Def Leppard and KISS rock Houston

Maddison Daugherty, Reporter

Def Leppard and KISS rocked and rolled all night at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on August 31. Over 17,000 people filled the seats and lawn, and there were even people standing outside the gates just to hear the 80’s rock bands slay their hit music.

The variety of people at the concert was fascinating. From children to teenagers and adults to elders, all different age groups attended the show. Nearly everyone was dressed in KISS costumes to show their dedication to the band.

Whether audience members had front row tickets or sat on the lawn, it did not matter because, once Def Leppard hit the stage the energy was ecstatic. The purpose of the opening act is to stir up the crowd and get them ready for the big one, and that’s exactly what Def Leppard did. Not one person was sitting down during their first song Won’t Get Fooled Again. The crowd was dancing, cheering or singing along. It was not hard to tell that everyone was having a good time.

Although it’s been a few years since they’ve toured, Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s drummer, was inspirational. In the late 80’s, Allen was in a major car accident. His right arm was detached, and there was nothing the doctors could do. Def Leppard thought it was the end of their career, until Allen climbed out of his depression and became determined to build his own drum set.  Allen, being a team player used his feet and left arm to play the drums. There are several pedals at the bottom of the drum set for his feet to play the beat. He has become and inspiration to drummers around the world.

The stage set up was glamorous; the light show was colorful and blinked to every song performed. Def Leppard was dressed in comfortable attire, unlike the band that played after them. They ended their performance with the song Photograph, it was sung with striking high notes and left a memory I could never forget.

The last two hours were filled with confetti, fire and fireworks. KISS popped up on stage in their insane costumes and high heels. Their faces painted with black and white, black hair down and ready to get drenched in sweat. KISS celebrated their 40th year anniversary with excellence and pride. I was beyond impressed with them being in their 60’s and still rocking as if they were 20 again. Nothing about the band has changed, they had this craze-filled look in their eyes, fake blood was dripping on their bodies and Simmons flared his tongue out for the entire audience to see. Some may say it is disturbing, but others are intrigued by the oddness.

Fireworks exploded as the band began to sing Psycho Circus, and the crowd hysterical. Hands were waving in the air while voices were roaring the lyrics along with KISS. The rock icons worked hard to make sure the show was eccentric.

The band was on point with every single song and transition. KISS is much different live than through the radio. It is hard to catch the hardcore, heart-thumping vibe from a pair of headphones. Though in person, it becomes clear why people are absolutely insane for the band. It’s some sort of energy they give off, a strange connection with their songs that makes you want to rock your head and stomp your feet. It was like something unknown took over my mind and brought me an overwhelming sense of power and happiness. KISS ended the entire show with Rock ‘n Roll All Night, it fit perfectly because it described exactly what we all did that night. KISS and Def Leppard gave me an amazing night that I will cherish for an eternity.