Def Leppard, Scorpions @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 4/11/2018

Epic beyond all proportions! No doubt the double bill of rock legends Def Leppard and the Scorpions will go down as one of 2018’s best. Adelaide rock fans of all ages turned out in force to witness two of the greats go through their paces. It was a great vibe that filled the Entertainment Centre and there was definitely an air of expectation of what was about to unfold. This tour was about their chart smashing album Hysteria played from start to end as well as a few surprises as well. Def Leppard always give their fans the best value for money experience with support acts in the past including Cheap Trick, Heart and now the Scorpions who are playing their first national tour in Australia after a career that has spanned some fifty years.

Touted as one of Germany’s most successful rock bands Scorpions kicked the night off and to say that it has been a long time to get now is an understatement. There was a brief visit with a one off gig in Melbourne in 2016 but no doubt many fans would have been resigned to the fact they’ll never see them in Australia. All we can say is wow! Hot damn! The Scorpions put plenty of sizzle in the stage warming the crowd up for a big night. A big surprise was seeing Mikkey Dee from the legendary Motorhead on drums playing with plenty of fire and venom. The Scorpions were top shelf, looking great and sounding superb.

Straight out of the blocks with Going Out With A Bang and Make It Real they won over the strong Def Leppard fan base contingent early in the set. Klause Meine, hard to believe this guy is seventy, rocked the Entertainment Centre and could hide the fact about how happy they were to be playing their first Australian tour. The Scorpions have some killer songs in their armoury with power ballad Send Me An Angel with the crowd finding plenty of voice to sing-a-long. The big moment in their set was their biggest hit Wind Of Change. It was great hearing it live and I still remember how powerful the film clip was at the time. Mikkey Dee’s drum solo was killer and the band still had a couple of big ones left with Big City Nights and Rock You Like A Hurricane which went down a treat with the very appreciative crowd.

With the changeover and the stage crew doing their thing the countdown timer had started building the excitement. There was also a few plugs for the “Def Leppard Pale” for those looking to indulge. There was a real buzz transcending through the value once the countdown clock got within five minutes of show time. Fever pitch, nervous in anticipation then the lights dropped and the crowd roared to Def Leppard’s opening song Woman! Fark! What a production! How good is the sound? It isn’t to hear to an album in its entirety like Hysteria you realise how brilliant this album was and still is. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing and I wonder how many people wondered where they were when they played this album for the first time.

The light show and all the projections really did the complement the music so well and when you hear killer songs back to back such as Rocket, Animal, the big love ballad Love Bites and then Pour Some Sugar On Me the band didn’t need to fill the set with pointless banter. Front man Joe Elliott’s opening remarks were “Just look at this place! Welcome to Hysteria 2018. This changed our lives immensely and we have lasted thirty one years”. Guitarist Vivian Campbell then opened Armageddon It with an awesome lead guitar break. The tribute for Steve Clarke who passed away in 1991 was a nice touch with some great footage from the time showing a band who were on the up. For the Def Leppard fans the real excitement started to kick in hearing songs such as God Of War, Don’t Shoot Shotgun and Run Riot. Awesome! Hysteria was fantastic and I’m pretty sure there was a snippet of David Bowie’s Heroes in at the tail end of that one. The end of the record was coming with Excitable and Love And Affection.

The band took things up another level during the encore with Elliott saying “here’s some stuff that came afterwards” rocking The Sweet’s Action and chugging at the heart strings with another rock ballad When Love And Hate Collide. Let’s Get Rocked got the fists pumping and it wouldn’t be a Def Leppard set without Rock Of Ages then finishing on Photograph. There was a promise of “see you next time” giving Adelaide fans an assurance that this wasn’t the last we would be seeing of Def Leppard. Brilliant show! If you’re on the east coast high tail to your local ticket outlet and get yourself a ticket to Def Leppard and the Scorpions – easily one of the best shows you will see this year.

Live Review by Rob Lyon

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