Weezer – Coral Sky Amphitheater – 6/22/18

June 23, 2018

Living in South Florida has  it advantages/disadvantages.  I’m not about to go into all of that here, but I figured it was a nice place to start.  Kind of like how Weezer started their 2018 tour supported by The Wombats and The Pixies here in South Florida – see what I did there?  Many concerts do start or end here.  The advantage of them starting here is the empty canvas we are all presented with.  I am one of those people who apparently love spoilers (but only for concerts and maybe some TV, but no movies!), so I check concert set lists ahead of time.  With the blank slate approach, I along with everyone in the audience am surprised and sometimes amazed.  Oh, and as a warning ahead of time, if you’re like me and don’t mind concert spoilers, read on.  Otherwise, if you’re on the fence about buying tickets for this concert – BUY THE TICKETS!  Seriously, it was that good.

Last night’s concert was a true surprise for me, as I have been to at least 5 Weezer shows throughout the years.  Four songs in I found myself posting to my Facebook page how this was the best Weezer show ever.  Four songs – I mean, for starters, right off the bat was “Buddy Holly”.  Not only was that an amazing starter, but the set was designed just like Arnold’s.  About three songs later I noticed the set was getting changed into a garage as the diner bench turned into a washer/dryer and there was a Kiss poster on the wall! AC/DC, Motley Crue and Quiet Riot posters were there, too!  During this garage set, they performed a cover of the Turtle’s “Happy Together” and during it, they did a quick interlude of Green Day’s “Longview” – here’s my quick video.  Afterwards, I guess I wasn’t even paying attention, they set up a couple of large thatched patio umbrellas in the back of the first 3 sections. Rivers whisked off the stage with a captain hat and tropical shirt on a scooter over to the umbrella area and performed “Island in the Sun” and a cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”.  I couldn’t see him at  thanks to my height, but was grateful for the big screens that were focused on him. When he got back on stage, the set was changed for the 3rd and final time.  This set was more of a big rock background just full of lights and perfect for the ending of the show, as it even had the old school pyro rain at the end.

All in all, the set list was pretty sweet.  And yes, they did perform Toto’s “Africa”.  There were a few technical glitches at the beginning, but about 30 seconds in it sounded fantastic.  That was the cover I didn’t ever  know I needed until a 14 year old girl hounded them into covering it – who knew.  I was thinking about how funny it is for such a young girl to know that song, however, I do remember having a K-Tel tape back when I was 9, and I’m sure it was on there.  In any case, you kind of knew this cover would be in the set list, but not the others, and that was a pleasant surprise.

So, thank you, Weezer.  May the rest of your tour be as awesome if not better than last night’s show.

Here’s the pics:

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Here’s the setlist:

  1. Buddy Holly
  2. Beverly Hills
  3. Hash Pipe
  4. Undone – The Sweater Song
  5. Pork and Beans
  6. Perfect Situation
  7. My Name is Jonas
  8. El Scorcho
  9. The Good Life
  10. In the Garage
  11. Surf Wax America
  12. Happy Together – The Turtles cover
  13. Longview – Green Day interlude during Happy Together
  14. Island in the Sun
  15. Wonderwall – Oasis Cover
  16. Feels Like Summer
  17. Can’t Stop Partying
  18. Africa – Toto cover
  19. Say It Ain’t So
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Def Leppard in Denver – 9/17/16

May 28, 2018

Oh, Denver – where should I even start?!  First of all, what a beautiful city!  What amazing surroundings!  I got to town a bit after 11 PM on Friday night the 16th of September.  Due to some lightning in area surrounding the airport, we had to sit in the plane on the tarmac for about half an hour.  By the time I got to my hotel room, it was well past midnight.

My Saturday morning started at about 6, as I took advantage of my free breakfast at the hotel.  I had to get to the car rental location by 8, so that I could do as much as possible in my extremely short stay in Colorado.  I was given my black Chevy Sonic by 8:15, and I was off to see the sights.  The first place I decided to drive to was the Pepsi Center.  I could already feel the electricity surrounding the arena as soon as I pulled up.  I then got out of my car to take the following selfie:

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*SOON*

After getting the lay of the land – or the arena – I sped off to visit some wildlife at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  The first time I drove around the wildlife trail, I happened to catch a glimpse of a deer as it ran by my car.  Feeling a bit jipped, I drove around again and then spotted this bison.  He was too busy eating to raise his head, but at least I was able to see him!

After my bison encounter, I was ready for some more sightseeing.  I figured I’d take a trip to Boulder.  What a beautiful drive!  As expected, full of mountains and amazing scenery.

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I pulled over on my way to Boulder for this picture.  It almost looked like a postcard!

