A torrential downpour did not dampen the spirits of concertgoers at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 14th as Tesla, Styx and Def Leppard rocked the house with their hot tunes.
Sacramento’s Tesla were the first to perform, bringing their brand of hard blues rock to Toronto once again. With ten albums under their belt the rock n’ roll veterans had plenty of material to choose from for their opening set, including their hit “Love Song”.
Second up were Styx and their bombastic, dramatic stage show. As always they were theatrical, with their visuals bordering on pseudo-psychedelia at times. It was nice to see Scarborough native Gowan not only handling vocals but also manning the keyboards, adding the extravagant solos as well as the subtle flourishes to the mix. In addition to all their hits like “Come Sail Away” and “Renegade”, the band also paid homage to the similarly opulent Queen by playing a portion of the monumental “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Def Leppard’s set began just as the rain really began to come down but the band powered through with their unstoppable hit parade. It’s really no surprise that they’re one of the highest selling rock bands of all time. Song after song was one of their trademark bold, brash anthems, even the more tender cuts like “Love Bites”. The band has never shied away from their unabashedly earthy image and that translated into their performance as well. With their lead guitarist shirtless and sweaty and Joe Elliott strutting and grandstanding it’s hard to believe that this is a band in the fourth decade of their career. “Photograph”, “Armageddon It”, and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” all whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their big hooks and crunchy guitar.
One neat touch came towards the middle of the set when the visuals on the stage were all based on Las Vegas style neon lights and marquees; each one symbolized a different facet of the band’s lyrical content. From rock n’ roll and voluptuous women to nice cars and dirty dancin’, this is a band that’s embraced their glam lifestyle and will swear by it to the very end.