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Monday night was the reward. After two years of hard work finishing up my second degree, I was declared done with school at the end of April. I elected not to walk the stage this time. I did it after the first degree in 2013, and since I had done it once, I had that feeling of accomplishment and did not feel the need to do it over again this time around.

Images of Syracuse Lakeside Amphitheater before the show:

stageshot

stagescreen

Hubby and I before the show started:

dandebeforeAs I’ve written here before, my graduation gift to myself was a Def Leppard concert. REO Speedwagon and Tesla opened for them. The concert was this week. It’s been many years (twenty years?) since I attended a rock concert. Yes, people still drink too much and people still get high. The smell of weed was definitely in the air, and we had to walk through many beer cans on our way out. Neither hubby nor I partook of any of that. I was there for the music. That was my high.

Tesla:

teslaI, of course, knew of Tesla, but I was never a fan. They came on at 7:00 and played for around 35 minutes. Since I didn’t know the music, I wasn’t overly bothered or concerned when a few of their real fans stood up in front of me to dance and take pictures. They blocked my view, but that was okay. Since I didn’t know the songs, I had no idea half the time what lead singer Jeff Keith was saying (or singing).

REO Speedwagon:

reo

REO Speedwagon came on at 8:00, and they were really good. They were much better than I thought they’d be. I had seen them years ago at a local festival, and they were okay. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood at the time. Monday night they were excellent. Even though lead singer Kevin Cronin got his days mixed up and said it was “Tuesday” evening. That was pretty funny! It reminded me of the ad where the lead singer in the rock band gets the city wrong. I have to wonder whether or not he caught crap for getting his days mixed up when he came off of the stage. Still he and his band put on an excellent show. They played for nearly an hour.

Here’s a shot of the crowd. There was about 10,000 people there.

crowdThis is the sun setting over Onondaga Lake. When we looked to the left from our seats, this is what we saw:

sunsetDef Leppard:

deflepparddefleppard2vivandphil

Def Leppard came on around 9:30, and the moment they hit the stage, I hit my feet. I danced the entire 90 minutes they were on. I think I sat down once – during one of the ballads – to talk briefly to hubby. He sat more than I did. They had two large screens set up, and if you could see the screens it wasn’t really necessary to stand. I stood – everyone in front of me was standing, and I’d waited so long to see the band that I wasn’t going to miss a second of their show. They were definitely worth waiting for. Joe Elliott’s voice may not be as strong as it used to be, but they do a decent job of covering up any spotty vocals. He was in pretty decent form on Monday evening. The only song I felt sounded “off” was one of my favorites off of the new album, a song called “Dangerous”. It was nice to see guitarist, Vivian Campbell, looking well and healthy. He has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for three years. He’s an inspiration and plays in more than one band, despite it all. They ran through all of their classic hits plus a few off of the new album, and they sounded great. It was such fun.

The only parts of the evening that weren’t so great were the heat and humidity and the long wait afterwards for a shuttle bus back to the parking lot to find our car. We waited for almost an hour to get on a bus.

Waiting for the bus:

busI laughed when a close friend called me her “old lady rocker friend” today. I guess it’s true. Maybe it’s appropriate that I picked a rock concert as my graduation gift. I used to attend concerts all the time. I’d just forgotten how much fun it is.