Upon driving in to Boulder, my first thought was – what an incredibly healthy city! Everyone was either hiking, biking, walking, or running everywhere in their active wear. I felt like a minority driving around in my car with jeans and a tshirt!  I did the next best thing I could do instead.  I made my way to Boulder’s first craft brewery, Boulder Beer Company.  Boulder Beer Company received their license in 1979, and a huge copy of it is hanging at the brewery.  I not only tried their beer, but I also had their appetizer special, Reuben Egg rolls!  O.M.G.  If I could get those anywhere in south Florida, I would be one hell of a happy camper.  As for the beer – I went with a Pulp Fusion first.  It’s a blood orange IPA and packed with a lot of flavor.  My second beer was the Dragonhosen  – on tap for Oktoberfest.  This one clearly packed a punch, and was pretty tasty as well.  After finishing up my beer and egg rolls, I mentioned to the bartender that I was only in town for the Def Leppard concert.  He was amazed and proceeded to hand me stickers and gave me a quick tour of the brewery.  As I headed out of the bathroom on my way out, the jukebox was playing Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages”.  I shouted, “you put this on on purpose!”, to which his response was , “no, it came on by itself!  It’s fate!”  That was hilarious.  I only wish had gotten his name.  He was pretty funny behind the bar, slinging drinks to all of the patrons.  He suggested that I travel to Golden, if I wanted to continue my sightseeing journey.  He also recommended a brewery, but I thought that if I were to keep drinking, I might not make it to the concert in time!  Here is the Dragonhosen and Reuben Egg Rolls.  Ahhh….

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Just as delicious as it looks.

My drive to Golden was just beautiful.  As expected, it included a ton of mountainous scenery.  Between the skies and the mountains, I couldn’t tell you what was better. As I pulled into Golden, the home of Coors, I couldn’t help but feel it’s gold rush past.  There were signs all over the place talking about how the gold prospectors were the original hipsters with their hipster beards.  I only drove around for a bit, as I really didn’t have time to take it all in.

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I made my way back to Denver with a little time to spare.  I had to make it to the Pepsi Center in time for the VIP check in.  I didn’t get meet and greet, but I did get awesome seats and cool gifts – blanket, duffel bag and candle.  The concert was as good as expected.  The crowd was incredibly into it, as I had hoped.  I don’t know how or why I didn’t fully charge my camera, because in a full rookie move, my camera died on me about halfway through Def Leppard’s set.  That’s not the worse thing that could happen, as we should all really try to live in the moment and not stare down at a tiny screen anyway.  The guys were in awesome form.  This was the 6th show I was able to catch in 2016, they were definitely in much better shape than at the beginning of the year – on the cruise that shall not be named followed by the show afterwards where Jeff Keith had to step in at the encore.  What a huge sigh of relief to have Joe’s voice back in fighting form!

Here are some of my concert pics:

And here is the setlist:

1. Let’s Go
2. Animal
3. Let it Go
4. Dangerous
5. Foolin’
6. Love Bites
7. Armageddon It
8. Rock On
9. Man Enough
10. Rocket
11. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
12. Switch 625
13. Hysteria
14. Let’s Get Rocked
15. Pour Some Sugar on Me
16. Rock of Ages
17. Photograph

So, uhm…hi again

May 28, 2018

Wow, I don’t even know where  to start.  The last time I posted almost 2 years ago, I was headed to Denver from Fort Lauderdale to see my favorite band Def Leppard.  So much was going on at that time.  That year, I had been laid off from my job of 10 years.  Plans we had to use our free tickets from the Def Leppard cruise and see them in Toronto were scrapped, as we decided it would be better to be a bit more frugal in our vacations.  I ended up using those tickets to see them in Raleigh, NC that year instead.  I ended up getting another job, and I bought tickets for the Denver show.  Well, before going on that trip, I got laid off again!!  Yeah, it wasn’t my best year for sure.  I eventually got the job that I’m in right now by the end of 2016.

Anyway, I’ve now decided to pick up where I left off.  Apparently I already had a draft of my Colorado trip, so that entry will come up next.  As for what show I have next – I am heading to Pittsburgh to see Def Leppard (of course)!!  I don’t have VIP seats, but I did get a seat in the 9th row right next to the thrust.

Def Leppard-flight to Denver 9/16/16

September 16, 2016

Tonight I am heading to Denver from Ft Lauderdale for the Def Leppard concert at the Pepsi Center that will take place tomorrow,  September 17th.  I’ve never been to Denver, and I’m trying to pack as many things that I can possibly do during this 36 hour trip.  Yes, I leave Denver first thing Sunday morning.  Ridiculous, I know.  I bought my ticket to this concert with my last severance check from my old job.  At the time, I was working a full time job for over a month, and I did not have time off available.  Def Leppard were playing in Tampa on a Monday, and for the first time in many years I was not going to be able to attend.  Okay, that’s not entirely true, as I was not able to attend last year’s Tampa show due to being in Alaska.  Anyway, as a treat and consolation prize, I opted to look for a Saturday night concert that I could make a quick trip to.  Well, I opted for Denver. Of course,  as luck would have it,  I lost that job as well about a week after I bought my VIP ticket, and I am now currently unemployed.  Don’t get me started on that one!

