Def Leppard

Viva! Hysteria: Live at the Joint, Las Vegas

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Def Leppard dove into the classic-albums-in-their-entirety trend via an 11-date residency at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, performing 1987's Hysteria from start to finish, adding other classic hits to round out the set. More interestingly, taking a tip from Joe Elliott's Mott the Hoople tribute side project the Down 'n' Outz, Def Leppard opened for themselves, performing as Ded Flatbird and running through rarities and early hits that they have rarely played live in the years since becoming superstars. These Vegas gigs were filmed for a limited-edition theatrical release called Viva Hysteria, which quickly appeared on Blu-ray and DVD, along with a double-CD soundtrack capturing the highlights. On the CD, the first disc contains Hysteria along with "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph," while the second is 15 tracks of deep cuts, opening up with the 1980 B-side "Good Morning Freedom" before the group runs through selections from On Through the Night and Pyromania. If Elliott's voice sounds a little tattered in the upper register ("Stagefright" is just at the edge of his range), it's actually quite endearing to hear this legendarily polished band reveal some ragged humanity, particularly when they sound so powerful throughout both sets. If the second set of rarities is slightly more interesting than the well-loved Hysteria, that shouldn't diminish that first disc because stripped of some -- but by no means all -- of Mutt Lange's gloss, Def Leppard show their glam rock heart, which is one reason their music has aged so well and why it still sounds so good when performed live. There's no denying that Viva Hysteria is one for the fans, but it's one that will leave those fans satiated.

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