Def Leppard turns back the clocks at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

It’s been three years to the day since Def Leppard last performed in the North East of England. However, tonight the group will deliver a show with a difference. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the band’s seminal album Hysteria. The aforementioned being a record which garnered worldwide album sales in the region of 25 million copies as well as racking up an impressive seven hit singles. This being an incredible achievement to say the least.

Back in 2013, Def Leppard performed their landmark album in Las Vegas, and since that date, the group has been wanting to repeat this on home turf in the UK. Subsequently, it’s taken five years to make this happen, but the ‘Hysteria and More’ tour finally arrives on Tyneside this evening.

We presently live in an age where music fans consume songs rather than albums. This is largely due to the advent of streaming services such as Spotify. The beauty of this evening’s show is that the crowd are treated to a live performance of Hysteria in full and as the artist intended. Tonight’s show features all of the hits along with rare live performances of the deep cuts.

As Phil Collen leads the band into “Women”, the Tyneside faithful are immediately transported to classic rock heaven. The first half of the set is jam-packed with back to back classics from “Rocket” and “Animal” through to the beautiful ballad “Love Bites” along with the anthemic “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. Hearing each of these tracks performed in sequence such as this just brings home how strong this album really is. Each number is a crowd pleaser in its own right, packed full of catchy hooks and infectious melodies.

With a gargantuan video wall at the rear of the stage, a spectacular laser light show and a catwalk which stretches out into the middle of the arena bringing the fans closer to the action, tonight’s formidable stage production most certainly enhances the overall concert experience.

As Joe Elliot addresses the crowd for the first time of the evening, the house lights illuminate the packed out Metro Radio Arena crowd. With the loud roar of the fans and the sea of smiling faces, you can immediately feel how much Hysteria means to those present.

The current line-up of Def Leppard has been together now for 26 of their 31 year history. Despite this Vivian Campbell has still yet to brush off the ‘new boy’ title from frontman Joe Elliot. Leading on from this one of the most touching moments of the evening comes during “Gods of War”, which features a heartfelt tribute to the late great Steve Clark by way of images and video footage of Dep Leppard’s sadly missed axe man in action.

One of the many highlights of the set is “Run Riot”, which is so catchy the chorus simply stays with you for days. The title track itself is a magical slice of pop/rock, which comes complete with some blistering twin part guitar harmonies from Campbell and Collen. During the latter of which Joe Elliot segues a few bars of David Bowie’s “Heroes” to great effect. The band take Hysteria home with closing track “Love and Affection”, which in turn leaves the crowd wanting more.

A five-song encore featuring the very best of Def Leppard’s discography that sits before and after Hysteria brings the show to a close. This includes the likes of “Let’s Get Rocked”, “Rock Of Ages” along with “Photograph”.

Tonight, it’s fair to say that Hysteria has aged just like a fine wine, it stills sounds just as fresh and as relevant as it did back in 1987.

Opening the show this evening is Cheap Trick, who make their first appearance in the North East in almost 30 years. The band delivers a career spanning set including timeless classics such as “Dream Police”, “Surrender”, “The Flame” and “I Want You To Want Me”. The band’s thoroughly entertaining ten-song set is over too soon but certainly hits the spot. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take so long for the Rockford, Illinois based outfit to make their return to Tyneside on their next UK visit.

Def Leppard
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Event Date: 09-Dec-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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