I'd always meant to get to one of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts (the first one being way back in 2000) but for some reason never did. That is not to say I have never been at the Albert Hall. Back during the 6 months or so when I was reasonably cool, (sometime in the mid 90's) I saw the Little Angels and Eric Clapton at this very venue (although in truth it is pretty hard not to see Mr Clapton here). Those two shows seem like a lifetime ago now, I really should have got to this magnificent place more often, however I did have afternoon tea here with my lovely wife a few years back...not very Rock n Roll admittedly (the tea I mean, not my wife, she's the very definition of Rock n Roll).
It really is a glorious setting for any kind of music but it is best known for the more classical end of things. Tonight's show though wrapped up a week of music and comedy and this was 'Metal' night (and yes you can argue all you want about what is 'Metal'...last time I did that I was blocked on a well known social media platform).
As always, this years events have been organised by the legendary Roger Daltrey and it is he who introduced the band here. As he walks on stage he brings with him a number of teenagers who have bravely battled cancer. It does bring a tear to the eye to hear what they have been through. It does though also bring joy to see the work that the Teenage Cancer Trust do. Inspiring stuff.
As Roger and the kids exit, Won' Get Fooled Again plays out over the Hall's speakers. The band enter right on time for Rick Allen to bang out THAT drum solo. Marvellous stuff indeed.
The set list is, as always, a crowd pleasing one. This is after all a group that know a thing or two about giving a good show. Yes some people may just be here for tracks from a certain album and it is no surprise that the set list leans heavily on Hysteria, but then why not? It is after all a rock classic that sold 20 odd million copies (not bad for a few lads from Sheffield). That isn't to say it is all golden oldies though, indeed the three played from the last self titled studio album sit well along side the older classics.
On stage the band look like they are having fun and loving the intimacy of the setting. It seems weird to say that the Albert Hall is an intimate venue but the standing area is small and it is pretty hard not to get a great view. Love this place. The bar is posh (then again every bar is posh to me) and the access to and from the arena is so easy. And also it's the bloody Royal Albert Hall! It really is hard to beat.
The set flies by and when the Hysteria title track kicks in you know the run to the end of the show has started. Lets Get Rocked, Pour Some Sugar On Me follow before encoring with Rock of Ages and Photograph. Yes Def Leppard are a band that are unlikely to play anything surprising (they won't throw in a Japanese B Side half way through)...but after 40 years they still never, ever let the audience down. They really have been there, done that and bought the (Union Jack) T-Shirt.
I've seen the band in a theatre, an arena and a stadium, each on more than one occasion. None of those previous shows though was in a venue like this one. Spectacular both in aesthetics and sound and steeped in so much history. A legendary rock band playing in a legendary venue for an amazing cause...I have definitely had worse Sunday evenings.
Ticket Price: £65.00