By Josh Bell
How can we say that the ’80s are back when they really never left? It’s not like the guys in hard rock bands Def Leppard (pictured) and Poison just sat out the ’90s and the early ’00s hanging out in their houses. They’ve been touring and recording pretty much nonstop for the last three decades, and the validation from younger musicians and pop culture-obsessed comedy performers and reality TV shows is hard-won. The ’80s never left, but there were certainly some lean years in there, and now both bands are back playing venues nearly as big as the ones they packed in their heydays.
Whether it was for stadium-size crowds at the height of their popularity or at smaller theaters following a downturn, both Def Leppard and Poison put everything they have into every show. Each band has plenty of huge hard-rock hits (Def Leppard charted six hit singles alone from the 1987 album Hysteria, including “Pour Some Sugar on Me”), and they deliver those songs with consummate showmanship and musical skill. That unflagging professionalism, along with impeccable songwriting, is what got Def Leppard and Poison through the lean times, and it’s what draws people to them today, now that the ’80s really are back.