Kid reviewer: Journey and Def Leppard on new Hershey stage leave fans ‘Still Believin’

Journey co-headlined with Def Leppard at Hersheypark Stadium on May 25.
Journey co-headlined with Def Leppard at Hersheypark Stadium on May 25. Submitted photo
Rodeo Marie Hanson, 12, Fleetwood, holds her media credentials.
Rodeo Marie Hanson, 12, Fleetwood, holds her media credentials.

I first started learning about Journey when I heard the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” and I was introduced to Def Leppard when “Pour Some Sugar On Me” played on the radio. Even though I wasn’t born in the 1980s, I like the music from that time with big, loud guitars and drums, and I enjoy finding out about the musicians and seeing them perform live.

Journey co-headlined with Def Leppard on May 25 at Hersheypark Stadium. Part of the fun is getting to the stadium, riding a tram past Hershey Park. The concert that night was on the brand new stage recently built by Mountain Productions: large speakers, sound equipment, and video screens.

Def Leppard opened with “Excitable.” There were cool pyrotechnics and all the fans began to scream at the top of their lungs. They did all the songs I remember from “Vault”, and a few they don’t usually do live like “Rock On” and “Switch 625”. There were videos on the screens that showed Def Leppard during the 1980s. Their most popular hits “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, “Rock Of Ages”, and “Photograph” closed their show.

After intermission, Journey took the stage. Fans nearly fainted from excitement.

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Steve Perry was Journey’s singer for many years, and his voice is on most of the songs that I like. Perry isn’t with Journey anymore, but Journey did not disappoint. The lead singer with them now Arnel Pineda, even mentioned Steve Perry during the show as being an important member of the band.

Journey also had special effects like lasers and videos. A drum solo by Steve Smith was amazing! Neal Schon did a guitar solo, and Jonathan Cain did a medley on piano of all Journey’s biggest hits that had people calling out the titles to the songs.

As the night went on, Journey did “Lights”. Everywhere people were holding up cell phones with their lights on to get into the spirit of the song, and so did I.

“Faithfully”, “Open Arms”, “Only The Young” all through that big loud sound system. “Wheel In The Sky” is my favorite song of theirs, and I waited wondering if they were going to do it... they did!

The last song was “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the crowd went wild. Near the end of the song, I heard a loud pop, and all of a sudden white confetti was raining from the sky!

This was an outstanding show I suggest you see. If you grew up during the 1980s, you know all of these songs and you will be brought back in time when this music was all over the Top 10, MTV, and radio. If you’re a kid like me, and you wonder what it was like to live in the 1980s, this is a good way to find out. Both Def Leppard and Journey put on a fantastic show, and I would definitely go again!

I would like to thank Anna Loynes at Scoop Marketing, Nina at CSM Management, Maddy O’ Donnell at Donovan Public Relations, Robert Murphy at Live Nation, and Olivia York at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts.

Kid Movie Reviewer Rodeo Marie Hanson, 12, Fleetwood, has been rubbing elbows with celebrities on the red carpet since she was age 4.