By Ethan Nahté
Filmed in Dec. 2018, Hysteria At The O2 captures Def Leppard celebrating the groundbreaking Hysteria, one of their two diamond-certified 10x platinum albums (the other being Pyromania). The show emulates the second half of the 2013 residency the band performed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. As front man Joe Elliot states in some of the bonus features, it made sense to do the Hysteria show in London at the 02, where Def Leppard had never performed before. The show grossed over a million with 16,511 attendance. It was not quite a sold-out show, but close.
Hysteria is performed in its entirety and in the same track order as the album, with the addition of a video showing founding member Steve 'Steamin' Clark wailing on a short guitar solo between what would be Sides A and B, "Armageddon It" and "Gods of War,"before a ravenous crowd. Featuring electrifying performances of "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Animal," "Women," and "Love Bites," band members Joe Elliott (vocals), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav"Savage (bass), Vivian Campbell (guitar), and Rick Allen (drums) conclude the set with a host of extra hits including "Let's Get Rocked," "When Love and Hate Collide," and "Photograph." Def Leppard returns the intermission with "Wasted," a classic from their first album On Through The Night. The entire show runs 1 hour 34 minutes.
Six months later, just after their induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Def Leppard undertook a second residency in Las Vegas at Zappos Theatre in Planet Hollywood. It's a huge stage with huge screens and a massive light show. Even the band is amazed at the size of the stage as they talk about it in the bonus features while taking a tour around the set.
Hits Vegas, Live At Planet Hollywood is a 28-song deep dive into not only their greatest hits, but rarities such as "Too Late For Love," "Billy's Got A Gun," "Slang,"and "Promises." It also includes their cover of Sweet's "Action," and songs from their second album High 'n' Dry like "Let it Go" and "Bringin' on the Heartbreak," which close viewing reveals Elliot leaving the stage near the end of the song. For diehard, longtime fans, they should know what’s coming with the rarely played "Switch 625," which never gets played on radio the way it should.
Highlighting Def Leppard's versatility, Hits Vegas presents a livewire stage show with two stages and video walls, punctuated with intimate, acoustic renditions of rarely or never-before performed live versions of songs "Let Me Be The One," "We Belong," "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad,"and "Two Steps Behind." Elliott is on guitar for the unplugged set, as well.
Hits Vegas offers a behind-the-scenes bonus feature, while Hysteria At The O2 is rounded out with the bonus "Hysteria: Then And Now"mini-documentary. As a whole, Def Leppard: London To Vegas encapsulates the prestige of one of rock's most iconic bands.
There are several options for the new music, ranging from $16-$240. The collection that has it all comes packed in a 10" box with a 40-page hardback book. The set is completed with audio from both concerts.
Hysteria Live, featuring the performance of the complete Hysteria album from the O2 show, will also be available separately on crystal clear 2-LP, packaged in a gatefold sleeve.
Finally, in addition to these in-depth sets, Def Leppard: London To Vegas is available for ordering exclusive bundles as a direct-to-consumer package with exclusive merchandise bundles. These include a London To Vegas T-shirt, London To Vegas 12x12 lithograph, branded envelope featuring replica setlist, guitar pics, and replica laminates from both shows, and an exclusive 4-song picture disc Acoustic In Vegas.
Def Leppard may be old school to some, but the band have amassed a staggering 2.5 billion streams since releasing their music digitally only one year ago. As they did with the original release of their records, Def Leppard dominated the worldwide charts again. Chart stats saw their albums charting in the iTunes Top 10 in more than 30 countries, including Hysteria at #3 in the US, and #5 in the UK. Def Leppard had the #1, #2 and #3 records on the US catalog albums chart.
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe are set to co-headline the Stadium Tour this summer, with Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts appearing on the bill. An official announcement is due on whether the shows will be continue or be postponed on June 1, 2020. Read the most recent news (May 16, 2020) on the Def Leppard page.
Guitarist/Producer Bob Kulick Dies
The cause of Bob's death has not been announced at this time. Bob, who auditioned for KISS in 1972 when they were first forming, almost became the original lead guitarist. He later played on several KISS albums when original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley either refused to play or was unavailable. He also played on KISS vocalist/rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley's solo KISS album and performed on some of Stanley's solo tours.
The Grammy award-winning producer with 17 platinum or gold records, additionally was a studio and touring musician, playing with the likes of Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P. and several others. He's also popular for and for co-writing the SpongeBob SquarePants song "Sweet Victory" with David Glen Eisley, probably best known as the lead singer for Giuffria.
He had his own bands, such as Skull, Blackthorne, Murderers Row (which also featured Eisley), and Balance.
In 2017, Bruce and Bob performed KISS songs together for an audience for the first time on the KISS Kruise.
It has barely been two years since the brothers lost their mother, Alice, April 6, 2018.
There has been an outpouring of condolences on social media from several people, nearly 5, 000 on Bruce's official Facebook page and another 600 on his Twitter page in the first two-three hours.
In Nov. 2019, Bob Kulick had a falling out with his brother, as well as members of KISS and related entities over the sale of photographs and merchandise that Bob stated on his Facebook page he had not given permission for them to use. It's unknown to LIVE 'N' LOUD at the time of Bob's death whether any reconciliation had been made.