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Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott Talks Massive Tour With Journey

Veteran bands plan 60-show tour starting in May

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Def Leppard have announced a massive tour starting in May with Journey.

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A few years ago, Def Leppard saw that Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson were embarking on a co-headlining tour, and it inspired them to find other artists to go on the road with who could make a tour an event. First, they paired with Bryan Adams and have since toured with Poison, Kiss and Cheap Trick, among others. This summer, they’ll be hitting the road with Journey – a band they toured with in 2006.

“The fact that we’re touring with Journey, and it’s putting us into huge arenas like Madison Square Garden and stadiums, that is very special for us,” Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott tells Rolling Stone. “It’s two iconic bands touring together. It makes it more of an event when the bill is all bands that people have heard of. We went out with a really good band called Tripping Daisy in 1996, but nobody cared. But when you have people like Cheap Trick, Poison, Heart or Journey, it makes for a better night for the people in the crowd. They come in and they know what they’re going to get.”

Def Leppard fans, he says, should know that they’re going to get the hits. “Why wouldn’t we?” he says matter-of-factly. “It’s not a curse, it’s a blessing. On the Internet, people say, ‘Oh, they never change their set.’ Hey, yes, we do, but not 360 degrees. We change it in bits and bobs. The people that come see us play are people who haven’t seen us in two years – or even a year – and they still want to hear that three or four minutes [of a hit] again 365 days later. It wouldn’t bother me one bit if I saw the Stones twice in two years and they played pretty much 90 percent of the same set. If it’s been years since I’ve seen them, I don’t care. … These are the songs we nurtured, we wrote, we’re proud of. They made us who we are? Why would we abandon them?”

That means that, as with past tours, the band will be dipping into a good chunk of their back catalogue – something they’re making a little easier for fans to revisit this year. As of today, the band has made their discography – from 1979’s The Def Leppard EP through 2015’s Def Leppard – available on streaming services for the first time.

Elliott says there’s a lot more in the catalogue that could soon see the light of day, too. In addition to Def Leppard’s leisurely-paced work on a new album (“We’re not contracted to record anything,” he says, “When we’ve got enough material to make a new record, we will”) and the band members’ various work on other projects, they uncovered a lot of back catalogue goodies they hope to release. “Once this deal was happening, we’d get questions like, ‘Have you got anything that never came out before?'” the singer says. “We started to discover a few things and were like, ‘I forgot about that.'” They have plans for vinyl box sets and the release of previously unreleased live material, though he doesn’t say what specifically is coming down the pike.

“There’s a lot of new, old material coming out,” he says with a laugh. “The new, new material will just have to take a backseat for a while.”

Def Leppard and Journey tour dates:

5/21 – Hartford, CT @ XL Center *
5/23 – Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
5/25 – Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium
5/26 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center *
5/28 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
5/30 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
6/01 – Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre
6/02 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
6/05 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
6/06 – Knoxville, TN @ Thompson-Boling Arena
6/08 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
6/09 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
6/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center *
6/13 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
6/15 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
6/16 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
7/01 – Atlanta, GA @ SunTrust Park
7/03 – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
7/04 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest
7/06 – Memphis, TN @ FedExForum
7/07 – North Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
7/09 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
7/11 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
7/13 – Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park
7/14 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field *
7/16 – Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena
7/18 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
7/19 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinnacle Bank Arena
7/21 – Denver, CO @ Coors Field
7/23 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena *
7/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center *
7/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Field
7/28 – Fargo, ND @ Fargodome *
8/11 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park *
8/13 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
8/15 – Columbia, SC @ Colonial Life Arena
8/17 – Ft Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
8/18 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
8/20 – Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena @ The BJCC
8/22 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
8/24 – St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium
8/25 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
8/27 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
8/29 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
8/31 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
9/01 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center *
9/05 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
9/07 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
9/08 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena *
9/21 – San Francisco, CA @ AT&T Park
9/23 – San Diego, CA @ Petco Park
9/25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
9/26 – Nampa, ID @ Ford Idaho Center Arena
9/28 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
9/29 – Seattle, WA @ Gorge Amphitheatre
10/01 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
10/04 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
10/06 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

Tickets go on sale February 3rd through Live Nation.

* Not ticketed by Ticketmaster

10 things you likely didn’t know about Def Leppard’s massive 1987 LP, ‘Hysteria.’ Watch below.

In This Article: Def Leppard, Joe Elliott

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