THE rock universe was shaken to its leather boots in summer 1987 by the release of an incendiary new album – Guns N’ Roses’ classic debut, Appetite for Destruction. So when Brit rockers Def Leppard released Hysteria two weeks later, they were already behind the curve. Three decades on, this is of little concern to band and fans, who would happily confirm that Hysteria’s brace of gleefully unreconstructed hits have retained their air-punching party credentials.
Def Leppard & Cheap Trick, Hydro, Glasgow ***
With only a pause to pay tribute to their late guitarist Stephen Maynard Clark, the Sheffield five-piece zipped through the album chronologically, taking in the glam rhythms and meaty bombastic hooks of Rocket, overwrought rock ballad Love Bites and the cornball Armageddon It.
Animal is still a grizzly bear of a rocker, while the caveman sensuality of Pour Some Sugar On Me has moved beyond parody. But with all the hits dispensed on side one and little in the way of showmanship or stagecraft frills to follow, energy waned until the encore delivered some pre- and post-Hysteria hysteria, including the knowingly dumb Let’s Get Rocked and the brash boogie of debut single Wasted.
Special guests Cheap Trick were great value, with tunes to spare from the bubblegum metal of I Want You To Want Me, via gonzo rocker Dream Police to the bratty garage of Surrender. These US soft rock veterans were always a bigger deal on their home turf but their Kiss-without-the-make-up schtick has an ageless charm, if somewhat arthritically delivered by founding member Rick Nielsen on his signature five-necked guitar.