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Sunday, 25th March 2018

London, England - Fan Reviews

DEF LEPPARD Rock The Royal Albert Hall By Def Leppard Tour History

Three years since the band played a UK tour in December 2015 they were back. This time for a charity show at the Royal Albert Hall. A strange show in that I had no idea I would be at the event until under two weeks beforehand.

Always good to be back in London where it all began in June 1992 at Earls Court Arena. In The Round (In Our Faces) on the Adrenalize tour. Now almost 26 years ago - how times flies!

Live at the Royal Albert Hall itself. Now exactly 147 years old and a magnificent building. Just as stunning from the inside as from the outside.

Hard to say how the opener Slydigs were, but the three or four songs at the end of their set sounded great and very rocking in a retro kind of way.

Following the brief intermission when cancer patients came up on stage, and the arena was lit up by phones (an awesome sight), Roger Daltrey appeared on stage.

After his brief introduction for the final act of the week, the "metal night" as he called it began with a little known band from Sheffield who played their very first London headline show literally two minutes walk from here at Imperial College in October 1979 (see informative (and taking f**king! forever to redesign) Tour History for more details...).

Won't Get Fooled Again

Following Roger Daltrey's introduction The Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again' started up on the PA and as the end got closer a certain Mr. Rick Allen took to his drum stool and you knew what was coming next.

Let's Go

For the first time in the UK the live ending of the song as performed at VIVA! Hysteria. A great way to start the show and closely followed by 'Let's Go' without the usual long intro. Loud and rocking and sounding awesome in this smaller than normal venue. Intimate but also BIG at the same time with seating going off into the roof and a few levels of exclusive private boxes for the "rich people" in attendance. Her Majesty The Queen may have been in one but I didn't spot her. Perhaps waiting for the Union Jack shorts and shirts to reappear. The side of Rick's bass drum would have interested her though.

The set design was much the same as the 2017 tour. The big video screen behind Rick and in front of (apparently) the "the second largest pipe organ in the Britain" featured the normal visuals and live footage. The features of this old hall were a stunning backdrop for the stage.


During second song 'Animal' Joe got closer to the seated fans either side of the stage and went up into the aisles beside them. Something he would repeat later on.

The sound was superb and without the annoying "loud bass" sound that was evident on the 2015 tour which overpowered much of the music.

Let It Go

'Let It Go' next which was as rocking as ever and featuring the usual superb guitar work from Phil and Vivian (Ambassador) Campbell.


An almost introduction (but not quite) for Phil before 'Dangerous'. Noticeable that Joe was singing this (and all) songs a lot better than in late 2015. But we all know why that was and thankfully he has recovered his voice back into decent shape again.


Ultra rarity time?. Hmmm. Ring Of Fire?. Ride Into The Sun?...Desert Song?....No, f f f Foolin'. Rare?!. Well, yes. At least in the UK it has become a rarity. Last played in the UK for two shows in June 2011 (Belfast/Derby) and not as a main tour regular since Bournemouth, England on 30th October 2003 (info courtesy of said informative Tour History) on the X tour.

Having seen the London show on 31st October 2003, where it was not played (and at no shows I've attended since), this was only my fifth time seeing/hearing it live. 1992, 1999 and twice in 2003.

Joe's Intro - "Thank you. Thank you very much. OK so from the last album to an album that we put out in - 1983, Pyromania." Oh yes, we remember this song...from many North American live videos on YouTube!.

Love Bites

"If you've got love in your sights, watch out Love Bites." - OK. The album intro led into the familiar ballad and it sounded great in this venue. Soon to be 30 years since it was released. One more Hysteria 30th anniversary to make us feel old.

Vivian Campbell/Armageddon It

An intro next for Vivian Campbell and the announcement by Joe that he has become the Ambassador for the Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast. Or as Joe put it:

"Cancer is an evil disease and it's a difficult, difficult thing to deal with. For teenagers it's even more difficult, but we know all about cancer because we've been living with it. We the collective we for five years because this boy here is a survivor. He's the poster boy actually for his particular area of the world. because he's about to be given the amazing...he's gonna be made an ambassador right. He's gonna be the ambassador, he's gonna be an ambassador for the Northern Ireland Hospice. And he's taking over from the legendary Eamon Holmes. Which is pretty impressive but I'll tell you what I'd be way more impressed if you got up at 6am and read the news on SKY. Read the news at six o'clock on SKY news for about four years. No?. No. Stick to guitar. So he is the ambassador. So give him a round of applause because he's here!. And, of course he is the boy who puts the fast in Belfast. Make some noise!. Make some noise! Mr. Vivian Campbell!."

