Def Leppard have a big summer in store, with a prominent role in the Rock of Ages movie (premiering on June 15th) and an arena tour with Poison and Lita Ford set to launch on June 20th in Salt Lake City. On Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, though, the hard-rock hitmakers went small at the House of Blues, where they taped a performance for YouTube that will premiere online today at 3 p.m. ET. It was Def Leppard's first gig of 2012, according to frontman Joe Elliott. "Be gentle with us," he said.
The seven-song set included "Rock of Ages" and"Pour Some Sugar on Me" – both of which Def Leppard recently re-recorded for digital-music retailers – as well as"Foolin'" and the title track from their massive 1987 LP Hysteria. Though Elliott laughingly dismissed one fan's request for the band to play its debut single, "Wasted," Def Leppard did reach back to 1981's High 'n' Dry for "Let It Go" and "Bringin' on the Heartbreak." Throughout the show, guitarist Phil Collen – shirtless as always, with a glittering diamond necklace draped over his chiseled torso – ripped the kind of fuzz-bomb solos that have made him an unlikely hero to noisy young comers like Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells.
Def Leppard also took questions from fans and revealed that they've rehearsed approximately 30 tunes for the upcoming tour. They also said they agreed to license songs to Rock of Ages after declining requests for their music "seven or eight times before that." Explained Elliott, "We always said no because we were looking for the right [project]." And the singer responded to a question about Def Leppard's eligibility for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by vowing not to wear a tuxedo if the band ever makes the cut.
His preferred outfit? "A denim jacket with an Iron Maiden patch."