Def leppard – viva! hysteria live at the joint, las vegas new cd ebay gas bloating


Def Leppard was under siege. Bottles of urine and beer cans were, according to reports from the front lines, lobbed at them from every direction at the 1980 Reading Festival by angry British louts who weren’t too keen on how Americanized this youthful hard-rock brigade was starting to sound.

They must have torn their hair out when they heard 1987’s Hysteria. Even if band members downplay the incident these days, saying it wasn’t all that bad dodging missiles of piss and that other bands were getting similar treatment, it couldn’t have made for a very enjoyable, or hygienic, experience. Although everybody can have a good laugh about it all these years later.

Nowhere near as boorish, the audiences in Las Vegas that turned out in the spring of 2013 for Def Leppard’s 11-show residency at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino must have been swept off their feet by the still somewhat fresh-faced pop-metal glamour kids’ glitzy "Viva! Hysteria" production. What an ideal location for this elaborate staging, centered around the sugar rush of vibrant, colorful performances of the band’s highly stylized and massively successful Hysteria album in its entirety, given the sexy, glittery history of Vegas-style showmanship.

Vivid and vibrant new DVD, Blu-ray and deluxe two CD/DVD releases of this terrifically entertaining, high-definition aural and visual extravaganza are out now via Frontiers Records. One half of the CD document is all about the deliriously infectious Hysteria, and somehow, Def Leppard manages to bring to life the sonic wonderland they created with Mutt Lange with all the studio bells and whistles of the original record, although some of the gloss gets wiped away to reveal the songs’ killer hooks and just how much instrumental flair and fire the band still possesses.

The sound quality is brilliant, and despite an aging Joe Elliott’s occasional struggles to climb up to that higher register, the band is as fit and tight as ever, rarely dragging at any time. Melodic and fluid, while also squealing in ecstasy, the strikingly bold, piercing guitar work of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell cuts through the air like the point of a spear. On target every time, they make notes sting ever so sweetly and poisonously in "Animal," the breathy title track and "Love Bites." Detonating the sheer bombast of "Women," "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Don’t Shoot Shotgun" and "Armageddon It" with sharp, bountiful riffing, they also put a charge of electricity into "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph."

There’s a festive, circus-like atmosphere to "Viva! Hysteria," and Def Leppard revels in it, with Elliott playfully and confidently stirring up the crowd and singing as powerfully as he’s able, Rick Allen working his dynamic percussive magic and Rick Savage’s bass bounding around and almost imperceptibly driving this party bus. And, as always, Leppard’s background vocals are sublime, fleshing out a sound that’s already bigger than life.

Of course, this sort of thing is nothing new. The trend of classic-rock and even alternative acts with glorious pasts going out and playing full albums live is reaching epidemic proportions. "Viva! Hysteria" offers a twist on the tried-and-true formula, though.