell’s extended solo is a particular pleasure to hear.
Many a time when an arena or stadium concert is brought to film much of the atmosphere is lost in the mix and you are left watching a great band playing to what sounds like an echo chamber.
Not here though – ‘Hysteria Live At The O2’ manages to maintain a very crisp and detailed sound without losing the feeling of being in the crowd. While the laser and light show is fantastic the band cleverly avoid using too much tacky pyro or zip wires.
The focus here is squarely on the music as it should be.
“This album is 31 years old which means its stood the test of time” declares a jubilant Joe Elliot, “and we’ve managed to bring it back to the UK to do it start to finish”.
Def Leppard are nothing if not consistent and on this night they sound superb. The skyscraper chorus of “Armageddon It” is pitch perfect tonight and it is followed by a touching image of the late great Steve Clark on the big screens leading us into ‘Gods Of War’.
‘Hysteria’ still has not lost its charm after the millionth play and the nod to David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ in the outro is a nice touch.
After ‘Hysteria’, Def Leppard run through some more songs including very early single ‘Wasted’ and the underrated ‘When Love And Hate Collide’ before the big guns of ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Photograph’ end the night.
As for the DVD extras, they’re not exactly bountiful but still good enough. A short feature ‘Hysteria: Then and Now’ takes us behind the scenes of the O2 production with the band.
As a document of a fantastic night its superb, but more than that, ‘Hysteria Live At The O2’ is honestly a perfect testament to a timeless songbook of hard rock hits and a peerless band who can still deliver the goods live.
The DVD was due for release in April, but this date was pushed back due to the current Cover situation.
Joe Elliott told MetalTalk “Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we only felt it right to delay the release of all the London to Vegas formats to May 29th. This was with our fans and the world in mind so everyone can concentrate on keeping themselves healthy during this unprecedented time.
“Stay safe out there and we look forward to sharing these epic performances and seeing all of you very soon.”
Def Leppard / Hysteria Live At The 02
- Love Bites
- Pour Some Sugar On Me
- Armageddon It
- God’s Of War
- Don’t Shoot Shotgun
- Run Riot
- Love And Affection
- When Love And Hate Collide
- Let’s Get Rocked
- Rock Of Ages