This is where I’m going to get seriously ridiculous, but stick with me.  In 1988, Def Leppard filmed their concert at Denver’s McNichols Arena. The footage was to be used in their “Live in the Round, in Your Face” VHS.  The footage that virtually everyone in the world has seen is used in the videos for “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Armageddon It”.  I remember watching these videos and falling in love with the band even more.  I was in awe at the crowd reaction to the band, too.  Living in Florida, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a concert crowd like this.  Sadly, the McNichols Arena is no more and has been replaced with the Pepsi Center.  This is also quite fitting, as I was practically raised on Pepsi thanks to my dad working at PepsiCo International for many years.

I’m currently at the airport waiting to board my flight. I’m looking forward to visiting a local brewery as well as the wildlife refuge, The Rocky Mountain Arsenal.  I’m also looking forward to the scenery.  Since my current surroundings are 100% flat, I can’t wait to see mountains!  Pictures and concert review to follow.  I know I’m all over the place with my reviews lately.  I still want to tell you how amazing the Struts were in concert, and also how weird it was to see Europe while surrounded by dudes who were really digging the band!

Until then, here’s a picture of Joe Elliott that I took outside of the Miami Arena 2/2/93. The moment he called me darling is probably the moment my fanaticism got kicked into high gear. 

Def Leppard Cruise -1/21-25/16

May 13, 2016

Day One – 1/21/16

The first night of the Def Leppard Cruise, Matt and I took it easy.  He stayed on the extremely windy pool deck and saw Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency.  I was taking too long figuring out ways to decorate our cabin door.  It turns out that the pictures I had brought stayed well magnetized to the walls bordering our door rather than on the door itself.  Who knew?  We had dinner that night in one of the ship’s restaurants, met a few new people who sat with us at our table, and then ended the night at the Black & White Lounge to see Kip Winger.  I stayed out with a couple of the new people we met during dinner hoping to sing karaoke later, but I was never called up.  I did get to see Eric Martin’s guitarist and Ritchie Kotzen go up and sing some karaoke.  

Day Two – 1/22/16

The second day of the cruise, we didn’t really have anything to do until 1:30 that afternoon for the Def Leppard Storytellers and Q&A.  We were docked in the Bahamas, but it was pretty rainy and nasty out. It was okay, as we had no plans of getting off the ship that day, and I woke up pretty late due to my karaoke watching until about 3 AM! That morning, the cruisers who purchased the VIP experience had a little get together with the band at the Black and White Lounge.  It was already sounding like the cruise wasn’t delivering on what was promised.  Meeting them in a group setting wasn’t part of the plan.  Well, I came to find out later that the VIP meet and greet turned out to be one huge fiasco, as the fans could not contain themselves and swarmed the band.  Not only that, but apparently Joe wasn’t even there!  Security had to step in to remove the band, leaving many of the VIP peeps high and dry.

During the Q&A, a young girl asked Joe Elliott if he still warms up his voice before a show and if so, what that entailed.  This is when Joe broke the news to us that he had been fighting a cold and that there was something wrong with his throat.  I didn’t really think too much of that at the time.  They went on to perform Ziggy Stardust, Hysteria, Armageddon It and Pour Some Sugar on Me acoustically.  Like Matt has pointed out, I don’t understand why they would pick the most overplayed songs to play for us at that moment.  I mean, the world is your oyster – you have a ship with Def Leppard fans – we don’t need to hear the songs you play most often.  After the Q&A Storytellers, we got to take our group picture with Def Leppard on the stage.  Think of it as your classic 80’s elementary school picture with your whole class – just with Def Leppard in the front/center.  I was slightly freaking out, as we were a couple of rows behind the band in our picture.  Vivian was in front of me, and I reached my hand out and placed it on his back throughout the time it took for them to take the picture.  It was over in a flash, and afterwards, we made our way to the pool deck to see Kix. It was extremely windy that day, and it was a wonder they were able to stay on stage.  Seriously, it looked like Steve Whiteman was singing in to a wind tunnel.  Kudos to Kix for pulling off a really great set under those conditions.  We ended the night at the Golden Jazz Lounge, and I finally got to catch Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency.  Well, actually, we were forced to listen from outside of the lounge because the place was packed!

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Vivian is probably nervously smiling because my hand is creepily touching his back! 

Day Three – 1/23/16

The third day of the cruise was to be the highlight of the whole cruise experience, as it was the night of the Def Leppard concert in the Pantheon Theater.  We were scheduled to be docked in MSC’s private island Half Moon Cay that morning, and there were going to be a couple of shows performed on a pirate ship on the island, as well as food and drinks.  Sadly, due to the weather, this didn’t happen.  We were told that the weather was bad and that the conditions were only going to get worse throughout the day.  So there we were, stuck on the ship.  They rescheduled the shows, and I finally got to see Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency – kind of.  Seriously – they placed the band back in the Golden Jazz Lounge, and the place was thoroughly packed once again.  At least this time we got there early enough to get seats inside, but the amount of people standing everywhere was just out of control.  Later that night we had dinner at Eataly.  It was alright, nothing to brag about.  I’m sure the version of Eataly on land is a much better experience than this version on the Divina.

