May 25, 2020 Def Leppard: London to Vegas (CD/DVD Review)
In 1987, Hysteria was released by the English Hard Rock Band Def Leppard. Their fourth overall studio album, it followed-up 1983’s majorly successful Pyromania, something few thought they could ever top. Improbably, they did just that, and then some, as Hysteria became even more massive, attaining diamond-certified ten-time-platinum status since.
An epic point in the story of Def Leppard, in December of 2018 they celebrated Hysteria, playing the entire album from start to finish on stage at the O2 Arena in London. Considering the show sold out and the house was packed, this was bound to be yet another show that would go down in the band’s history. Naturally it was documented and, as a result, that concert is being released as part of a very special box set, Def Leppard: London to Vegas, due out on May 29th 2020 via Eagle Rock.
Before going further, let us talk about the specs of the set so everyone knows what is inside the box. Def Leppard – London To Vegas is a limited-edition six disc 10” deluxe box set; packaged with two concert films, four CDs and a 40 page hard-back book. Not to worry, the DVD is region free. There is the London show, which we already spoke of, and then there is the show from Vegas, the other concert film a part of the package. For those who are not aware, the Vegas show took place six months after the London event. Shot during the band’s residency in Las Vegas at Zappos Theatre in Planet Hollywood, this concert is 28 songs deep and showcases a diverse mix of Def Leppard material.
With these details out of the way, we can dive right into that special concert from 2018 which launches with the first track off Hysteria, “Women.” Showing the band walking from their dressing room through the halls toward the stage, fans reach to the sky with their fists high. Amazingly, over three decades after Hysteria initially hit, Def Leppard dish out one of the best concerts of their life. The lights, the crowd, the big screens, energy, interaction, along with the close-up of the band – Joe Elliot (vocals), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick ‘Sav’ Savage (bass), Vivian Campbell (guitar), and Rick Allen (drums) – make for a beautiful at home concert viewing experience.
Chock-full of material to dig into, there are a few things that really stand out with this show. One is the flashback of the late Stephen Clark appearing on the big screen while Joe Elliot gives a shout out. Another is the dramatic lighting during “Love Bites” really set the mood. There is also the infectious smile of Rick Allen. Last but not least, there is the slow motion shots at certain points in the film that make for a compelling ecstatic.
Something all Def Leppard fans should see, it should also be noted that the Vegas show is far more extravagant than the London show. Although, that is to be expected since the Vegas show was a part of a residency. However, the stage for both concerts is certainly epic. These thoughts in mind, a special moment during the Vegas show comes when the band setup for an acoustic set, playing close and intimately with the audience for songs such as “Let Me Be The One” and “Two Steps Behind.”
In truth, both concert films have their good point. For example, the bonus feature with the London show is a really cool, small documentary where the band discuss Hysteria and what it means to be performing at the O2 in London and bringing the album home. This is while the Vegas show bonus is a closer look at the stage setup and the process behind the band’s preparation for a show. All of this also available a part of this set in four CDs so you can simply enjoy the shows in audio format too.
Overall, this set prove that Def Leppard has still got it after all these years and are still an inspiration to millions of fans. Forever and always, rock on Def Leppard! That is why Cryptic Rock gives Def Leppard: London to Vegas set 5 out of 5 rating.