Def Leppard, Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, gig review: A show powered by mutual love between artist and audience

They look a little older and rounder of course - but the dominant style of 1980’s heavy metal still reigns supreme

Daniel Dylan Wray
Monday 21 December 2015 13:31
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Deff Leppard
Deff Leppard

It’s thirty-eight years since the band formed and time appears to have stood still for Sheffield’s own Def Leppard, They look a little older and rounder of course but the dominant style of 1980’s heavy metal still reigns supreme: a scarf tied around the microphone stand, leather trousers, long hair and union jack designs on everything from the bass guitar to headphones. Much like the groups aesthetic, their music too remains locked into the styles and tones of the genres heyday. They have found a formula and stuck to it, and the fact they are packing out arenas in 2015 after their eleventh album, suggests its one that still possesses some impact.

Crunchy rhythm guitars and squawking lead dominate, as drums and bass powered alongside them. Joe Elliot’s vocals still have some guts and range to them and it generally makes for a powerful combination, especially on cuts such as ‘Love Bites’ ‘Rocket’, ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ and the crowd-erupting ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. The hometown performance often gets emotional, after a rousing applause for drummer Rick Allen he is visibly moved to tears by the noise the crowd is making for him. When the group end on "Photograph" they seem similarly overcome - it was a rare performance that genuinely felt powered by a mutual love between artist and audience.

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