Musical trends come and go, but when you've sold as many albums as Def Leppard you are to a certain extent immune from the shifting sands of the taste makers.
Never a band beloved by the music press, the rock legends have always relied on their craft to find them the fans, rather than the hype machine.
Having last seen them as one of 40'000 at their homecoming gig in Sheffield on 6th June 1993, I was looking forward to seeing if they still had 'it'.
The answer is a resounding yes. From the minute Phil Collen emerged into a red spotlight to play the opening riff to "Women" it was clear that this was going to be good. The band sounded fantastic, the guitars squealing, Joe Elliot's voice still husky and the layered harmonies hitting the spot.
This tour was billed as "Hysteria 2018" and was the first time other than their 2013 Las Vegas residency that they'd played the 25 million selling album in full. This was not false advertising.
"Women" into "Rocket", "Animal", "Love Bites" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" before Joe addressed the crowd. Not many bands can open with five monster hits like that , and still have plenty more good stuff to come. There's a reason "Hysteria" sold so many copies, and this album, whilst front loaded with the first six tracks all being singles, is a melodic colossus.
"Armageddon It" was a surprise highlight, along with the title track and it's video montage going through the years. It is sobering to think that this album came out 31 years ago!
Hearing "Don't Shoot Shotgun" and "Run Riot" for the first time in a long time really showed them up to be the album tracks they are.
After finishing with "Love and Affection" they came out for an encore that was almost perfect. Kicking off with a deep cut, "Wasted", from their debut album "On Through The Night" was a real treat. The aggressive riffage reminding everyone that they were originally part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal back in the early 1980's, before they hit the big time with "Pyromania" in 1983.
I said the encore was almost perfect, and the next song, "When Love And Hate Collide" is the one I would have replaced. I'd much rather have had "Foolin" or "Bringin' On The Heartbreak". I know "Love and Hate" was (another) big hit for them but it is too much a typical power ballad, and whilst they played it to perfection it left me a little cold.
Much better was a personal favourite, "Let's Get Rocked" before they finished up with a double header of "Pyromania" smashes "Rock of Ages" and, of course, "Photograph".
Clearly nostalgia played a part in my enjoyment, but if music can't take you back to a time and place, then what can? For a while I was back as a 16 year old, gradually wearing out my cassette copy that made up one of those 25 million.
"Do you wanna get rocked?" Yes, indeed I do.
Photos: Martin Stanesby