Gig preview: Def Leppard & Heart in Auckland

If you're worried that Def Leppard are going to be playing too many new songs at their Auckland show tonight, relax - the hits will come thick and fast.

The 80s rockers return to New Zealand tonight for their first show since 2007, and recent setlists show the band with a drummer that only has one arm always kick off with their new single Undefeated.

But that's one of only three new songs the band will be playing in a set of 18-odd tracks canvassing their career.

On Def Leppard's recent US tour, crowd favourites Let's Get Rocked, Animal, Rocket, Hysteria, Armageddon It and Pour Some Sugar on Me were played every single night.

Sets also included an acoustic version of Two Steps Behind, the instrumental track Switch 645 and a bass solo.

Every show ended with a one-song encore of Rock of Ages.

Guitarist Phil Collen has said they would be bringing an "amazing" light show with them, and talked up the gig by saying the five-piece was playing better than ever before.

"It's an event, we're running around like crazy, we're better than we've ever been," he said. "We think we're the best rock band out there."

Of their 2007 show, Herald reviewer Scott Kara said it was classic stadium rock, 80s-style.

"It was a draw between Love Bites and Pour Some Sugar On Me for the best sing-a-long. Even the most hardened ballad hater could not have resisted belting out 'you're bringing me to my knees'," he said.

But it's not just Def Leppard fans will be getting nostalgic for tonight - opening band Heart will be performing for the first time in New Zealand.

Led by the Wilson sisters Ann and Nancy, Heart are known for singalong hits like Magic Man, All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You, These Dreams and Barracuda.

"We are enormously excited to be bringing our show down under," said singer Ann Wilson in a statement.

"This is the fulfillment of a long-time dream."

Fans with fond memories of the 80s will no doubt be nodding their heads in agreement when Heart hit the stage tonight.

* Tonight's show will be reviewed in full on nzherald.co.nz.

What: Def Leppard & Heart
Where: Vector Arena, Auckland
When: Wednesday, October 12

- Herald online

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