Nice to be part of another huge ovation for Vivian, for only the second time since he was diagnosed in 2013. And closely followed as ever by 'Armageddon It'.

Rock On

'Rock On' next with the familiar bass intro by Sav and his introduction by Joe. A song that sounds great live and works so well with the screen visuals. No hat for Joe this time.

Man Enough

Interesting bass intro. What song is this?. Oh, it's a "new" one never before played in the UK. And the visuals kick in and it's 'Man Enough'. Or clapping along with everyone else until your hands get tired and enjoying seeing/hearing a new song. Which is a rare thing on recent tours. Just the fourth new song played in the UK in the last ten years. Actually only five have been played anywhere since 2008. The other being 'It's All About Believin''.

When Love & Hate Collide

'When Love & Hate Collide' up next. Apparently a favourite of some in attendance...and for me too. One song that was getting a bit dated at UK shows a few tours ago. And a few tours ago in UK terms means over 10, 12 years ago!. But it still sounds great. It would have been nice if they had managed to arrange a live string section behind the band in this hall as a nod to the classical concerts that usually take place here.


Everything goes red and the NASA audio comes over the PA. 'Rocket (Single Version)' follows and sounds as great as ever. But also looking forward to hearing the 'Album Version' in December as played in 'Viva' Las Vegas.

Bringin' On The Heartbreak/Switch 625

The electric version of 'Bringin' On The Heartbreak' or BOTH up next. And when it's followed by the amazing 'Switch 625' it's always a great part of the set. Phil and Vivian taking centre stage to show off their guitar skills on Steve Clark's masterpiece, well one of his many masterpieces!.

Phil (someone bought me a shirt and a jacket and I'm wearing them both) Collen - yes, hard to believe, but it was true. He wore a shirt for the entire show. Utterly astounding, mind blowing in fact. And a good sign of things to come. Maybe London boy Collen thought the Queen might be here also and decided to please Her Majesty by looking very 'elegant'.


'Hysteria' followed and once again the video screens showed the footage and photos from the past. Including Sav's red spandex trousers from the High 'n' Dry videos. For those who like that sort of thing. Put the woman from the Slang video in them and you'd really have some great visuals! But anyway, back to the show. This song always brings back many memories for me of becoming a fan almost 31...31 years! ago in July 1987 and hearing the full album in August of that year. Something that will be heightened even more in December when they celebrate the 30th....no, 31st anniversary by playing it in full!.

Let's Get Rocked

A question that's never been asked in the hall before...but everyone knows what song is next. And during 'Let's Get Rocked' Joe was up again amongst the crowd - as seen in the Fan Videos. Possibly exciting many female fans in the higher seats. Which ones? I couldn't possibly say.

Pour Some Sugar On Me

'PSSOM' or if it must be typed out in full...'Pour Some Sugar On Me'. From the Mutt Lange school of smut. But thankfully he gave the song 'Heaven In The Backseat' to Romeo's Daughter. and ...'I Wanna Be Your Underwear' to Bryan Adams. Hmmm. "The" (apparently) signature song of the band always sounds great "in live" and at full volume.

And for anyone wondering about those 'circles' on the ceiling?. They are 'apparently' called "Acoustic diffusing discs" which are hung below "fluted aluminium panels". So there you go. No doubt adding to the great sound in the venue which again was a lot better than on the strangely "bass heavy" UK tour in 2015.

Encore - Rock Of Ages/Photograph

Encore time. No one guessed that they would play 'Rock Of Ages' or 'Photograph'...outside the venue, but inside we all knew what was coming. And both sounded euphoric. A great way to end the show in this amazing venue. And a great introduction for Rick before ROA with his mother Kath in attendance. (The nice lady who likes my Tweets.) Joe also remembered to introduce home town boy Phil properly and he encouraged the applause (whilst still wearing a shirt!).

Joe ended with "Until next time.....see you in December". Yes, on the Hysteria tour which means four more "new-ish" songs (at least) unless you saw the original tour. Or to put it another way - Don't Shoot Shotgun, Run Riot, Excitable and Love And Affection. And for me Gods Of War for the first time since 1992.

Setlist disappointments/glaring omissions?. No 'Make Love Like A Man'?. No 'Two Steps Behind'?. Well, maybe for some...but not me!

The best thing about this setlist was it had most of the songs taken out of the set before the last UK tour started. 'Let It Go', 'Foolin'' and 'BOTH' with the added bonus of 'Man Enough' and The Who intro which were both new to most fans attending.

Rock On!.


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