Monday, 12th February 2018
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30 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD Film HYSTERIA In The Round Show In Denver

Def Leppard 1989. In The Round-In Your Face

Def Leppard began filming their first ever live concert video In The Round-In Your Face 30 years ago today in Denver, Colorado.

The show was the first of two sold out nights (12th/13th February 1988) at the 17,000 seat McNichols Sports Arena.

The shows were attended by 31,105 fans with a total gross of $542,812.

Tesla were the support act having been with them since the tour had started in August 1987.

Most of the footage/audio used was recorded at the second night on 13th February. The band were nearing the end of the the first five and a half month leg of the US Hysteria tour which had begun on 1st October 1987 in Glens Falls, NY.

The 'In The Round-In Your Face' VHS video was eventually released in September 1989 almost one year after the tour ended. Prior to the full length live video, footage was debuted in the highly successful 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and 'Armageddon It' promo videos. They featured a mix of black and white sound check clips and colour footage from the main live shows.

It was later reissued as a two DVD package with Historia in 2002.

The In The Round stage was placed in the center of arenas with the lighting rig hung from the ceiling. Rick Allen was sat in the middle of the stage on a rotating drum riser so he could face all four sides during the show.

The concept was thought up by then co-manager Peter Mensch after seeing an In The Round style performance by Frank Sinatra.

Lasers were bounced off mirrors located around the stage and lighting rig creating the effect of hundreds of beams. The computer circuit board imagery from the album cover was painted on the stage.

McNichols Sports Arena was demolished in 2000 after being replaced by the Pepsi Center (at another location). Shown below is the parking lot next to the Sports Authority Field at Mile High (stadium) where the arena used to be.

It was demolished to make way for the extra parking around the stadium which had been built in 1999/2000.

View backstage footage from the Hysteria tour filmed in 1988 (including the last show) in this YouTube playlist filmed by then Tour Manager Ian Jeffery.

Def Leppard 1987. In The Round Stage

Joe Elliott - 1989 Interview Quote

"Well it was done at a gig 'In The Round'. We had great camera men on the shoot. They had worked on Platoon, Apocalypse Now and we had to have guys like that because it's easy to do Frank Sinatra in the round. He don't move - but we do! The director had every conceivable angle covered. He went to the show seven times before they shot it. We shot the first night and he went into a major panic. He said 'I couldn't get anything. It's impossible. You guys keep moving' They had to spend an entire evening altering all their cranes and camera dollies."

"The majority of the film you see is from the second evening. It was difficult to focus on one guy, so the camera work had to be fast moving. That's the way we are on stage. We don't hang around. The majority of it was shot in Denver in February 1988 which was halfway through our tour when we played 227 dates."

Def Leppard 1989.

In The Round-In Your Face - Back Cover Synopsis

Well, here it is - the final piece of the 'Hysteria' puzzle (so to speak). First the album, then the 227 date world tour, then the 'Historia' video collection and now a movie of 2 great nights in Denver (with a little help from 3 equally great nights in Atlanta).

We hope you enjoy this film as much as we enjoyed playing this show. Playing in the middle of the arena was a challenge for us every night as well as a challenge for Wayne Isham who directed this concert movie. No one had ever quite dealt with this setup before! For those of you who missed the show, fear not, it shall return in the near future (with a couple of modifications). Until then, enjoy 'In The Round - In Your Face'.

Def Leppard - 11th October 1987 Interview/Article Quotes

Phil Collen - "It's such a buzz playing on that stage. You can spin around like an idiot and wherever you end up you're facing kids. We're a lot closer - you can actually see faces."

Rick Savage - 1993 Interview Quote

"The fact that we were playing in the middle was completely new to us and everybody else, so that made it special. We prided ourselves on doing something that not many people had done before. Whether it's good, bad or indifferent doesn't really matter, as long as it's different."

Def Leppard 1987. Screenshot

Steve Clark - July 1988 Interview Quotes

"No it was very easy. In fact we feel really disappointed when we have to play at one end because obviously nowhere can do that in the round thing at these sort of outdoor shows. But it came around because Peter Mensch, our manager, he said well, we've done everything else wrong up to now. We've spent four years making an album. Let's go the whole way and so he said why don't we play in the round. And the reason that came up was we noticed on the last tour that it's great for the kids down the front but the kids in the nosebleeds at the back. You know you're just a speck on the horizon. So we said if we put it in the middle it's virtually equal distance around. So it's much more intimate. There's four front rows and the sounds much better. And it gives everybody in the band the chance to be a frontman because each guy can be on four different sides."

"So rather than having to hide behind a singer or being very formulated, and it obviously keeps it fresh for us. It's not as though you sort of get into choreography moves or anything you just run around anywhere you want. And it worked out really well and we thought we'd have a lot of problems but it turned out great. And as I say for a few shows we had to go back to playing one end because the roof couldn't support it because it has to hang from the roof. And we felt really disappointed when we had to do that. It's much more intimate as well. You know the kids which would normally be at the back are half the distance they would normally be so it's good for everybody."

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar