Def Leppard Singer Joe Elliot Thinks Slipknot, Foo Fighters Might Also Do Las Vegas Residencies in the Future
“You have to understand, I grew up in Sheffield, England, so I was completely removed from Las Vegas and that whole mystique. How we would hear about Vegas was through a singer named Tony Christie who was also from Sheffield. You would read in the papers about him performing there, Wayne Newton, people like that. Oh, and of course Elvis Presley – the fat one [laughs]. But yeah, Vegas was a mythical thing for me and the boys,” Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliot tells Noisecreep.
Elliot and the group are gearing up for VIVA Hysteria!, an exclusive nine show residency at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Def Leppard’s set will feature a greatest hits segment in addition to their ginormous Hysteria album played front to back. The VIVA Hysteria! residency will kick off on Friday, March 22 and run through Saturday, April 13.
“We first went to Vegas in the early ’80s, but it was a whirlwind of shows back then and it was our first time in America, so I don’t remember much about those early trips. We were out with people like the Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, Pat Travers, Ozzy Osbourne and Blackfoot. We were so young.
“But what I do remember was that in 1983, I bought a video camera, and back then they were massive! You’d have to carry the thing over your shoulder. I vividly remember driving up and down the Vegas strip and filming everything because I had never had a video camera before that. It was still the period when people like Dean Martin were still performing there. It was great.”
Watch VIVA Hysteria! Commercial
Yes, musically speaking, Las Vegas used to be exclusively known for middle-of-the-road crooners like Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé and the aforementioned Wayne Newton, but these days are much different. In the last couple of years, hard rock titans like Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue have also set up residencies at The Joint, proving that you don’t have to be collecting social security to check out great music on the strip anymore.
“When Elton John started doing his residency stuff in Vegas, all of us poked our heads out like meerkats, ‘Elton is doing a Vegas residency? Surely not!’ It got us thinking. Then I came out and sang some stuff when Cheap Trick did their Sgt. Pepper’s performances there in 2009. All of a sudden, we were in good company. The Blue Rich Brigade were over [laughs].
It was just a matter of time before the people who grew up listening to KISS became rich enough and wanted to go and see a rock concert. Not just some old guy with a big blue tie [laughs]. Sooner or later Vegas was going to catch up with itself and become cool, which it did. I think we’re just riding our first wave here with this Vegas stuff. Who knows, in 5-10 years we might see Slipknot and the Foo Fighters doing one of these residencies.”
The VIVA Hysteria! residency will kick off on Friday, March 22 and run through Saturday, April 13. Head here for tickets!
Watch ‘The History of Def Leppard’ Video