I finally got out to see a summer concert in 2015 Tuesday night. I made the trek 70 miles north to Soaring Eagle Casino to see a couple of my favorites from the 80's rock it out. Tesla and Def Leppard left their fans seething for more last night after a couple of great sets.

 

 

 

Tesla hit the stage at 8:00PM and served up some album favorites right off the bat, pleasing the die-hard Tesla fans in attendance. Beginning the night was fan favorite "Edison's Medicine (Man Out of Time)". From the sound of the first chord, it was evident that concertgoers were in for a special night. After "Gettin' Better", "Hang Tough", and "Heaven's Trail" set the first half of the set list, it was an awesome rendition of "Mama's Fool" that hooked me into the scene. Lead singer Jeff Keith sounded a bit rougher than in years past. But, make no mistake, the sounds of his voice, as scratchy as it may have been, blending with the guitars and backup vocals of Frank Hannon had the crowd electrified from note one. The full round of crowd-pleasers ended the night for the band, with "What You Give" notably missing from the list. "The Way It Is", "Signs", "Love Song", "Little Suzi", and "Modern Day Cowboy" did exactly what they were supposed to do...jazz the crowd up for the headlining Def Leppard. Tesla brought the house down in the second half of their set, demonstrating once again why they are the ultimate opening act in arena rock.

Then, it was time for Def Leppard to make their first performance ever in Mount Pleasant. And, they did not disappoint. It was great to see Vivian Campbell on stage as he battles with a cancer relapse. Campbell, himself, was great; a true showman. He showed vibrant energy all night long, dueling with the great Phil Collen, and bouncing all over the stage. The highlight of the night for guitar fans was the duo's performance on "Switch 625", alongside bass legend Rick Savage and the wonder-drummer Rick Allen. An awesome set list was kicked off by "Rock Rock (Til You Drop)" and "Animal", and it was evident early on that Joe Elliott was in for a completely opposite night of his Tesla counterpart. Elliott's vocals were very crisp, very clear, and the best that I've heard him in decades...possibly going back to 1988's show at the Ionia Free Fair. Def Leppard hit a lot of their top hits of the last 35 years. But, most notably absent was "Too Late For Love", always a crowd favorite when performed. They dipped into a few of the post-Adrenalize era, but not too far. As usual with Def Leppard, "Two Steps Behind" provided the perfect opportunity to replenish the beer supply, which by the way was VERY reasonably priced for a concert at $3.50.

It was a great show, and even greater to see that two arena rock staples can still get the job done in 2015! If you have a chance to check either band out in the near future, I highly recommend it!

FULL DEF LEPPARD SET LIST

Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop)

Animal

Let It Go

Foolin'

Promises

Love Bites

Armageddon It/Bass Solo

Rock On

Two Steps Behind

Rocket

Bringin' On The Heartbreak

Switch 625

Hysteria

Let's Get Rocked

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Rock Of Ages (Encore)

Photograph (Encore)