Two Steps Behind their fans: Review of Def Leppard Live in Singapore

Joe Elliott's vocals have held up over the decades. Def Leppard played to packed crowds 19 years after their last concert in Singapore.
Joe Elliott's vocals have held up over the decades. Def Leppard played to packed crowds 19 years after their last concert in Singapore. PHOTO: ALOYSIUS LIM/LAMC PRODUCTIONS

British rockers Def Leppard send their fans into a frenzy with a set list full of crowd favourites and major hits

For fans of British rock band Def Leppard, time has no adverse impact on loyalty. If anything, the 19-year wait following their last Singapore outing had only served to strengthen their ardent devotion, as evidenced at their latest show on Tuesday evening.

For those who had attended the previous concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium back in 1996, this was a homecoming of sorts. For younger, newer enthusiasts, this was a long-awaited chance to see the Sheffield rockers in the flesh.

When they appeared at about 8.30pm, it was hysteria, to borrow the title of their 12-time platinum 1987 fourth studio album. The 7,000-strong crowd, ranging from those in their 20s to older fans, predictably went wild.

On their part, Def Leppard knew which side of their bread is buttered. Although touring in support of their newest and self- titled album, released just last month, the guys recognised that it is their biggest commercial triumphs from their 1980s and 1990s hair-band heyday that keep the fans happy.

  • REVIEW / CONCERT

  • DEF LEPPARD LIVE IN SINGAPORE

    Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre/Tuesday

After opening with Let's Go from the latest record, their set list comprised almost all their major hits, from Animal and Love Bites (both 1987) to Rock Of Ages (1983).

But the band's success, it must be acknowledged, does not hinge on nostalgia factor alone (although at times, quite happily, to be fair, one felt like one was indeed in a 1980s music video).

The quintet - comprising lead vocalist Joe Elliott, bassist Rick Savage, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell and drummer Rick Allen - proved to be in top form throughout the 90-minute show.

All in their 50s, they commanded the stage easily and displayed excellent musicianship. Guitarist Collen even spent much of the show shirtless, showing off an enviable six-pack that would put those half his age to shame, as he shredded killer guitar solos.

Elliott's vocals have held up over the decades, ringing out strong and clear, particularly during ballads Two Steps Behind (from 1996's Slang) and When Love And Hate Collide (1995), both crowd favourites that resulted in massive singalongs that virtually shook the arena.

Speaking of the venue, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre might do well to ease up on its restrictions in future. Many were unaware that food and drinks were not allowed in the concert hall, and were left either chugging down beers in the foyer or with unused drink coupons when the show started.

Still, by the time the first notes of the anthemic Pour Some Sugar On Me (1987) rang out, any hitches were put out of mind.

"Do ya wanna get rocked?" Elliot famously growls during the opening strains of a song off 1992's Adrenalize album.

On Tuesday night, fans most certainly did.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2015, with the headline 'Two Steps Behind their fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe