Poor old Def Leppard can't seem to get any consistency these days. After the fairly poorly received 2008 studio album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, all the English veterans did for a while was play occasional, short tours and release live albums over a five year period which culminated in the brilliantly successful Las Vegas residency playing the Hysteria album, and its resulting, terrible live album Viva Hysteria! They then set about recording a new album, and produced the excellent Def Leppard, comfortably their best effort for 20 years. They took it out on tour and the vocal frailties suffered by Joe Elliott on the preceding live recordings seemed to have been eradicated as they played fantastic shows across Europe and America. With no comprehensive tour video since the '80s (besides Viva Hysteria!), and on the back of such a strong new album and tour, they decided to film a show, and chose Clarkston, Michigan. Now, this is by no means as bad as Viva Hysteria! at all. The same crystal clear footage, editing, and sound which were the highlights of that release are here too, and Elliott doesn't struggle anywhere near as much as he did then, but some of those problems are still there. He still hasn't adjusted his approach to older songs according to his current abilities, and therefore again cracks badly when he pushes himself too hard. When he doesn't, he sounds great (never more so than on groover Man Enough, the stand-out track from the new album), but in those moments when he does, it has the potential to ruin songs completely (e.g. Rocket), and this was entirely avoidable - even by something as simple as turning up the backing vocals to masque it. The more forgiving fan will be able to overlook these moments, and will find this to be the best Def Leppard live release in decades. Others may feel "should do better" to be appropriate.Written by Andy Lye
More: 2017, Hard/Heavy Rock, Live DVDs, Quickplay Reviews, Def Leppard
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