REVIEW: Def Leppard – Los Angeles 1992 (bootleg)

Gifted to me by the notorious Aaron of the KMA!

DEF LEPPARD – Los Angeles 1992 (Red Line bootleg CD)

It’s the Seven Day Weekend tour!  Def Leppard brought back the “in the round” stage concept from their previous tour and played a set of hits with a few deeper cuts.  This audience recorded bootleg captured the Los Angeles date permanently.

Wasting no time, it’s straight into the first single “Let’s Get Rocked”.  I have never particularly felt this song was as strong as past efforts, but Def Leppard had overcome such tragedy.  I was willing to forgive them for painting by numbers a bit with the new songs.  One thing apparent on a bootleg with no post-production sweetening:  Def Leppard’s vocals are 100% live.

Right into something better, it’s “Tear It Down”, better because it’s originally a B-side from the inspired Hysteria sessions.  Speaking of Hysteria, onto “Women”!  You can hear that new guitarist Vivian Campbell fit right in, seamlessly.  A couple seriously great tunes follow — “Too Late for Love” from Pyromania and Hysteria‘s title track.  Two of Leppard’s most accomplished singles.  Slower, ballady, and not at all weak.  “Hysteria” live begins just a little differently, but quickly becomes familiar and authentic.

I never cared for “Make Love Like a Man”, but it’s a temporary speedbump before a deeper track.  “White Lightning”, the tribute to the late Steve “Steamin'” Clark is very hard to find live.  This is the first version I’ve owned.  It’s every bit as epic as it deserves to be.  The stone cold classic “Foolin'” follows, and the Los Angeles crowd goes nuts when the track explodes.  They are just as excited for “Animal”, sounding brilliant in live form, although hampered on audio by a loud talker in the crowd.  New guy Vivian Campbell gets a big showcase solo next.  I’m sure this show is edited down to fit on CD, since Phil usually gets a big solo too.*  Viv’s is impressive and he gets to show off his shred a little bit, though his solo is more of an instrumental composition that sounds delightfully Vai-ish.

Another big epic, “Gods of War” from Hysteria is a serious thrill and chill.  Say what you will about Leppard’s more pedestrian material.  When they wanted to do something a little more challenging, they nailed it.  A big long version of “Rocket” including the “Whole Lotta Love” segue closes the CD prematurely, which is a shame, and one can hope that the second half of the set was issued elsewhere.

4/5 stars

*Here is the full setlist that night according to setlist.fm:

  • Let’s Get Rocked
  • Tear It Down
  • Women
  • Too Late for Love
  • Hysteria
  • Make Love Like a Man
  • Guitar Solo (Phil Collen)
  • White Lightning
  • Foolin’
  • Animal
  • Guitar Solo (Vivian Campbell)
  • Gods of War
  • Rocket (
  • Acoustic Medley Section
    Enter Sandman (Metallica cover) (Vivian)
    Back in Black (AC/DC cover) (Phil)
    Tonight (acoustic)
    You Can’t Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones cover) (acoustic)
    Bringin’ on the Heartbreak (acoustic/electric)
  • Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
  • Armageddon It
  • Rock of Ages
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me
  • Encore:
    Love Bites
    Photograph

18 comments

  1. “Make Love Like a Man” makes me understand why people switched to grunge. Then I hear this and I’m confused again.

    Connective aside. I bought Pixies debut EP today entitled Come On Pilgrim, which I keep misremembering as Come On Me Pilgrim because that’s how my mind works. After listening I promptly returned it. Haha. How did they ever get big? I saw the critics praising it, but it was horrible. Out of tune vocals, shitty playing, bad sound, disorganized arrangements, it gave me a headache.

    I’ve now come to the conclusion that everything good about Shitvana came from R.E.M., and everything else came from Pixies. Shitxies?

    A cool score though was the long out of print The Gold Experience by Prince on CD for $6. Stellar price, fetched way more online and in store usually. My Prince collection is pretty damn stellar. Wasn’t trying, it just sort of built up and I just recognized that it was pretty good. But the best is the one I emailed you about. It took my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m curious about your Prince collection. You go on Wikipedia and see just how damn extensive it is. I remember playing Emancipation in the store when it came out. Kind of a big deal to have a 3 CD new album. And then he went and did a 4 CD one next.

      Not really all that into the Pixies. Just not my thing I guess. Maybe I’m averse to the worship that is so common.

      Like

  2. I caught this tour twice. Oct 92 was in Winnipeg and early November it was Duluth. Great show and of course they had the In The Round thing going on.
    One thing they did not do was that whole acoustic mid set cover set. They did do Bringing On The Heartbreak acoustically so kinda but I don’t recall those covers being played at either show I attended.
    Great writeup

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that setlist with the covers might have been very short lives on stage. I sure don’t remember ever hearing about them.

      Thanks man! I enjoyed this one a lot and thanks to Mr. Books it’s mine now.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. At least he got to do his wee strut in the video.

          I actually did zone out from Lep in this era. Retro Active won me back. And then I taped a late night interview with Joe Elliot that showed all the Adrenalize promo vids and I just watched it over and over until I was hooked. Now I’ve got a real soft spot for that album. It’s got heart. And some of their best stuff on there. Tonight, Stand Up, White Lightning.

          Like

    1. It was a big hit Geoff — as you probably know since you became a fan right around the time it was a single!

      I don’t mind the song. I generally leave ballads off my lists but I will admit to singing along!

      Liked by 1 person

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