Def Leppard Announce New ‘Sin City’ Vegas Residency
Def Leppard have announced plans to return to Las Vegas for a residency that will find the group headlining at the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino beginning on Aug. 14.
The band will play a total of 12 dates during the engagement, Def Leppard Hits Vegas: The Sin City Residency. The final show will take place on Sept. 7. Tickets go on sale Feb. 22 at 10AM PT.
Looking back at their previous Vegas residency in 2013, when the band performed its landmark 1987 album Hysteria in full, guitarist Vivian Campbell admits they haven’t decided what they’ll be doing for the upcoming shows.
“We’ve got a lot of options,” Campbell tells UCR, noting that they actually finished off 2018 performing the Hysteria album in its entirety again on overseas dates. “Once we left North America, we started playing Hysteria, as we had done in Vegas back in 2013. So that’s an option, we could revisit that again, but it would also be nice, maybe we should do Pyromania. Although that would be a very, very short show, because that’s only about 45 minutes worth of music. So whatever it is we do, we’re going to really have to build a show.”
As Campbell points out, the Vegas residency offers a lot of flexibility. “I think it allows you to step back and look at it with a different mindset,” he says. “[We can] present a show, not just as one thing, but as a full evening with Def Leppard, like we did in 2013.”
For the 2013 performances, their opener was Ded Flatbird, who was billed as “the world’s greatest Def Leppard tribute band.” In reality, it was the members of Def Leppard themselves.”We went out and played some really obscure and really deep tracks from Def Leppard’s history -- that was a lot of fun for me personally,” Campbell recalls.
“It was a lot of work and it took a lot of rehearsing to do all of that stuff, but that was a fantastic and exhilarating performance. The curtain would literally close and we’d go off stage and there’d be a video intermission and then the curtain would open and it would reveal the big stage set and then all of the sudden, here’s Def Leppard, performing Hysteria in sequence.”
In early 2003, the band hit the road, performing the entire first side of High 'n' Dry to lead off each night’s set. “That was actually my suggestion,” Campbell laughs. “I said, ‘Why don’t we open the show with side one of High 'n' Dry?' And everyone went, ‘Yeah, okay!’ We stopped doing it after a while, because it really resonated with about 30 percent of the audience. Hardcore fans from way back who couldn’t believe we were doing this got really excited. But you could see that probably the greater part of the audience were a little bit miffed, because other than ‘Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,’ they didn’t really know the rest of the stuff.
“We kind of fell on the sword with that one,” Campbell says. “So I’m not sure we’d go that deep for Vegas, but again, that’s maybe the kind of thing that we could open the show with, if we did like a two part presentation, we could do something like that where we have these blocks revisiting our past.”
First, they’ll celebrate their pending induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an honor Campbell says has been “hard-earned.” “We’ve always been a live band. We’ve always toured, even back in the mid-’90s when that kind of music was not very popular,” he says.
“We were kind of fighting a headwind and we’d still be out there playing and trying to refine our show and make it as best as possible. The fans have always really, really been important to us and the fact that we got the biggest popular vote" -- the Hall of Fame's annual fan vote -- "really was the first thing we got really excited about.”
One thing that remains to be seen is whether or not former guitarist Pete Willis will join the band to celebrate the moment. Willis left the band in the early ‘80s as it was recording the album that became 1983’s Pyromania.
“Pete has been invited.” Campbell confirms. “I’m not sure of the status, but I know that an invite, once that we got confirmation that we were in, we sent out an invite to Pete. So we’ll see if he shows up.”
Either way, they can celebrate with the new Def Leppard-themed Pour Some Gouda on Me cheese, which is available at the supermarket chain Aldi. “I love cheese,” Campbell laughs. “Maybe we’ll get some free cheese. That’ll work. I love cheese. So does my dog.”