DEF LEPPARD will play its 1987 album, “Hysteria”, in its entirety as part of the Las Vegas residency, which is scheduled to kick off at the end of March.
DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott tells Billboard.com that the nine-date Viva Hysteria! will give the bandmembers a chance to work on ideas for the follow-up to 2008’s “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge”, which was named after the backstage writing room the group employed on tour. “This will be the first time in at least 10 years where we’re all actually in one room banging out songs from scratch,” Elliott explains. “We don’t all live on the same continent, so it’s increasingly more difficult for us to just do what people expect a band to do — wander into a dusty old rehearsal room and go, ‘What you got?’ Getting together to write an album is an event. So the whole point of this Vegas thing when we’re not on stage is to attack pieces of work we have that aren’t finished songs — ‘I’ve got this riff.’ ‘Great, let’s play around with it.’ I’m sure everybody’s got some individual ideas, and we’ll go from there.”
Viva Hysteria! follows Hard Rock residencies from MÖTLEY CRÜE and GUNS N’ ROSES.
Tickets are on sale now and start at $49.50, with floor seats going for $125.
Speaking to Vegas.com, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen stated about the band’s decision to do the Vegas residency: “A lot of other bands do this stuff, but I think it’s a little bit more special because ‘Hysteria’ was one of the diamond albums, especially in this day and age there are not that many albums that achieve that kind of status. That’s why it’s so important to us; it’s such a big-selling album. It’s a challenge as well. We’ve never actually done that before. We’ve always said yeah we could do ‘High ‘n’ Dry’. ‘Hysteria’, that’s a lot more challenging. A lot of the songs on there are hard to sing and play at the same time.”
Regarding what he thinks it was about that album that continues to attract fans today, Collen said: “Mutt Lange is a genius. He said we can do an ultimate rock album or we can do a rock version of ‘Thriller’, where we have seven hit singles. But to do that, you have to put the extra effort in. The attitude when the album came out, a lot of people didn’t like it. They thought, oh this is too pop or they didn’t understand the crossover because it’s a perfect hybrid between rock and pop. If you look at Mutt Lange‘s track record, his biggest successes are, for example, Shania Twain. He definitely brought country to the masses. He successfully fused rock, pop music with country, and I never thought I’d see the day. I remember being in Japan and hearing Shana Twain when I was going up and down in an elevator. That, for us, like I said, it was the perfect hybrid of pop and rock that was actually acceptable. A lot of rock fans didn’t like it at first, but by the end of that year, everyone had the record. You couldn’t really escape the whole thing. It was pop music, but done rock. We kicked our ass on it. It was very different from anything that had come before it, actually.”