Now, as I stated previously, the cruise was supposed to have 2 Def Leppard concerts on the same night to accommodate everyone on the ship.  However, since the cruise did not sell out, all of the people on the ship for Def Leppard were able to fit into the Pantheon Theater for one performance.  Matt and I got to the theater early for the 10:45 PM concert time.  I believe it was about half an hour later when Eddie Trunk came out to introduce Joe Elliott.  This is when Joe Elliott dropped a bomb on us.  It seems that the bug that he alluded to during the Q&A was still bothering him, and he would not be able to perform that night.   He said that under different circumstances, the show would have been cancelled, but as we were all on a cruise ship and out to sea, this was not an option.  The band was going to perform with the help of special guests.  He said that we would all be contacted by management and offered free concert tickets to any venue of our choice.  He then introduced the band and walked off stage.  Holy crap!  I seriously wasn’t even sure of what I just heard.  It wasn’t until I saw him physically get off the stage that it finally hit me.  A play by play of the concert will be written up under a different post.  Let’s just say that it was short and interesting.  We headed to a bar near the theater shortly after the show, and definitely heard some disgruntled people – some more than others.  There was one guy who looked like he was ready to go fight someone over this – it was a bit much.

Day Four – 1/24/16

Day four of the cruise started out with a meet and greet with Frank Hannon, Kip Winger, and Kix.  I got my pictures with all of them, and even mentioned to Kix that I was glad they didn’t fly off the ship! I made it back in time to the room to change and get ready for the Last in Line show at noon.  I hadn’t stayed to hear all of their set list at the pre-cruise party, so I was looking forward to this show.  Not only that, but after the previous night’s weirdness, I was ready to rock out to some music.  We got to the theater before noon, took our seats, and waited for the show to begin…except that there wasn’t going to be a show.  Eddie Trunk came out to tell us that the night before, just before Def Leppard was going to perform, they found Last in Line’s bass player Jimmy Bain dead in his cabin.  WTF!!  The weirdness was apparently going to be a theme of this cruise.  Jimmy’s band-mates, Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice, and Andrew Freeman came out on to the stage and just told stories of their time and their friendship with Jimmy as pictures of him playing at the pre-cruise party were shown on the screen behind them. We were shown the videos for “Starmaker” and “Devil in Me” which were pretty kick ass, btw.  We left the theater a little dumbfounded, as this was obviously not how any of this cruise was supposed to go.

After a much needed trip to another bar and lunch, we were back in the Pantheon Theater for Tom Keifer.  I must say, Tom tore the roof off of the ship’s theater, and we really needed that!  The setlist was pretty much the same as the pre-cruise party one, but that was fine.  Later on that night, Last in Line performed at the pool deck with Eric Brittingham playing bass – pulling double duty as he also played with Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency afterwards.  At the very end of the night, we got to see Delta Deep, or really just Phil Collen, Debbi Blackwell-Cook and Frank Hannon.  The cruise was now winding down and returning to Miami.

The following morning we finally got off the ship and on to dry land.  So what were our general thoughts regarding this cruise?  The Divina is a beautiful ship.  MSC is not a well known cruise line, and in order for them to stand out, they should definitely improve their services.  Instead, they pretty much fell flat.  For starters, the bartenders were horrible!!!  It always seemed like such a chore to get us drinks.  If they weren’t understaffed, they just weren’t interested in getting you anything.  As for the food, well, I can honestly say that I didn’t get on this cruise for the food.  More often than not, we ate at the buffet.  The one time we ate at Eataly was unimpressive.  And how about all of the weirdness on the cruise?  Seeing Def Leppard play without Joe Elliott was mind blowing to me.  Having a band member (or anyone, really) die while on board is crazy.  And although nothing could be done about Mother Nature, the weather while out to sea was bad enough to keep us aboard the ship the entire trip!

So in the end, I must say that we fell in love with Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency.  They consistently wowed us every time they played.  Their 70’s rock covers were not the usual fare you’d hear on a classic rock station, and that’s what made them even more appealing.  Seriously, we want to book a vacation to Nashville to see them play at the Harp & Fiddle!  Would I do this again?  Well, I’d say probably, but from the sounds of it, Def Leppard would need some heavy duty convincing to ever do this again.  I’m sure they didn’t like the fact that they were also trapped aboard the entire time.  Also, all of the bad luck didn’t help either.  I didn’t really interact with many other fans on this trip.  It still felt like a Monsters of Rock Cruise and not a Def Leppard Cruise.  I’d say if you wanted to meet like minded Def Leppard fans, the better place to do that would be another Las Vegas residency.  Here’s to hoping that will happen again someday!!

Def Leppard Cruise – pre-cruise 2015-16

April 29, 2016

Ah, the Def Leppard Cruise.  It honestly had a nice ring to it.  I can’t say that even in my wildest dreams did I ever think that Def Leppard would even consider embarking on a cruise ship with some of their biggest fans and sail away with them.  Hell, I never thought that if such a thing even existed that I would be one of those people on said cruise.  Well, the cruise happened, and I was on it thanks to my wonderfully amazing (and extremely patient with his concert-loving wife!) husband Matt.

