When I was 14 I saw Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story on VH1 and fell in love. Fell in love with Def Leppard, with the 80’s, with rock and roll. I grew up listening to AC/DC and Van Halen (a few of my dad’s favorites), so I can’t explain why it took a low budget rockumentary to solidify my obsession with big hair, spandex, and squealing guitars. Anyhow, I spent the next several months listening to and memorizing every Def Leppard album I could get my hands on (which was all of them coincidentally, it really pays off having cool dad). They came to town the following year and I spent every cent of my 15-year-old income on floor seats (ok, I had a little help. Once again, cool dad pays off). I’ve seen A LOT of concerts since that day (including Def Leppard 5 more times) but never have I been more awed by an entrance. The arena was pitch black and the crowd was going wild. One light lit up at the back of the stage and Joe Elliot’s silhouette was standing at the front. He growled “Do you wanna get rocked?” and the stage exploded. Lights, sounds, fireworks. I’ll never forget it.
It wasn’t the most expensive (or explosive) stage-work I’ve seen, (AC/DC opened their Black Ice Tour with a train crashing through the stage and fired off actual cannons during “Thunderstruck,” and Tommy Lee played upside-down on his roller-coaster drum set when I saw Motely Crue last year) but it was definitely impressionable.
Since that fateful day, years ago, I’ve made it my goal to see as many concerts as I possibly can – I might have been born in the wrong decade, (oh why wasn’t I alive during the 80’s?) but at least I am alive in a decade when I can still see some amazing bands before their time is up. You might say “But Myranda, those bands are all past their prime! Who wants to see a bunch of 60-year-olds prance around on stage in leather pants and sequin vests?” I DO! Because they are far from “past their prime.”
I just spent over 10 hours in a car to see the Scorpions in Salt Lake City and they were absolutely amazing. Sure, they’re old, but they sounded great, they looked great, and their stage presence was electrifying. They were running back and forth and jumping around like they weren’t a day over 1985. The lead singer (Klaus Meine) sounded just as great as he does on their studio albums from the 70’s and 80’s and their stage gimmicks were classic (no cannons or roller-coasters, just good old-fashioned rock and roll). During the mandatory rockstar drum solo (the Kottak Attack) they showed film snippets depicting their album covers throughout the years — a cool homage to decades past, Rudolf Schenker’s guitar literally smoked during his solos (not to mention he had a flying-v acoustic guitar), and, following his solo, Kottak ripped off his “Rock N Roll Forever” t-shirt to reveal a matching “Rock N Roll Forever” tattoo covering his back (although it may or may not be fake according to the ladies standing next to us). Overall one of the best shows I’ve been to. One for the books. Once again proving that rock and roll ain’t gonna die.
Check out this article about the show! – “The band seemingly made no concessions to age, energy or ability, blasting out 20 songs over an hour and 45 minutes. It was everything anyone could expect from a top-flight rock show…”