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Wednesday, 20th November 1996

Dublin, Ireland - Media Reviews

Def Leppard at The Point By Kevin Courtney

Rock 'n' roll ain't dead - it's just suffering from a bad dose of metal fatigue. The Def Leppard machine rolled into Dublin's Point Theatre on Wednesday night, but somehow it didn't quite manage to crush anyone under its weight. Indeed, the sound of tearing flesh and splintering bone was replaced by an ominous creaking noise - the sound of a band trying hard to crank up some enthusiasm for its somewhat dated pyrotechnic rock.

In the 1980s, Def Leppard were the biggest, brashest metal blokes on the block. Albums like Pyromania and Hysteria sold in their megamillions, and Def Leppard in the round were a carnival of shimmering pop-metal, a killer carousel with a one-armed drummer at its apex, and the rest of the band leading the crowd on a metallic merry-go-round. Somehow, you forgot that the music was little more than glam-rock with a stainless steel edge and let yourself get sucked into the swirl.

Lately, though, the band from Sheffield are sounding a bit blunted, and though their current album, Slang, eschews the Lep's usual multi-layered, sheet-metal production, it doesn't quite manage to show them in a more natural light. They've taken the same organic ethos to their stage show, playing on a regular stage with a regular bank of Marshall amps, and sounding, frankly, like a regular bunch of old metalheads.

There were a few moments when the old Leppard roar raised its head, especially during Animal, Rockit and Armageddon It; ballads like When Love And Hate Collide still had a solid sheen, but songs like Photograph were a bit faded by the long years of exposure, and the new single, Breathe A Sigh, flitted away like a dull wheeze.

By The Irish Times 1996.


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