RICK ALLEN Says DEF LEPPARD's Las Vegas Residency Allows Group To Play 'Really Deep Tracks'
March 9, 2019
DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen recently spoke with "The Animal House Radio Show". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's decision to return to Las Vegas later this year for a second residency:
Rick: "The first time we did the residency, I wasn't sure what to expect, but then I actually really got into the idea. The fact that people were coming to us, and my bed didn't have wheels — it wasn't a tour bus — it was really cool. It was a different way to experience Vegas, and people loved it. We had a blast, and it was a great opportunity for us to dig in and play songs that we hadn't played in decades. It was really fun... There's a little less structure to it and a bit more time to kind of go, 'You know what? What would die-hards — people that have known this band since day one — want to hear?' It was a great opportunity. We'd come on — we'd formed this band called DEAD FLATBIRD would come along and basically play all these really deep tracks – songs that we hadn't played in years. It was funny at first. I don't think people realized it was us. They thought we were a cover band doing DEF LEPPARD songs, so there were a few boos here and there. Finally, people in the audience realized it was us. Then we'd play all these great songs and then go off, and then about 20 minutes later, come back on and do 'Hysteria' from start to finish. I think that's what Vegas does — it opens the band up to more possibilities, and [is] just another opportunity to connect with the audience in a different way, like, dig into the past a little bit. It's great."
On the audiences for their initial "Viva! Hysteria" residency:
Rick: "I love Vegas, because there's this transient sort of nature. The people that you meet today aren't the same people that you met yesterday or tomorrow. It's cool in that way. It's like a different audience, a different group of people coming through every day."
On the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
Rick: "It's nice getting appreciation from your peers, but the thing that blew us away was the amount of fan votes that we got. It was off the chart. Realizing that and then going, 'That's why we do it. They're the people that have always supported us.' We feel really honored... They're the people that allow us to realize that we're doing the right thing. We're making people happy. This music is the soundtrack of people's lives."
On whether it's difficult to continually improve on the production value of the group's live concerts:
Rick: "It is, but we have the most incredible crew — all the really creative people from video, light, sound, production, you name it. Working together as a team, especially with people that you work with for decades... In a place like Vegas, it's great, because we set it up once, and then we're going to be tweaking it the whole time. We're never happy. There's always room for improvement, so I'm sure this production will end up being something really, really special."
On the band's remaining goals:
Rick: "We just want to go out there and play, but there are always more things to do. This last tour that we did with JOURNEY in North America, that was the first time we played on a consistent basis stadiums. That was pretty intense, and we rose to the occasion. It was fantastic. To see that many people in front of you? That's kind of scary at first, but you warm to it."
On his involvement with the Wounded Warrior Project:
Rick: "They've helped me through [a lot]. I suffer from PTSD. From the first time I went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and I saw what they were going through, we built this camaraderie, and it's something that is close to my heart. I just want to thank those guys for helping me through a very difficult situation. I'm good now, but I'm still a work in progress. I understand what it means to go through trauma."
DEF LEPPARD will kick off an 11-date Canadian tour with TESLA on July 12 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Soon after, the group will travel to Las Vegas, where they will take over Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for 12 explosive nights between August 14 and September 7.
DEF LEPPARD played its first Las Vegas residency five years ago at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.