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LIVE: DEF LEPPARD with SCORPIONS – Perth, 2 Nov, 2018

| 3 November 2018 | 2 Replies

LIVE: DEF LEPPARD with SCORPIONS – Perth, 2 Nov, 2018
RAC Arena, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Damien Crocker

Def Leppard’s first visit to Perth was in July 1992, off the back of their recently released Adrenalize album, but it was previous album Hysteria – one of the biggest selling records of all time – which they made their latest visit to town for.

Hysteria was released in 1987 and is an iconic record which spawned seven hit singles and was so ubiquitous that it soundtracked millions of lives. Def Leppard returning to town to play the album from start to finish is a celebratory occasion, and eating and drinking establishments throughout the city were cram packed with old friends ready to relive their glory days and newer fans eager to see what all the fuss is about.

Scorpions opened the show – and for some this was even more a drawcard than the headliners. It’s infuriating that this was their first ever visit to Perth after a fifty-plus year career, and they have to do it as support act with only half a stage to work with. What’s worse is they’re playing to a half-empty and largely disinterested Arena, as many seem unaware of their legacy and importance in the rock pantheon.

The German rock vets were allowed shitty sound by the headliners, and badly misread the vibe of the crowd. Instead of winning them over with their strongest hits early, they played a so-so set of ‘70s and more recent material which most present were not familiar with. It wasn’t until gazillion-selling single Wind Of Change came that they really broke through, though even then they dissipated the energy by playing ’90s also-ran Tease Me, Please Me and an unnecessary drum solo. If a world-class band who has sold over 110 million albums over 53 years comes to town for the first time with only a scant hour to play, they do NOT need to play a five minute drum solo, not even with Mikkey Dee on the kit. Thankfully they ended their time with some classics, belting out Blackout, Big City Nights and Rock You Like A Hurricane like the band we’d hoped they had been from the start.

Like Scorpions, Def Leppard are consummate musicians and know how to work a stage, and with the name of the game being to play the whole of Hysteria from start to finish, their set list mostly writes itself.

Now, classic album chock-a-block with hit singles or no, the wisdom behind playing all twelve songs in order eludes me. With the big singles getting an airing, name me a single Def Leppard fan who would want Don’t Shoot Shotgun, Love and Affection or Run Riot over an unaired classic from another album, for instance Bringing On The Heartbreak, Two Steps Behind, Miss You In A Heartbeat or early winners Ride Into The Sun or Wasted.

With the predictability of the setlist, the technical mastery of the band, and the lack of interaction with the audience we’re left with an okay gig, but not in any way as impressive as we’ve seen from these guys before. In fact, we might have well have stayed at home and listened to the album yet again. We’d go so far as to say it was a reasonably enjoyable though disappointingly soulless experience.

Still, the crowd cheered in all the right places. Phil Collen and his abs don’t even bother starting the show with a shirt on any more; Joe Elliott sports an updated Let’s Get Rocked-styled jacket; and the pros run this way and that and do all the expected choreography, including a video solo tribute to fallen comrade Steve Clark, an unfortunate casualty of the lifestyle of the band’s early days.

After the Hysteria tracks have been completed, the band exit and wait for the traditional ego-gratifying encore-calling, before returning for a mini-set of Make Love Like A Man, When Love And Hate Collide, Let’s Get Rocked, Rock Of Ages and Photograph.

With most of the arena cheering, it’s all over, and we’re left unable to think that this was anything but a missed opportunity.

Set List – Def Leppard

Love Bites
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Armageddon It
Gods of War
Don’t Shoot Shotgun
Run Riot
Hysteria (includes snippet of David Bowie’s Heroes)
Love and Affection

Make Love Like a Man
When Love and Hate Collide
Lets Get Rocked
Rock Of Ages

Set List – Scorpions

Going Out With a Bang
Make It Real
The Zoo
Coast to Coast
Top of the Bill / Steamrock Fever / Speedy’s Coming / Catch Your Train
We Built This House
Send Me an Angel
Wind of Change
Tease Me, Please Me
Drum Solo
Big City Nights
Rock You Like a Hurricane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Comments (2)

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  1. Ian says:

    What a miserable review, and reviewer. Is this less than amateur hour? How far off the mark can you be?
    Good to see you got stuck into both bands. Scorpions played longer than most opening bands, just over an hour, because of their friendship with Def Leppard. Everyone knew it was the Hysteria album tour so knew what they were getting and is why they came. So we didn’t want other tracks in their place. Not to bother going on, there is more to life than Nirvana and Foo Fighters… Hope you feel happier now after your seemingly souless miserable attendance…so sad it is funny… Cheers for attempting to write a professional review anyway

  2. Shane says:

    Thanks for reading Ian.

    Glad you enjoyed the show & had a better experience of it than we (and quite a few others who were there) did.

    See what I did there? I disagreed with you without personally attacking you. It’s what grown ups do.

    All the best, Shane.

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