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Def Leppard, Styx, REO Speedwagon, April 22, The Idaho Center


The first rock concert I attended sans parental guidance and in the company of an equally silly teenage girl was Styx during their Kilroy Was Here heyday. We thought tiny guitarist Tommy Shaw was a stone-cold fox in his tight, acid-washed jeans, and seeing him live was an experience we would have put on par with a Catholic receiving an audience with the pope.

Times—and fashions—may have changed, but my love for the old music hasn't. I may not have Styx songs on my mp3 player (only because I didn't think of it until just now), but I still get a kick out of hearing them on one of the classic rock radio stations here in town. Whether in their prog-rock "Lady" days or their concept-album "Mr. Roboto" years, it will be tough to see Styx live and not see Dennis DeYoung behind the piano—but not an insurmountable conflict. Watching Shaw dance around to "Too Much Time on My Hands" might make it all OK.

REO Speedwagon joins the traveling revue and will surely have, uh, mature audience members out of their seats and dancing with "Take It On The Run" or "Keep on Lovin' You." Vocalist Kevin Cronin defined the band's signature sound with his high voice, clearly enunciated "R" sounds and rocking keyboard riffs and hopefully he's in fine form.

Def Leppard headlines this blast-from-the-past tour. Their 1983 release, Pyromania, was such a huge hit at my junior high school that seeing them live is sure to stir up fond memories of those times when a new album could change the way we viewed the world.

April 22, 7 p.m., $35, $55, $75. The Idaho Center, 16200 Idaho Center Blvd., Nampa, 208-468-1000,