Def Leppard Viva! Hysteria – review

British heavy metal takes Las Vegas by storm in this concert movie, but a better film might have explored the musicians' off-stage dynamics more

Here's something for fans of rock legends Def Leppard, a concert movie recorded over a number of nights on the catwalk-style stage at The Joint in Las Vegas. For newcomers and non-believers the band's most startling aspect is probably Rick Allen, who continues to drum mightily with specially modified equipment, after his left arm was amputated following a car accident in 1984. He has survived the pain and any residual Tap-style irony, and he has real hero status, without a doubt. A different and more interesting kind of movie would have centred on Allen, his remarkable story and his relationship with the rest of the band. As for the music itself – well, it's not for me, although I appreciate how tightly and powerfully it's played, and also the interesting echoes of Queen. Lead guitarist Phil Collen plays with his shirt off throughout, so that we can get a load of his muscles, which are awesome.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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