REVIEW: Triumphant homecoming for Sheffield legends Def Leppard

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“Something old, something new, something borrowed but nothing blue” was the wholesome offer from Joe Elliot as the Sheffield rocker celebrated Def Leppard’s triumphant homecoming.

A packed Sheffield Arena treated the band to a heroes’ return – a fitting climax to the band’s world tour with Whitesnake and the ferocious Black Star Riders.

It was 38 years ago that Joe first met bass player Rick Savage.

It is hard to imagine the band are arguably bigger today than they ever were.

Heavy metal might have taken a body blow in the 1990s with the onset of grunge, but there was no sign of it in Sheffield as the crowd – young and old – overindulged in relentless drum solos and guitar pairings courtesy of second on the bill Whitesnake.

But it Def Leppard that had the pull – you only had to see the size of queues for the bar that seemed to snake around the entire venue at some points in the night.

And they weren’t scared to push the boundaries, such as a bass solo from Rick and a top-hatted Joe to cover David Essex’s Rock O’.

The video wall gave a fitting reminder of the band’s incredible history, while hits like Animal and Pour Some Sugar On Me came thick and fast.

It was an emotional homecoming – you only had to see the tear in drummer Rick Allen’s eye – and one that won’t be forgotten.

The band signed off with the mighty Photograph and Rock Of Ages, and Joe with the words: “What a way to end the tour - look at the people here.”

Phil Collen, left, and Rick Savage, of Def Leppard, at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

Phil Collen, left, and Rick Savage, of Def Leppard, at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

When Sheffield gave the band the virtual keys to the city with ‘Def Leppard Day’ in 1995, people felt they had reached their zenith.

Twenty years later and you realise they’d hardly started.

Joe Elliott, of Def Leppard, at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

Joe Elliott, of Def Leppard, at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

Black Star Riders at Sheffield Arena, Picture: Glenn Ashley.

Black Star Riders at Sheffield Arena, Picture: Glenn Ashley.

David Coverdale of Whitesnake at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

David Coverdale of Whitesnake at Sheffield Arena. Picture: Glenn Ashley.