Unless you've been lost at sea for the last ten months, you probably already know about Def Leppard's Viva! Hysteria. The band took up residency in Las Vegas, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino last spring, playing in The Joint for 23 shows. The signature feature of the show was playing their most popular and successful album Hysteria in it's entirety. The title is a twist on the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas.
While hearing Hysteria played live is rather cool, I'm not sure it's the best feature of this 2 CD and 1 DVD set. I particularly liked the two Ded Flatbird sets included with package.
If you don't know the joke, the name comes from some person in the obscure past mispronouncing the band's name. Ded Flatbird twists and shakes things up turning themselves into the world's greatest Def Leppard cover band, complete with silly names and retro rock star clothing.
Then they go on to play some older Def Leppard material from On Through The Night and High 'N Dry, some b-sides, and a few singles from albums later in their career. Even better, in the second set, they play side one of High 'N Dry in its entirety., easily my favorite Def Leppard album. (I had the vinyl recorded to cassette for the car with AC/DC's Back In Black on the flip side, back in the day.) Another great thing about these sets is Joe Elliot is a bit more engaging and chatty, and Phil Collen keeps his shirt on.
Yet speaking to the Hysteria set, it's really good. I've seen Def Leppard, and they are truly one of the best live bands. They do Hysteria with ease and excitement. And the best thing is this: it sounds like the album without sounding exactly like the album, even with the addition of all the Lange/Leppard embellishments coming through. The stage is exceptional, the camera work thorough, even capturing some of the video in the background. The band engages the crowd, often high-fiving those closest to the stage. There's a short touching video of fallen guitarist Steven Clark before Gods of War from the first Hysteria tour. After the Hysteria set, the band finishes with two more great hits: Rock of Ages and Photograph from Pyromania. It's all good. So get this DVD and rock your big screen television.
Recorded in Las Vegas, Def Leppard plays their most successful album, Hysteria, in full with most satisfying results.
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