This section looks at the 'VIVA! Hysteria' residency opening night in Las Vegas, NV.
"It's almost like we were an opening act."
Def Leppard kicked off their 11 date VIVA! Hysteria residency in Las Vegas, NV on this day in 2013.
The event kicked off with the first of 11 shows at The Joint At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on 22nd March 2013.
The band would play the classic 'Hysteria' album in its entirety and in sequence for the very first time.
Many of the songs being played for the first time in 25 years since the original 'Hysteria' album tour of 1987/1988.
They opened for themselves each night with a different setlist of rarely played songs as spoof cover band 'Ded Flatbird'.
Each band member took on a different name based on classic Rolling Stone magazine front covers hanging in the venue dressing room.
The event kicked off with 'Ded Flatbird' playing 'Good Morning Freedom' live for the first time since 1980.
The show was recorded and filmed or a live 2CD and DVD package that was released in October 2013.
It featured the full 'Hysteria' show, encore and two 'Ded Flatbird' sets. Before this the film was given a limited release in cinemas around the world in September 2013.
Phil Collen reflected on the shows in May 2013 during an interview with Music Backstage.
The second Las Vegas Residency was announced on 13th February 2019 with 12 shows scheduled for August and September.
Music Backstage - Phil Collen May 2013 Interview Quotes
"I actually thought it was probably the beginning of the band winding down, and you know just from playing, we'd done all this stuff and I was completely wrong it actually give a kind of renewed enthusiasm and just everything about it you know. It was surprising, it was the most exhausting thing I've ever done it was actually harder than doing a tour. And it's kind of weird when you figure that we were staying in the same place every day. But I think the whole show apart from being very theatrical we put so much into it."
"We gave so much it's more than we've ever done before we learnt like 34 songs before we started the thing because we wanted to do - you know we were the opening act as well, with a backline and a drape. And only a little bit of room and then we'd play all the songs from High 'n' Dry. Pyromania, the first album. You know High' 'n' Dry we did 7 songs from it one night and we'd change the set every night. So we gave so much plus we were doing an acoustic VIP thing in the afternoon and then we would do the main set of the Hysteria stuff."
"20 mins after we'd gone off. I had a shower and all this stuff. We'd come back on and we'd do that. Again the stage would open up. There's all these steps and TV screens and god knows what so it was really a show you know. In a Vegas tradition you know I saw Cirque de soleil, I saw Love the Beatles thing as well that was great and it - all of a sudden I was like Oh My God we're doing a Vegas show it's not really just a Def Leppard gig. It's a Vegas show and everybody stepped up to the plate so much I mean you know the vocals were brilliant I'd listen."
"Every night everyone was singing so well and playing so well that I had a totally different vibe from it once I'd left. I was like Oh My God this is probably the best thing we've ever done, doing Hysteria from front to back. In a million years we wouldn't have done that normally because as setlists go you wouldn't do PSSOM in the middle of a set and you know Love And Affection. But because it was the album it worked so well and it really you know hit home how classy the record was."
Opening For Themselves/Ded Flatbird
"It was fun but I actually didn't have as much swagger you know. It's almost like we were an opening act. Honestly it was very bizarre. It was a weird experience because we're playing these songs. There was a certain amount of good desperation about it like some of the songs like Good Morning Freedom. We played it a few times over the course of the 11 shows but I never done the same solo twice it was like as soon as the solo hit it was like OK play a solo in A."
"So that was very different to doing the Hysteria set where you're playing it verbatim or you're trying to playing it as close as you can to the record. The fact that you're having this kind of bizarre dichotomy in the same show. I'm wearing different clothes you know I'm actually fully clothed. I go off have a shower, come back on and you know I get lifted up on this elevated, lifted up on this big lift thing and I'm shirtless got different guitars. Use different guitars for the first set, second set and it really was a great piece of theatre from our point. And we were - I guess we were actors in it, it as great."
Glide Magazine - Vivian Campbell 2013 Interview Quotes
"Well, aside from doing the Hysteria record in sequence, we are actually doing two sets. The first set will be obviously nothing from Hysteria but we're going to try to make every night different, even if it's only by one song. During that first set of the evening we will be getting obscure. If we follow through on what we've talked about, we'll actually play songs that we've never played before, like real obscure stuff, like from the first album and whatnot. So that'll be interesting, that'll be exciting."
"So with the other four days, even though we do have other commitments around those four days, our plan is to actually try and write one or two or three new songs on those days off and that's probably the most exciting thing about it."
Classic Rock Revisited - Phil Collen March 2013 Interview Quotes
"We are going to do Hysteria from start to finish. We are actually doing two sets; we are going to open up for ourselves. We are going to do 45 minutes, take a break and then do Hysteria. We are learning hundreds of songs and we are going to be doing songs that we've not played in years, or that we've never done. It is going to be really great."
"The first set will never be the same; we will change it every night. They will all be Def Leppard songs. We may play songs that we've covered of other people. It is going to be very fun for us. We are not sure what we are going to play. We are digging stuff up from the first album and the second album and we are just going to really do a lot of stuff that the fans will love."
Are you going to record any of the Vegas shows?
"Absolutely, we are going to do Hysteria Live."
Las Vegas Review Journal - Joe Elliott March 2013 Interview Quotes
"We're pulling out some majorly obscure stuff. I can almost guarantee that whoever reviews the first night is going to have go on to YouTube and figure out what the hell we just played."
Las Vegas Magazine - Phil Collen March 2013 Interview Quotes
"We're going to do a deep cuts set. We're actually going to play songs we've never played before, stuff like demos that never made it onto an album, and material from the first and second albums. We're going to do 45 minutes like that, go off, come back on and do Hysteria in its entirety, and then an encore. It's going to be a long, big night. We're basically our own support band."
Eddie Trunk - Vivian Campbell June 2013 Interview Quotes
"The most fun part of it was being Ded Flatbird our own opening act cause we could get out there and just there were no rules as regard what Ded Flatbird played so we were playing some really early Leppard stuff. Stuff for anoraks like Eddie yes. It was great. It's very refreshing for us to play something other than PSSOM you can understand yourself we're sort of between a rock and a hard place we have to play the hit songs and we're very fortunate that the band has those hit songs to play but it's a lot more fun for us to get out there and do something obscure. So we got to do that which was a lot of fun you know and actually to break the show up into two parts it was very theatrical too. So that adds a lot to the excitement level for us."
Boxofficebuz - Rick Savage September 2013 Interview Quote
"It was a bit of a worry, but from the first night on, in the concept of what we were doing, it was absolutely perfect. The crowd bought into the whole concept and that's the important thing, so it actually felt natural. It just didn't feel strange whatsoever. In fact, it would have felt strange looking back if we mixed the order up, it would have been stupid to do that, in order to accommodate, shall we say, Animal, Hysteria, and Pour Some Sugar On Me as the last three songs. It wouldn't have been the same as it was. To do it as the album, with a crowd who are familiar with the album, that added to it. So Love and Affection, although your first instinct is to go, you can't end a set like that - it actually really, really worked."
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