The cruise didn’t sound like the Monsters of Rock Cruise (MORC), nor did they ever say that it was going to be like that.  It also wasn’t going to be like the Kiss Kruise.  So what were we getting on this ship then?  First off, we were getting 4 days and nights sailing the Caribbean out of Miami on the MSC Divina January 21st through the 25th.  The ports of call were the Bahamas and Half Moon Cay.  We were being treated to other bands as well as Def Leppard.  As for the boys, they were only going to perform twice on the ship – we were going to be split into 2 groups, and technically we’d only see them once.  I was seriously wondering how I was going to handle that, by the way.  Knowing that they were playing on the ship and that I wouldn’t be there to witness it was probably going to make me mental.  Also, we were going to see them in a Q&A that would include some acoustic songs.  As for the other bands on the ship, we were going to see Kix, the Tom Keifer band, Last in Line, Kip Winger, Richie Kotzen, Eric Martin, and Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency.  I must admit, when they announced the other bands, it started to sound like the MORC.  There were a lot of the same players, although to be honest, I was really looking forward to seeing Kix, Kip Winger and the Tom Keifer band.

We bought our tickets extremely early – like fan club pre-sale early.  I wasn’t sure how many people were going to go, but I didn’t want to miss out our chance to get a good balcony room for this cruise.  We opted to not do the VIP experience, because I felt like it wasn’t worth the price.  Having already done a VIP experience for Viva Hysteria, I didn’t feel that what they were offering for the cruise was all that worth it.  As the months before the cruise rolled by, there was talk that the cruise didn’t sell enough tickets as anticipated.  They started slashing prices, offering 2 for 1 room rates – MSC was even selling rooms on their website at very low prices with no mention of it being a concert cruise.  

January rolled around before we knew it, and it was time for the cruise.  Rick Allen had an art show at the Wentworth Gallery in Fort Lauderdale just a few days before the cruise, and Jessica and I went to get a glimpse.  We got a chance to view all of Rick’s art and then took a few selfies with him – which have still not shown up anywhere (4 months later, by the way). I managed to catch Rick’s attention during one of the selfies he took with the whole crowd.  He overheard me tell Jessica that my head was pretty much next to her boobs, and he turned to look at us to say, “that’s not something you hear everyday!”  We then grabbed a picture with him, and thanked him.  As we were leaving, I mentioned that I was going to see him on the cruise.  His face wasn’t exactly one that was thrilled, so Jessica asked him if he was looking forward to the cruise.  He actually told us that he wasn’t!!  I get it – these guys have always been pretty private and the premise of being out to sea with crazy people such as myself did not sound like fun at all!

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Rick Allen at the Wentworth Gallery

The cruise offered a pre-cruise party the night before the cruise just like the MORC at the Magic City Casino. Performing that night was Eric Martin, the Tom Keifer band and Last in Line.  I was front and center thanks to my friends Jake and Leo who had been there since the doors had opened. I stayed through Eric Martin and Tom Keifer and left a few songs in from Last in Line.  As I had come straight after work, I make a poor shoe choice and standing for hours on end was killing my back.  I figured I’d see them again on the ship anyway, so I headed home.  

Cruise morning, Matt went to work, and I just started packing. We got to the port of Miami late in the afternoon, and got on the ship just in time for the muster drill.  We were ready to sail with Def Leppard – the magnitude of which finally hit me once we were out to sea and the boys were on the pool deck before the sailaway concert.  It seriously wasn’t until then that I actually shed tears of joy.  Thinking about it now 3 months later kind of still makes me weepy! Boy, we didn’t know what was to come…..

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Def Leppard at the Pool Stage – this cruise was really happening!!

Def Leppard – Jacksonville Veteran’s Memorial Arena 10/17/15

October 26, 2015

Def Leppard’s 2015 US Tour came to an end Saturday night, October 17th in Jacksonville, Florida.  I had been on the fence about going to this show, but then realized that this would be my 29th time seeing the boys, making the Def Leppard Cruise the 30th.  I found that to be pretty cool, so I decided at the last minute to buy my tickets.  Way to go Jacksonville, because this show sold pretty well.  I ended up having to get re-sell tickets from Ticketmaster.  The same cannot be said about South Florida, unfortunately.  Let’s hope that changes – more on that later.

My wonderfully loving and incredibly patient husband joined me on this 4 hour trek up the state.  Kudos to Matt, as he has joined me countless times now.  This is now the band he’s seen the most in concert – above all of his favorites.  Unlike me, he’s not too thrilled with this fact, but at least he still joins me now and then 😉  Having Night Ranger on the bill at least piqued his interest, as he has been a fan of theirs for 32 years now.  Foreigner was also on the bill.  I have been wanting to see this version of Foreigner for quite some time now, as I was a fan of Kelly Hansen’s back in the day when he was in Hurricane.  In case you don’t remember him from then, search “I’m on to You” on YouTube by them.  My 15 year old self had a big crush on that guy!

