Def Leppard and Dave complete F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concert line-up

The UK rock group and rapper round off a diverse bill of concerts

Classic rockers Def Leppard performing in concert in Rochester, New York in 1984.  Getty Images
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Def Leppard will perform the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race day concert.

The veteran UK rock band will play at Etihad Park on November 20.

They are joined by UK rapper Dave, who will perform at the same venue on November 17.

This rounds off the bill of this year’s after-race concert series, which includes previously announced shows by EDM group Swedish House Mafia on November 18 and hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar the following night.

The concerts are exclusively for the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders and can be purchased from the Yas Marina Circuit website. General admission tickets holders can now upgrade to the Golden Circle for all four concerts from the Yas Marina Circuit website.

Def Leppard’s inclusion continues F1's theme of ending the event with a greatest hits set performed by a legacy artist.

The group, known for hits such as Love Bites and Photograph, join other established rock bands who have performed race day concerts over the years, including Aerosmith (2009), Guns N' Roses (2018) and The Who in 2014.

John Lickrish, chief executive of Flash Entertainment, says a back-to-back hits show is guaranteed.

“We always try to have a diverse line-up each year and we always like to finish with an artist that appeals to a diverse audience,” he tells The National.

“Def Leppard have an amazing catalogue of hits and it will be a great feel-good show. I think people will be surprised by how many big songs they have, and I think we will be hearing the whole venue singing along throughout the show.”

Formed in Sheffield in 1977, Def Leppard built a profile as leaders of a movement dubbed the "new wave of British heavy metal" and found success through a series of well-received early albums, including 1981's High 'n' Dry, whose single Bringin' on the Heartbreak became one of the first rock videos played on the then-fledgling music channel, MTV.

It was with the release of their fourth album Hysteria that Def Leppard became global stars.

Their energetic blend of rock muscle and euphoric hooks resulted in half a dozen hits, including Pour Some Sugar on Me and Animal, in addition to the album selling more than 25 million copies worldwide.

While Def Leppard continue to release albums consistently, including this year's Diamond Star Halos, the group is also still a hit on the road.

The band is coming to Abu Dhabi after the completion of their most successful US tour to date.

According to Billboard, their stadium shows with fellow rockers Motley Crue earned $173.5 million and sold 1.3 million tickets.

British rapper, Dave, real name David Omoregie, is one of the evocative voices of the UK's grime scene with vibrant lyrics referencing social issues and mental health. His debut album Psychodrama, which was released in 2019, was critically lauded and went on to win the prestigious Mercury Prize and Album of the Year at the 2020 Brit Awards.

Last year's follow-up album We're All Alone in This Together topped the UK charts and his latest single Starlight was also a number one hit in the UK.

"He is an authentic artist whose songs resonate with his audience and has already made a huge impact in the business," Lickrish said.

Who else is performing this year?

Kendrick Lamar (November 19)

The multi-platinum-selling artist has achieved massive success since his 2012 debut album, good kid, mAAd city.

In the past decade, the rapper has won 14 Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album Damn.

His latest opus, the double album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, was released in May.

In 2017, he was supposed to perform as part of the Abu Dhabi after-race series, but had to pull out for personal reasons and was replaced by fellow rapper J Cole.

Swedish House Mafia (November 18)

Considered a super group, the trio comprises solo EDM stars DJs Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello.

Formed in 2008 before initially disbanding in 2013, the group made an impact on both the dance and pop music worlds.

Hits such as 2011's Save the World and 2012's Don't You Worry Child not only ushered in a new mainstream sound of progressive house music, but through massive festival appearances such as 2019’s Lollapalooza and sold-out arena performances, Swedish House Mafia highlighted how dance music appeal could extend beyond clubs and genre-specific festivals.

Access to after-race concerts is exclusive to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders. Tickets are available online at www.yasmarinacircuit.com and through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre on 800 927 or +971 (0) 2 659 9800.

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Updated: October 28, 2022, 6:28 AM
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