RAC Arena, Perth WA
November 2nd, 2018
Do you wanna get rocked …. like a hurricane?
What better way to combine the two than with English hard rock royalty and German metal legends together on one huge bill.
Although Scorpions were billed as ‘very special guests,’ they played their set like a co-headliners. And in the eyes of many punters they were just that. Even on the reduced stage the band made use of every square inch, It was also good to see they had full access to the runway which extended out into the middle of the RAC Arena. Not every headline treats their support so well, but then Scorpions were ‘very special guests’.
To say the Hanover natives hit the ground running would be an understatement. Klaus Meine and co kicked the night off in top gear and kept up the pace. The frontman throwing drumsticks whilst beating the shit out of his cowbell during ‘The Zoo’ an early highlight. High energy was the order of the day and the first-time visitors to Perth brought it in spades.
Speaking of spades, the Scorpions have their own ace with ex-Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee an animal behind the kit. Arms, legs, sticks and hair flying in every direction as no one on stage missed a beat, with Rudolph Schneker’s driving riffs leading the maelstrom of Germanic metal. But in my mind they were at their best when things were slowed down a touch. Meine’s strong, clear voice took a short break as he encouraged the punters to join in on the monster hit ‘Winds Of Change’. That song always gives me a chill when I hear it, but listening to thousands singing along took it to another level. Every concert-goer loves a good sing along, and combined with images of the Berlin Wall on the big screens it was hard not to be swept away in the moment.
When the intro of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ sounded out I knew the all too short set was coming to an end. Punters went suitably mental and Hanover’s ‘heroes of heavy metal’ teased us with a banner hinting at a return. Come back soon, there are 18 studio albums and 74 singles we haven’t heard yet!
31 years ago Def Leppard released Hysteria – and 26 years ago they played The Perth Entertainment Centre on the Adrenalize Tour. On July 11th 1992 this writer was front row in the round losing his tiny mind – and not much has changed. Tonight I’m safely in the stands in a seat kindly supplied by Wall Of Sound, but the mindset is just the same. I’ve seen Rick Allen and crew countless times over the years, heard all the hits off Hysteria (and there’s a ton) but never the album played live in its entirety. Although we all knew exactly what the setlist would be: the entire album plus a little bit more, just hearing these songs played live is a treat. Sure the boys are older, their hair is shorter (except Rick Savage, whose locks continue to flow magnificently), their waistlines slightly rounder (with the obvious exception of Phil Collen whose ripped physique is on permanent display, complete with bonus baby oil!) but the sound is the same. The band managed to reproduce a highly produced and polished album like ‘Hysteria’ live, an absolute feat of musicianship. Collen, Savage and Vivian Campbell combined to reproduce Mutt Lange’s multi-layered harmonies without the use of a backing track.
This is an unashamed nostalgia tour, so it was apt that a legend no longer with us was featured. The late great David Bowie got a nod with a few lines from ‘Heroes’ as Joe Elliot pointed heavenward. Original guitarist Steve Clark was also remembered with a video montage showing his image on the giant videos screens that seemed to almost hover above the stage. It was a beautiful and touching tribute, and something the boys never fail to do. Taken too soon, he’s never far from the hearts of the band or their fans.
‘Hysteria 2018′ (plus an encore of other Leppard hits) is a rock’n’roll joyride. Slickly produced, with a stunning laser light show, this is the full package. Don’t wait another thirty years to hear it again. Give it all your love and affection people. Get excitable and run riot.
Reviewed by Gareth Williams (@notgareth)
Def Leppard – Hysteria Live 2018
Adelaide Entertainment Centre – November 4
Brisbane Entertainment Centre – November 6
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – November 8
ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney – November 10
Tickets at livenation.com.au