Anyway, back to my main reason for seeing this concert: Def Leppard!  Okay, I may have a slight addiction, but I’m sure it could be worse.  I love the fact that I saw the 2nd night of the tour in West Palm Beach and the last night of the tour in Jacksonville.  What a difference from that second show to the last show.  For starters, without Vivian, the band was definitely not complete.  Having the thrust barely even used by Phil felt completely off as well.  The usual chemistry on stage was lagging.  Fast forward to the last night of the show, and everyone seemed in great spirits, even laughing at times.  I had seen them play Nashville in August, and the vibe was awesome there as well.  I even got a comment back from Vivian after I posted a playful picture of him with Phil where he said something along the lines of how much he loves his job.  Speaking of Vivian – what a freaking trooper.  He found a way with his doctors to continue the tour and still head home every few days for Pembrolizumab.  That’s nothing short of amazing.

I got to hear the boys perform their new single from their soon to be released self-titled album “Let’s Go”.  It still hasn’t grown on me, unfortunately, but I’m sure once the album is released next week, I’ll be singing along to the entire album.  I did see some blank stares from some people with that song as their concert intro, but once they went into “Rock Rock”, the crowd were were more in their element.  So with this new album, they’ve decided to extend their tour in the states in early 2016.  Luckily for me, they announced this the morning after I bought tickets for the Jacksonville show.  They will be in town – literally 5 minutes away from my home just 4 days after we get back from the cruise.  They will be in Orlando the following day.  So I did the most logical thing, of course: bought tickets for both shows.  So as bummed as I was at the end of the Jax show, I couldn’t help but think how amazingly lucky I am as a Def Leppard fan.  It’s like Christmas has come early for most of us.  The new album will be released next week on the 30th, the cruise is less than 90 days away, and 4&5 days later, I’m off to see the boys yet again.  

Now for some of the pictures:

Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)

Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)

Animal

Animal

Viv smells something fishy

Viv smells something fishy

Sav

Sav

Joe and his acoustic guitar

Joe and his acoustic guitar

That captivating guitar solo moment

That captivating guitar solo moment

Rick and Sav - Switch 625

Rick and Sav – Switch 625

All 5 in a shot full of swoon

All 5 in a shot full of swoon

<3

Goodbye smiles until we meet again on the cruise!

Goodbye smiles until we meet again on the cruise!

Here is the setlist:

1. Let’s Go
2. Rock Rock
3. Animal
4. Let it Go
5. Foolin’
6. Love Bites
7. Armageddon It
8. Rock On
9. Two Steps Behind
10. Rocket
11. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
12. Switch 625
13. Hysteria
14. Let’s Get Rocked
15. Pour Some Sugar on Me
16. Rock of Ages
17. Photograph

Until the next time…and there will be a next time!!

Def Leppard – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – 6/25/15

July 5, 2015

Oh, Def Leppard – the only band that could make me snap out of my end-of-an-awesome-vacation funk.  I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to go to this concert, as I knew that I would be in Alaska on vacation around the same time.  I had an awesome time in Anchorage and absolutely did not want to come home.  The only thing that made it better was the fact that I would see my favorite band the day after getting back to extremely humid South Florida.

By the way, I scored an awesome Def Leppard interview picture disc at a sweet little record store in Anchorage.  If you ever find yourself in Anchorage, make sure to make a stop at Obsession Records.

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Anyway, back to sweaty South Florida.  Def Leppard, Styx, and Tesla rolled into West Palm Beach Thursday, June 25th.  I made my way up to the Coral Sky Amphitheatre (f/k/a Cruzan Amphithetre) early that afternoon.  I got there early enough in fact, that I got to hear Def Leppard at sound check!  I actually wasn’t sure it was actually them, though, since there were so many tailgaters blasting music near where I parked.  I quickly made my way out of my car and got closer to hear “Hysteria”, “Promises” and the bass intro to “Rock On”.  I get so freaking stoked by hearing Joe Elliott, swooning just at the thought of him singing.  Again, my vacation blues melted instantly. After hanging out with my friends from middle school (we’ve known each other almost 30 years now!!) and concert buddy Jake, we made our way in to the amphiteatre.  I made a bee line straight to the merch area where I bought one of the many tour shirts offered and one of the limited edition posters – which by the way, says Cruzan Amphitheatre on it.  The amphitheatre just went to a name change back to one of their original names – that’s okay, because I couldn’t even keep it straight as I tagged pictures on my Instagram account with both names!  We then made it to our upgraded seats – off the lawn and under the covered area….I love that we were able to do this, by the way.

Tesla came on promptly at 7:00.  I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed by a Tesla concert.  Although a lot of people remember Tesla opening up for Def Leppard for the Hysteria Tour in ’87, I also saw them open for Def Leppard in 2005 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.  Now, almost 10 years later to the day, here was Tesla opening for Def Leppard, and in typical South Florida fashion, most people were sitting in our section.  Seriously – WTF?!  Tesla was so freaking good from start to finish thatI do not understand how or why people were just sitting there. Talk about a pet peeve.

