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Nostalgic Summer Nights at the Ballpark

A breezy summer night was enjoyed by all at the Cheap Trick, Journey, Def Leppard concert as a crowd represented by multiple generations shared a great night filled with music as the summer came to a close.

Photos by Sarah Broyles

Die hard fans pose in the costumes while waiting in line to get in the stadium. They were kindly offering to take pictures with fans around them. After all, they were rock stars for a day.

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I am not typically someone you would find at a rock concert, but to my surprise I found myself up close to the stage, dancing and enjoying myself on one recent summer Friday night at Busch Stadium.

I decided to tag along with my brother, Josh Broyles, an avid fan of rock music, as we went to see Journey, Def Leppard and Cheap Trick, bands that have produced anthems of generations and held steady fan bases through their four-decade rock ‘n’ roll careers.

Initially, I went along as something to do, but what I found was much greater; not only was the music great, but so was the company I was with that evening.

Everyone was in upbeat spirits that night, as bands they have loved for a greater portion of their lives took the stage, taking them all back to when they were teenagers. Each band had nostalgic stories of times in St. Louis years ago, talking to the audience about how grateful they were to have such faithful fans.

For me, it was the beginning. I, of course, can belt the lyrics to, “Don’t Stop Believing,” with the best of them, but I experienced three bands that ultimately shaped my opinion of the world of rock n’ roll.

Fans await Def Leppard’s entrance as they begin their set after the sun went down at Busch Stadium downtown.

Opening the night was Cheap Trick, a band recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, and also the band I knew the least about.

As they played, the sun went down, the St. Louis heat began to fade and the wind began to pick up.

Each song began with my brother reciting the titles of the songs, because I had no idea what they were.

My favorite, “I want you to want me,” was played toward the end of the setlist. Fans pumped their fists as lyrics ran from their mouths until the set’s end.

Arnel Pineda interacting with fans during a guitar solo in Journey’s set.

Next up was Def Leppard, and I personally think they were the best of the night, although I had never had an opinion before then.

Josh told me later he could tell they were straining themselves to sound like they did at the start of their careers, but at the end of the night, I wouldn’t know the difference.

However, I was most impressed with Journey, which has changed lead singers from Steve Perry to Arnel Pineda, who actually fills the role with great confidence.

The sound of his voice was authentic to Journey’s original sound, and Pineda captivated the audience with his charisma.

His is a story to tell anyone with a dream; he doesn’t speak English well, but he learned every word to Journey’s songs.

Pineda was discovered singing covers of the band’s music. His voice sounded so authentic that they invited him to try out for a role in the band.

In the beginning, Arnel thought it was a joke, but he was eventually convinced to finally go and try out.

He performs with the band and captures the audience, but many are surprised to know that he does not speak English well.

Pineda’s Filipino descent is not apparent during their performance. He sings each song like he wrote it himself.

Journey played their biggest hits, capturing the audience from the beginning to the end of their set list.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find myself at another rock concert after this experience.

Overall, it was a nostalgic summer night filled with great music and cool people.

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Sarah Broyles

Sarah Broyles

Sarah Broyles is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. Sarah is a junior public relations major. The St. Louis native currently works for her family business, Etiquette Saint Louis, and is a staff instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association. After graduating she plans to work in corporate public relations and continue to use words to make an impact in society.

@mbutimeline

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