Gig review: Def Leppard at The Leadmill, Sheffield
The David Bowie hit ‘Heroes’ was the song of choice from the DJ, who had been spinning tracks for two hours by the time legendary rockers Def Leppard made their way onto the Leadmill stage.
An apt choice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees who are back in the UK kicking off their European leg of their World Stadium tour by playing in front of 44,000 at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground on May 22.
The band had kindly offered to play at The Leadmill in a bid to raise some much-needed funds for the under-threat club with proceeds going to Music Venue Trust – a charity which protects grassroot music venues.
The atmosphere inside the Sheffield institution was electric – a mixture of excited chatter and cheerful laughter coming from those who were lucky enough to snap up one of the 850 tickets for the one night only show.
The band kicked things off with 1993 hit Action and swiftly followed this up with recent hit Fire It Up. Too Late For Love was next up before frontman Joe Elliott pointed the mic stand into the crowd for Excitable and got the crowd to participate with a few lines.
The band rolled back the years with 1981 hit Mirror, Mirror from the High ‘N’ Dry album before giving Slang an airing.
Elliott thanked the bumper Sheffield crowd for coming and supporting The Leadmill and reiterated the importance of grassroot venues for musicians.
Kick, released in 2022, was warmly received and treated by the fans as if it was an old, familiar classic.
The five-piece have such a genuine, heartfelt connection with their fans and they make you feel like they are singing to each and everyone in attendance personally.
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak and Switch 625 were both well-received before mass hysteria in the crowd erupted with the playing of the first few chords of the apt Hysteria song. The mega-hit gave Elliott the opportunity to have a well-earned breather towards the end and leave the stage for Viv Campbell, Rick Savage and Phil Collen to shred their guitars for an extra few minutes and play some exhilarating riffs. Drummer Rick Allen also had a solo in this song, which garnered one of the biggest cheers of the evening.
The final song of the main set was the anthemic Pour Some Sugar On Me – a song traditionally suited to the stadiums that Def Leppard are accustomed to playing in. The smash sounded sublime in a small, intimate venue with a vociferous crowd echoing every word back.
The band came back on for an encore to play one of their earliest songs Wasted, before offering their heartfelt thanks and making their way off the stage in their usual low-key, no-nonsense manner.
“We dreamt of playing here in 1978 living two miles down the road,” frontman Elliott proclaimed mid-set. I can wholeheartedly say, despite it taking you 45 years to do so, it was worth the wait! A truly unique and special evening.