Def Leppard, Styx play Bozeman

On Friday, Oct. 2, the 1980s came back. Fans queued up in front of Brick Breeden, many of them old timers becoming teenagers again for one night. Fans from the more recent generations were huddled up with their older family members, whispering excitedly. When asked why they were attending, who they most looked forward to seeing, people answered with an exhilarated shout of “Def Leppard!”

While Styx and Tesla also appeared that night, Def Leppard was easily the most anticipated. Famous for their highly talented one-armed drummer Rick “The Thunder God” Allen, and being one of the most popular bands of the ‘80s, many fans were thrown back to the days when they would daydream about being in the band themselves. Thinking about what they would do if they could meet the bands in attendance, fans said everything from the generic “get an autograph” to the more entertaining “share a doobie!” Many of the fans also stated that they would have loved to just share a drink with the bands.

The show opened with Tesla, a lesser known hair metal band formed in 1981. Styx, a popular 80s rock band played second with such well-loved songs as “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Come Sail Away.” Headliners Def Leppard wrapped up the concert rocking out to applause and screams from the animated audience.

Many of the fans hailed from neighboring cities of Great Falls and Billings, and many were locals from here in Bozeman as well. The locals included Becca Brown, a fellow student here at MSU, and her father Dan Brown, a local high school teacher. Much like myself, Brown’s father had raised her on Def Leppard albums.

Other audience members, most of whom were over 30, came to reminisce about their young adulthood. Many of these teenagers of the 80s brought their own children to the show, hoping to introduce them to the classics they themselves had grown up on, much like the Browns. Several audience members even sported mullet wigs, and one group of women had teased and sprayed their hair into 80’s hairstyles and wore neon yellow sweaters stating that they “heart the 80s.”

Towards the end of the show, as Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliott prepared for his next song, a bra made its way to the stage, landing at his feet. It was of a larger size, and a bright fiery red. Elliott picked it up by a strap and asked who had lost their bra. He tossed it back to the audience member, saying he didn’t want to make trouble. He joked that the husband of the bra wearer would wonder if his wife had left the house wearing it, and that she would say that she did not, in fact, have a bra on when she left, and that he was a liar. The audience laughed at the comedic high point, and Elliott went on to perform his next piece.

As a band that has been together since the late 70s, it was no surprise to see such a variety in the generations in attendance. Whether 16 or 96, there is no age limit for a love of music. Def Leppard has given us hope that they will be back next year for another show in Bozeman, and some hope that the bra will make a repeat appearance as well.