Tour Buzz: Def Leppard, Sevendust and How to Destroy Angels

DEF TUNES: The year was 1987, and Def Leppard was washed up. We all thought so, anyway. The English pop-metal band had just come out with Hysteria, its first record of new material since 1984’s Pyromania, and we had all but forgotten them. (It didn’t help that the first released single, “Women,” was kind of boring, and that 1987 was a particularly good year for hard rock records: Motley Crue’s Girls, Girls, Girls, The Cult’s Electric and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction were all released shortly before Hysteria.) But the band persisted, marginalized and (partially) limbless, and now here we are, preparing to receive Def Leppard for an 11-show residency at The Joint on March 22 ($46-$121), whose central conceit is the playing, from start to finish, of the 1987 album we didn’t think we wanted—the album that many of us young headbangers, at the time, thought would be their last. Spoiler alert: Hysteria remains Def Leppard’s best-selling record, with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide. They’re finished after this residency, though. Definitely.

>WHY, THEY OUGHTA: Since I first heard it in the late 1990s, I thought that Atlanta-based hard rock band Sevendust was destined for greatness. “Sevendust was sandwiched between what appeared to be the two loudest bands in America and outplayed, outmaneuvered and overwhelmed both without turning up or pandering down,” I wrote in the Las Vegas Sun in March 1998, when the band shared a bill with Clutch and Limp Bizkit. And I made a bold prediction: “Next year, it’s Lollapaloozas, football stadiums and trashed hotel rooms all the way. Sevendust will be that big and that ubiquitous.” Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way: Sevendust is coming back to Vegas March 23, but they’re playing The Railhead at Boulder Station ($34) and not the stadium I promised them. That doesn’t mean, however, that Sevendust doesn’t still deserve to be massive. It may just take a little more time.

NOW ON SALE: Want to know How to Destroy Angels? Go to the Pearl on April 13 ($30), where a Trent Reznor-fronted band that answers to that name will perform songs from its full-length debut album Welcome Oblivion and, presumably, offer a few choice angel-

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Good start, right? But the more you like the performers featured in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, the harder it is to sit back, relax and enjoy. The comedy about Las Vegas illusionists on the rocks is thin, weak and sour. The typical gags involve burnt flesh and the sight of someone pretending to crush a puppy to death. It’s not a comedy; it’s a wince-edy. No magic here.

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