Styx was up next, although I admit, I too decided to sit during Styx because I wanted to conserve my energy for Def Leppard, and I was still a tad jet-lagged! Honestly, another reason for my sitting during Styx is that I have already seen them quite a few times during the Songs from the Sparkle Lounge tour.  Their set was well received and people were STILL SITTING behind us.  The woman behind Jake told him something along the lines of it was her husband’s birthday, and they wanted to see the show.  Yes, that’s when you stand up at a concert, lady.  Geez.  This is why I like seeing concerts in other parts of the country.

Soon afterwards, it was time for Def Leppard to hit the stage.  I didn’t know how I would feel seeing them without Vivian Campbell.  Steve Brown, best known for being from Trixter, was filling in for Vivian who was out due to his cancer coming back.  Thankfully, Vivian has found a way to come back to the tour and still do treatments, but this would happen a couple of shows after this one.  I have to admit, I was a bit weary at first, but after the first song, I was totally embracing Steve.  I’m glad that they can count on him in a pinch.  I was almost kind of kicking myself for not seeing Trixter when they came to town last year but, oh well.  So, I get that Steve’s not in the band, and it made it a little awkward that he didn’t use the thrust portion of the stage.  It made it even more awkward during “Switch 625” when no one used the thrust!  Still, the picture I captured with Phil on the thrust and Steve looking on is equal parts sad and funny.

The setlist was – well, pretty generic in terms of Def Leppard shows.  One thing I have to point out is that one of my jr. high friends who is a regular fan and not a crazy uber one like me said, “I wish they would do more from ‘Eurphoria'”.  I didn’t even know that she knew that album!  Thankfully during this show they did play “Promises” and “Paper Sun”, so that was a plus.

This was show #27 for me.  With Nashville and Jacksonville coming up, that means that the 30th time seeing Def Leppard will be on the Def Leppard Cruise!!  What, what?!?  Yeah, I am one happy fan, and it is a great time to be a Def Leppard fan, too.  Here are some pictures and the setlist.

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Steve and Phil

Steve and Phil

Def Lep2

What an awesome combo

What an awesome combo

Awkward funny/sad picture of Steve and Phil

Awkward funny/sad picture of Steve and Phil

Phil's coconut oil is glistening

Phil’s coconut oil is glistening

1. Rock Rock
2. Animal
3. Foolin’
4. Promises
5. Paper Sun
6. Love Bites
7. Armageddon It
8. Rock On
9. Two Steps Behind
10. Rocket
11. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
12. Switch 625
13. Hysteria
14. Let’s Get Rocked
15. Pour Some Sugar on Me
16. Rock of Ages
17. Photograph

Rush – Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL 5/24/15

June 2, 2015

Hi – here’s a little disclaimer for you right off the bat.  I am not a Rush fan.  I am probably only familiar with their radio hits and whatever my husband plays at home.  This review is more of my experience at the show, the sights and the sounds – and of course the pictures!  If you want a full review of the show, please visit my husband’s blog.  He has meticulously reviewed each song, and has given an amazing review.

Rush is touring for their 40th anniversary, hence the aptly named tour: Rush R40 Live.  With this being Rush’s only Florida tour stop, the outdoor merchandise vendor tables were packed full of people. It was crazy to see all this commotion before even setting foot into the arena.  Once inside, I settled into our seats in section 103 as Matt went to the indoor merch tables – a little less crowded than the one outside, but still pretty busy.

Now for some observations.  Wow, there are a ton of people who wear their Rush shirts to the Rush concert.  That’s not to say that wearing the shirts is a bad thing, but it’s something my friends and I try not to do at the concerts we go to.  We try to not wear the band’s shirt that we’re seeing to their own show – it’s ridiculous, I know.  (I believe I may have broken our unspoken rule at a Def Lep show or two).  Not only did I see Rush shirts, by the way, but I also got a glimpse of some people in kufi caps – much like Neil Peart’s.  The ratio of men to women was about 10:1 – at least.  This made the line at the bathroom much better than say, a Poison concert 😉  My row was empty until about 10 minutes in – when a man resembling Mr. Pringles and his wife sat next to Matt’s seat.  Matt came in soon afterwards with 2 shirts in hand.

Selfie Time!

After posing for our most awesome selfie, the show began.  They started their set with their most recent material, working their way backwards through their catalog.  After a few songs and lots of pictures taken, I got up and made my way to the restroom.  I’ll admit this now – surprisingly, there was a line at the women’s bathroom.  Seriously?!  Not believing what I was seeing, I went out in search of the next restroom.  The second restroom was pretty much empty.  I’m not sure what the deal was with that first one, so I’ll consider it a fluke 😉  I strolled through the arena a bit and noticed a bunch of people staring intently at the tvs.  I then remembered that the Tampa Bay Lightning were in the playoffs.  Sunday night was game 5 of 7 against the New York Rangers.  At least these people could hear the concert and watch the game at the same time.  At this point, I heard the opening for “Roll the Bones”.  I ran back to our seats, as I actually knew this song.  Good thing I did, because I really enjoyed the “rap” portion on the video screens.  A couple of songs afterwards, the show paused for an intermission.

The second set was filled with more of the music I’m familiar with.  It apparently also had some deep cuts, making both my husband and Mr. Pringles quite happy.  Every now and then I would witness them high-fiving and chatting excitedly.

