If you've visited the Hamilton FirstOntario Centre recently, you might have noticed that it's not necessarily the freshest gig venue around. And it appears at least one performer was far from happy with the conditions during a concert last year. The frontman of British old-timey rock band Def Leppard launched into an expletive-laden assessment of the location in pre-gig footage from July 2019.


This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers. This article includes strong language.


The video clip resurfaced this week after being shared on r/Hamilton on Reddit.

In the film, dated July 20, 2019, it's fair to say Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott did not pull any punches when describing his feelings after arriving at the venue.

"This building is old, the underneath of this building fucking stinks, like a 10,000-asses stink," he says. "It's awful. It's fucking minging. However, it's going to be a sold-out gig, so who cares?"

"Brutally honest" has possibly never been quite so brutal.

And Elliott's comments come at a time when the FirstOntario Centre's future is the topic of great debate in the Hammer.

A report from CBC back in September suggested the city's councillors are looking to replace the venue, which opened in 1985, with a smaller and more modern arena.

Def Leppard's public opinion of the Centre has not gone down too well with Hamilton councillors.

Ward 2 Cllr. Jason Farr joked to CBC "that's a lot of asses," before suggesting that Elliott's opinion was pretty rich considering his band is "also old and stinks."

Farr is also the downtown representative and announcer for the CEBL basketball team the Hamilton Honey Badgers, who play their home games at FirstOntario.

Noting that the video was filmed in a dressing room in the venue, he added that he isn't too surprised they were hit by an "old hockey bag smell." However, he insisted this is the first time that smell has been specifically raised as a complaint.

Meanwhile, Ward 4 Cllr. Sam Merulla joked: "I guess they're getting old. I'm surprised they even notice the smells and stuff like that."

"We're just trying to make [the band] feel at home," he added. "I'm glad they acknowledged it's old. That's why I brought forward my motion to get out of the entertainment business."

Given the responses, maybe Elliott should have poured some sugar on his words instead of being so salty.

It remains to be seen whether the 1980s rockers will return to Hamilton. If they do, maybe they'll bring some Glade.

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