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Def Leppard - Live @ NEC Birmingham 18th June 2008
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Def Leppard - Live @ NEC Birmingham 18th June 2008

…….and first a brief history lesson , back in mid to late 70s a change within heavy metal occurred , born into the world of rock n roll world came the “new wave of British heavy metal” , one band to form at this time was Def Leppard , Sheffield in 77, school friends got together and formed a band , then called “ atomic mass” , this point was the conception of what would go on to be probably the biggest rock export these fine shores have ever seen , a year later after rehearsals , local gigs , line up changes , and an inspired name change , DEF LEPPARD set out to change the course of British rock n roll history , Pete Willis / Rick Savage / Rick Allen / Steve Clark and Joe Elliot recorded and released “ on through the night “ in 1980 , this began their slow rise to rock royalty , the 81 release “ high and dry “ continued along the same path , with support act to ozzy they gained the needed exposure ,in 82 Pete Willis was fired and promptly replaced by Phil Collen from a band called ‘Girl” , then in 83 came the life changing “ pyromania “ , of this album came “ photograph “ this track single handedly made def leopard a household name , with the take off of MTV , photograph rivaled Michael Jackson’s “beat it” for the most requested play on the channel.

By 84, DEF LEPPARD had been voted in a US poll bigger than “the stones” and “AC/DC’ not bad for the boys from Sheffield, although their popularity never grew the same in the UK.

Then, the back end of 84 disaster struck, the bands drummer Rick Allen, lost his arm in a car accident. this was the first major blow for the band , now whilst I am typing this , Goosebumps are all over my arms , because , over a year later the band were to return to the big stage , monsters of rock 86 , I was standing at donnington with a highly emotional crowd waiting for Def Leppard to take to the stage , with Joe Elliot’s introduction Rick appeared to what I can only describe as a phenomenon , a 20 min ovation before they even played a note , it was special and something I will never forget ,

From this point on the Def Leppard machine became a hit factory , 87 saw “hysteria” released and again , it was unstoppable , however in 1991 disaster struck yet again, steaming Steve Clark died due to a mixture of drink and prescription drugs , yet another major blow , still , yet again they returned , bringing one of the most underrated guitarists ive ever seen , Vivian Campbell from Dio . They hit back in 92 with “adrenalise” and the smash hit “let’s get rocked” breaking all records worldwide, you have to realize by now that they are one of the biggest bands on the planet!

The albums and tours came thick and fast:
Retro active 93
Slang 96
Euphoria 99
X in 02
Yeah 06

Bringing us up to date with the new release “ songs from the sparkle lounge” in 08 ….all this backed up by a headline tour , its great to see them back where they belong . They are England’s rock royalty and long shall it remain…….

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Def Leppard “live”

There are headline bands / there are super groups / then there are bands like Def Leppard, who are in class with only the chosen few, they set the standard for live rock acts in the 80s so im looking forward to see what we get tonight, its sold out at the NEC in Birmingham and the line up couldn’t have been better, Black Stone Cherry / Whitesnake / Def Leppard, why was this not the headline at download this year?

It's 9-40 and the house lights go down , then the stage lights up like Vegas , the clever electronic background parades the st Georges cross , ok , its now my kind of gig , then takes you from 1977 to the present with photos and clippings , all very cleverly done , enter Mr. Elliot & co , already its more than obvious that the tag of arena rock band is well titled , its immense , a massive set up , racks of marshals , Rick Allen perched up high with his hi-tec kit , Rick Savage with his patriotic bass , Phil Collen looking like he is still in his 20s , the excellent Vivian Campbell stage right and Joe Elliot taking centre , they once again prove that they have been a serious hit factory over the years , its relentless , although I have to say Joes voice seems to struggle in parts , may be this is due to it only being the second night , either way , I can forgive this as the overall performance is unreal, its almost too perfect.

Lets get rocked / hysteria/ photograph /animal/make love like a man/ the new single “nine lives “ as featured on guitar hero , however “two steps behind” and the unbelievable rendition of “bringing on the heartbreak” done acoustically was sheer perfection , even David Essex’s “rock on “ was a highlight , the stage remains faultless adding video clips whilst the band perform , this has been a highlight of the year so far , it’s a classic band performing classic hits , the kings of stadium rock are most defiantly back !!!!

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James Hope
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classic, def leppard, live review photos, metal, music, photo, review, rick allen, rick savage, rock, show, steve elliot

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