Nearly 40 years after the release of their first album, Def Leppard are as popular as ever as a live act. It's not all nostalgia either. In late 2015, the band released their underrated self-titled album and embarked on a 55-city summer tour in support of it. The band's stop at the DTE Energy Music Theatre just outside Detroit, MI, was filmed and makes up the excellent new Blu-ray Def Leppard - And There Will Be A Next Time...
Filmed before a packed house, the show opens with the new song "Let's Go," a track immediately recognizable as Def Leppard with its guitar parts reminiscent of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" (with a hint of Kingdom Come's "Get It On"). The song is one of three new ones featured in the set and they all fit in well with the hits.
From there, the show is like a massive jukebox of 80s melodic hard rock. It's easy to forget how big this band was until one sees their set list loaded with one hit after another. "Animal" from the band's biggest album, Hysteria, follows and the band delivers a spot-on rendition. Like Queen before them, Def Leppard's songs are difficult to reproduce with all the production and big vocals and they do so admirably. As there are only five members on stage, the songs tend to take on a slightly rawer feel than their studio counterparts. Lead vocalist Joe Elliott is in fine voice throughout, though he has to go falsetto for some of the high notes, about the only concession to age the band needs to make.
The band attacks earlier tracks such as "Let It Go" with gusto, with guitarists Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen trading blistering leads while the new track "Man Enough" finds the band in funk mode, not unlike "Another One Bites The Dust" with humorous lyrics to boot. A killer "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" is followed by the instrumental "Switch 625," which allows the band to show off their considerable chops while giving Elliott's vice a rest.
The show ends with two of the biggest songs of the hard rock era, "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph." The group offers up celebratory versions of both and, when Elliott promises the crowd there will be a next time, one senses the fans would be OK if the next time was the very next day.
The show is well filmed and highlights the band's excellent light and video show. The video is presented in 1080i High Definition 16:9 Widescreen. Audio options include DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo. As to be expected on a Def Leppard release, the mix is full and powerful. Bonus features include music videos for some of the new tracks.
Some 40 years on, Def Leppard still have it. The band delivers their songs as well as they ever have and the fans are still there for the taking. With new material as strong as the songs presented here, one can hope it won't take eight years for the next record like it did this one. Well worth a look for fans of the band.