Tuesday, July 12, 2016

But What About Sister Christian?

A line up throwing back to the 70s: Tesla, REO Speedwagaon, and Def Leppard. It's gotta be a summer concert. It's gotta be at Jones Beach. It's gotta be awesome. And it was.

More than several years ago, I saw Cinderella opening for Poison, and poor Tom Keifer could barely hit the high notes. For those of you unfamiliar with the Cinderella catalog, it's almost all high notes. Last night, I saw three lead singers hit high note after high note, holding them out, raising the roof, and bringing the house down. Though we were outside and there was no roof and no house, but you get what I mean.

When my brother told me Tesla was one of the acts, I was like, Oh good! I like that one song! You know--Signs, signs, everywhere is signs....

Come to find out that they have other songs. AND I knew another one! It's a love song called Love Song. And it's good! That's what they closed with. Then my brother and I had a conversation about Tesla, meaning Nikola Tesla. The guy who invented things that other people like Marconi and Edison stole. Poor Tesla.

Fun Fact: He had an affinity for pigeons.

Yes, this is the conversation we were having when the roadies were breaking down the stage. Because we are educator nerds. But then we talked about REO Speedwagon.

Fun Fact: An REO Speedwagon is a fire truck.

Yes, this is the conversation we were having. But then I was trying to figure out what songs I'd know. My brother has their greatest hits album and listens to way more music than I do, so he'd know more. Then I asked, pretty sure the answer would be no, if they sang Sister Christian.

He laughed at me and was like, No, that's Night Ranger. Still, I didn't see why they couldn't sing Sister Christian. Maybe they would. I was pretty sure everyone playing would know it. And the crowd would love it.

Then REO came out and that lead singer can get a crowd going, even when the amphitheater is not yet filled. They sang some newer songs I'd never heard. They sang some older songs I'd never heard. These were songs my brother knew, so he sang along, and I took pictures of the sunset while pretending to sing along.

I did not have to pretend to sing along to Take It On The Run or Keep On Lovin You or Heard It From A Friend. I knew songs!

The sky grew really dark and finally finally finally Def Leppard came out.
The first thing I noticed was Phil Collen and how he doesn't wear a shirt and how he was already shiny as if he were sweating but he hadn't done anything yet so I had a sneaking suspicion that he had oiled up before the show but then thought how can you play a guitar with all that oil all over so maybe he was just warm. The reason all this was distracting is he's almost in his 60s and he looks like this:
He was shinier!
Other things I noticed:

Joe Elliott thinks he's a magician. He ends almost every song with his arms straight out to the sides and his head back, very Copperfield-like, and sometimes he wears a top hat.

Rick Allen is still the hardest working drummer in rock. Obvious reasons.

When you sing a Def Leppard song, you don't necessarily have to form full words to sing along. Some of the songs are so high or so low that you can screech or grumble, and you're singing right along. Take the lyrics to Love Bites: Love bites. Love bleeds. It's err eh eee oh ah eeeeee. See? Singing.

They have a new album out, and I've yet to hear it. My brother new some of the new stuff, but there was one song where we were like, Huh? as the video played behind them of a mannequin head--I don't know, maybe that's a throwback to Sugar? Aside from that one song (when everyone seemed to go get a snack or take a bathroom break so we were not alone in this), we knew everything else in some capacity. Speaking of everyone, there was quite a cross-section of humanity there. My brother said that a lot of the young people (omigod, I said young people--you know, because I'm old) were there because of the new album. I figured most of the older older people were there for REO. Who was there for Tesla? Well, there had been about twenty people standing right in front of the stage cheering and jumping when they were singing, so they had their fans, too. Also, we were in the upper upper seats. Like we were in the very last row, which had the best and prettiest views, so I figured that it was also a cheaper way to take the family out to something fun.

Actually, I'm not that old. He asked Who here was alive in 1977? And I wasn't. Which puts me in the category of Young People At The Concert, and he said he needs us young people, Def Leppard needs us young people, and all of rock needs us young people. 

Anyway, back to the leppards. JE had three wardrobe changes, including the aforementioned top hat. Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen and Rick Allen had solos.

Oh! BTW, if you search on Bing for def leppard band members (because you aren't being lazy for once and want to spell their names correctly), this guy's picture comes up as Rick Allen.

Heh heh. I love the interwebs.

When they got to Hysteria, my voice started to go and I fell back in time as photos of them popped up on the screen from when they first started (when I had yet to be born) and when the album Hysteria came out (when I was like 11). If you've never listened to the Hysteria album, stop what you're doing and go buy it on iTunes (if you can navigate that horrible site--if not, get it on Spotify or whatever else you tech-music people use) and listen to it straight through at least three times. It'll change your life. And if it doesn't, listen to it until it does. Even if you haven't heard the whole album, you've probably heard most of it since they had at least 7 singles from it that all played on the radio and were all popular, including Armageddon It and Pour Some Sugar On Me, and if you watched MTV when those songs came out, then you know that those two videos were almost exactly the same and no one cared because the songs were just that popular.

Singing along is such a treat because if you actually do know the words, you know that a lot of the time, they are a little bit silly. Like, well, Pour some sugar on me in the name of love. Which would be really sticky, but that comes up, too: I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet.

Or really simple like: What do you want? I want rock n roll. What do you want? Long live rock n roll. And back to silly: Still rollin, keep a rollin. Because a rock rolls, you know.

This? Is brilliance. And no, I'm not being sarcastic.  

They encored with Rock of Ages (of the aforementioned rolling rock lyrics) and then Photograph, which is my brother's favorite song, so I'd like to think they did that specifically for him. Because it was his birthday. Which is a great way to celebrate. If not for my brother, I probably would've never listened to Def Leppard or any of the hair metal bands of the 80s or the classic rock bands before them, so it's more than kinda great that I have an older brother who listened, and still listens, to damn good music. Even if I don't get all of it. Still great.

No one played Sister Christian, unless Tesla sang it before we got there. Probably not. But who needs Sister Christian when you've got an entire discography of Def Leppard at your fingertips? No one, that's who (in case you don't get rhetorical questions).

Ok, so he also likes the Stones, so I badly photoshopped this photo to add his name over that guy's.

And now for the encore:

[As usual, not proofread, but this time, any errors can be blamed on my feeling hung over because I was out late and woke up early.]

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