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Live Reviews : Def Leppard & Dallas Crane @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 08/11/2018

By on November 9, 2018

Here we are, folks! Some seven months after the initial announcement of British hard rock icons Def Leppard touring Australia with one of Germany’s biggest rock acts, Scorpions, was announced from touring juggernauts Live Nation.

Both Def Leppard and Scorpions are indeed on Australian soil touring all major cities. Well, all of them except Melbourne, unfortunately. If you’re reading this review expecting me to lament on Klaus Meine, vocalist of the Scorpions for pulling out of his commitments to perform in Melbourne due to being ill, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It is disappointing Scorpions didn’t perform in Melbourne, but I’m not going to get on my high horse and cry heresy. To be honest, I’m more disappointed in the comments I’ve read on social media from entitled types about Meine’s eleventh-hour departure. Unfortunately, human beings get fatigued and sick. That’s life. However, I do wish Meine and speedy recovery for the final show in Sydney on Saturday, 10th November.

I don’t know why I would have anything to complain about as I was one of the lucky few who got to see Scorpions perform in Melbourne back in 2016 as part of their “testing the waters” tour which has gone down in my top 10 concerts I’ve witnessed in my entire life. It’s up there with me travelling to Germany to Wacken Open Air to see Grave Digger perform as one of the headliners or even as going as far as travelling to a small rural town near Hamburg to see one of my favourite band’s Stormwarrior. As you can probably tell I have a strong devotion to German heavy metal, but I digress.

The Scorpions show which took place in Melbourne in 2016 was wholly different to your conventional rock outing. While we didn’t get elaborate lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics, we did get one helluva show. I guess in hindsight if Scorpions were to perform in Melbourne last night the crowd would have been treated to much the same. An incredible show performed by some of the best musicians the heavy metal world has to offer.

With only a few hours notice to choose a replacement, Melbourne was treated to East Melbourne natives, Dallas Crane. The very same ARIA chart-topping alternative rock ensemble who’s highest peaking single “Sit On My Knee” which features Jimmy Barnes, opened the night’s proceedings. Dallas Crane is nowhere near the same level as Scorpions, obviously. But they put on a fantastic show which got my feet tapping and the crowd moving throughout their entire set which featured originals like the aforementioned “Sit On My Knee”, no appearance by Jimmy Barnes sadly. Dallas Crane also threw in some covers too. Notably, Led Zeppelin‘s “Rock And Roll” and AC/DC‘s “Let There Be Rock” as their finale. The crowd were enthusiastic about the band’s set, giving the band a thunderous applause as they finished up their short, but sweet set.

And with that a horde of Def Leppard roadies bum rush the stage meticulously working in unison like an atomic clock to prepare the final act. I guess some of that German efficiency rubbed off from Scorpions crew to Def Leppard’s.

One thing I did have a little chuckle about was the way the band advertised their new pale ale from Elysian. A massive screen descended from the ceiling like the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyessy to proclaim it’s “great refreshing taste” from a booming American voice. I felt like I was back in America being bombarded by advertising. It was literally in your face and loud as hell counting down the minutes until Def Leppard hit the stage.

Def Leppard, a band which has become synonymous with the decadence of the 80’s and its highly suggestive sexual tones with song titles like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” makes their sixth appearance (If I’m counting correctly) to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Tonight was a special night as it marks the band’s 30th anniversary of their highly acclaimed and multi-platinum, now diamond selling release, ‘Hysteria’.

Those of you who know the band and follow them religiously would be aware the band’s premise was to make an album similar to Michael Jackon‘s ‘Thriller’. An album that would literally contain all bangers (hits) and nothing else, and they achieved that with gusto. The first time I heard ‘Hysteria’ I was not only blown away at the sheer level of production value on the album but also its consistency as every song offers something unique alongside its hugely popular seven singles.

It’s an album you can put in and listen from start to finish and never be disappointed. Much the same can be said for the crowd who got to experience the album in its entirety last night, which included a cover of “Action” by The Sweet and notable singles, “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Let’s Get Rocked” and “When Love and Hate Collide” in which the venue lit up like a Christmas tree from the parade of mobile phones shining their lights toward’s the stage. Joe Elliot (vocalist) and crew were on point throughout the whole night feeding the crowd with their consistent energy. The biggest highlight of the evening for me was getting to hear one of my favourite tracks off the ‘Hysteria’ release, “Gods of War”. During the opening of the song, Def Leppard paid respects to Steve Clark showing a reel of footage of him performing from the ‘In the Round, in Your Face’ live release. For those unaware, Steve Clark was the principal songwriter in Def Leppard from 1979 until 1991 when he, unfortunately, died of a drug and alcohol overdose.

I’ve seen Def Leppard six times in Australia and never do they disappoint. Each tour has offered something exciting for fans, new and old. While it’s not certain if Sydney fans will get to see Scorpions in Sydney on Saturday night. One thing for certain is Def Leppard fans are in for a real treat with this special 30th anniversary ‘Hysteria’ tour in Australia.

Tickets to the final ‘Hysteria’ anniversary tour in Australia are on sale now from Live Nation Australia. Click here to secure your tickets/VIP packages.



Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook