by Jeff Niesel
Filmed over the course of a two-night stand at the Hard Rock Café’s the Joint in Las Vegas, Def Leppard Viva! Hysteria Concert is a concert film that features the British heavy metal band’s first-ever live performance of the entire album. The movie screens on Oct. 2 and Oct. 8 at Cinemark Strongsville, Cinemark Valley View and Crocker Park Stadium 16.
“We heard that Cheap Trick used to do this in the ’70s and we’ve been wanting to do this for twentysomething years,” says guitarist Phil Collen during a conference call that features him and singer Joe Elliott. “We were like, ‘Finally.’”
Elliott says the Hard Rock gave the band enough time to prepare for the concert so it could work on the stage production, something that made it easy for director Christian Lamb to film. Released in 1987, Hysteria followed Def Leppard’s breakthrough album Pyromania and went on to dominate the charts as singles such as "Love Bites," "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Hysteria," "Armageddon It," "Animal," "Rocket" and "Women” became huge hits. It’s sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
“I think it’s really classy and classic and when you play the Hysteria stuff, it feels really expensive, especially when you do the set in its entirety,” says Collen. “It more than stands up, all the arrangements and vocals.”
Singer Joe Elliott agrees.
“I think we were initially frightened of it,” he says. “But 25 years on, we’re a better band and it felt more comfortable playing it in Vegas than when we did it in the round the first time.”