DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott spoke to Meltdown of the WRIF radio station about the band's second Las Vegas residency, which concluded early last month at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
"It was great," he said. "It was really fun. We did 12 shows over a three-week period. We never played the same set twice. We threw in some really obscure stuff that we haven't played for many years — things off 'High 'N' Dry' — we played some stuff that we haven't played for 25, 26 years, from 'Pyromania', and we played songs we've never played before live ever in front of an audience. We really did have fun changing it up every night. Great audiences. It was the biggest production we've ever done. And we got to sleep in the same bed for three weeks. [Laughs]"
Joe elaborated on the importance of changing up the setlist during the residency, telling WRIF: "You don't get old in three weeks, but you would if you were playing the same set night after night after night after night. And I think the fact that we changed up the set every night, it means that when we went in to soundcheck, we'd have to play these songs to make sure we were comfortable to play them that night. So it always gives it a bit of an edge, especially when you don't really make your mind up which songs you're gonna play until maybe a couple of hours before you go on. You're, like, 'Oh, what are we gonna do tonight?' There's core elements of the set that don't change, like the intro, the middle bit and maybe the ending, because there's certain songs that a band like us, you can't get out of the building alive unless you play 'em. But there is scope for in and around kind of the ride areas in the set, where you're going from sequence one to sequence two, if you like, where you can change things out, and that's what we did. And we had a lot of fun doing that."
At the opening concert of the residency on August 14, the band's 23-song set included two tracks which had never been performed before — "Let Me Be" from "X" and "We Belong" from "Def Leppard" — along with rarely played cuts "Die Hard The Hunter" (aired for the first time since 1992), "Slang" (first time since 2013), "Billy's Got A Gun" (first time since 2002), "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad" (first time since 2005) and "Now" (first time since 2003). There was also a mini-acoustic set in the middle, consisting of four tracks.
DEF LEPPARD played its first Las Vegas residency six years ago at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, a pioneering effort for a rock band.
Zappos Theater has previously hosted residencies from Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera.
Tickets for "Def Leppard Hits Vegas: The Sin City Residency" went on sale in February.