Anyway, I’d like to say that this is the second Rush show I’ve been to, and I had a good time.  I may not be too familiar with all of the material, but I do respect the fact their music is created by just the 3 musicians: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.

Guitar, Bass and Keyboards - all in one shot

Guitar, Bass and Keyboards – all in one shot

Geddy Lee

Neil Peart

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee

Neil Peart and Geddy Lee

Here’s the setlist – thanks to my awesome hubby 😉

Set 1:

The Anarchist
Clockwork Angels
Headlong Flight
Far Cry
The Main Monkey Business
One Little Victory
Animate
Roll the Bones
Distant Early Warning
Subdivisions
 
Set 2:
Tom Sawyer
YYZ
The Spirit of Radio
Natural Science
Jacob’s Ladder
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
Cygnus X-1 (The Voyage Part 1 & 3 with drum solo)
Closer to the Heart
Xanadu
2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
2112 Part IV: Presentation
2112 Part VII: Grand Finale
 
Encore:
Lakeside Park
Anthem
What You’re Doing
Working Man

Kings of Chaos – Hard Rock Live – May 15, 2015

May 20, 2015

First of all, the one word that comes to mind after this show is: AMAZING.  Here’s a little background: the Kings of Chaos are a supergroup with some very well known revolving members.  Friday night’s show at the Seminole Hard Rock Live included Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Robin Zander from Cheap Trick, Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple, Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Duff McKagan from Guns n’ Roses, and Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band.  This collection of musicians made for an extremely entertaining concert.  To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the audience on their feet for the duration of a show at this venue.

From start to finish, we knew we were in for a good time.  Robin Zander started things off with Cheap Trick’s “Hello There”.  Sidenote: I change around the lyrics for this song time and time again, and Friday night was no exception.  I giggled to myself, because the only other person who knows my changed up lyrics is my husband, who unfortunately missed out on this show.  The next couple of songs were also Cheap Trick songs “Surrender” and my favorite karaoke tune to sing “I Want You to Want Me”.  I haven’t seen Robin Zander perform since the time Cheap Trick opened for Def Leppard in 2009, and he was in great form.

Next up on deck was Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple.  The band then performed “Highway Star” and “Smoke on the Water”.  I seriously can’t begin to describe how incredible Glenn’s voice still is.  He has an amazing range and can definitely still hit some pretty high notes.  I walked away from this concert most impressed with his performance.

Then on cue, as if the first 2 singers were not enough, Billy Gibbons came out to perform “Waitin’ for the Bus”, “Jesus Just Left Chicago”, “Foxy Lady” and “La Grange”.  I’ve never seen ZZ Top in concert, so this was definitely a treat.  The crowd was eating all of this up, and I was so surprised that they were still into the show.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that

Next up was a tribute to the late B.B. King. The band played a cover of “The Thrill is Gone” with Glenn Hughes on vocals followed by “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” with Gilby Clarke on lead vocals.  This is when I lost my friend Jessica, who is in love with Gilby.  One second she was next to me, the next she was making her way to the front of the stage.  She got up close, cried a for a bit, and was told to get back to her seat…all in the matter of a minute.  Oh well, it was worth a shot at least!

After these two songs, Robin Zander came out to sing Gun N’ Roses’ “Mr. Brownstone”.  I have to admit, it was pretty odd hearing him perform it.  I’m not complaining, I was just a little taken aback.  I guess it’s because of the “that old man” line in the song.  Hilarious.  It was so freaking awesome to hear the GNR guys performing a classic song from their catalog.  Robin stayed on lead for the next songs, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police”.  This was a serious non-stop musical journey we were being taken on now.

Glenn Hughes then came out to sing one of his era of Deep Purple’s songs, the title track to his first album with the band, “Burn”.  Billy GIbbons then came out for ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Tush”  By now, the crowd was still hungry for more.  The band then thanked everyone and got off the stage.  Everyone was looking at each other in pure bliss, amazed at we all had just witnessed.

After a few minutes’ rest, the entire band came came back for an encore.  We were then treated to an incredible cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”.  Each guitarist showcased their talents.  To close out the concert, Robin Zander fronted the band and sang Guns N’ Rose’s “Paradise City”.  By the time the show was done, we were wiped out.

I really did not think the concert was going to be this incredible,  I knew it was going to be good with the eclectic set of artists they had collected for this show, but I still did not foresee this amazing concert.  I really think more people would have shown up had this concert been promoted properly.  I know that some of the guys had done some radio promotion that morning on the one and only rock station in town, but that was definitely not enough.  Oh well, if you were not able to attend this concert or had no idea about it, all I can say is that you missed one hell of a show!

Duff McKagan and Robin Zander - "Hello There"

Duff McKagan and Robin Zander – “Hello There”

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes

Billy Gibbons

Billy Gibbons

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens

Gilby Clarke, Billy Gibbons and Duff McKagan

Gilby Clarke, Billy Gibbons and Duff McKagan

Gilby Clarke

Gilby Clarke