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Wednesday, 23rd August 2000

Sparta/La Crosse, WI - Media Reviews

Def Leppard, Katella rock audience at McCoy's Dog Days of Summer concert

Almost 5,000 concert goers found a place at Constitution Park to sit back, relax and have a good time listening to the hard rock act Def Leppard at Fort McCoy Aug. 23.

The Miller Lite Dog Days of Summer Army Concert tour made its fourth consecutive stop at Constitution Park. The crowd numbered 4,986.

Def Leppard took to the concert stage at about 9:15 p.m. as the spotlights pierced the darkening sky and illuminated the stage and group members. The group performed for almost two hours.

Daryl Budda, chief of the Business Activities Division of the Directorate of Human Resources and Community Services, and overall concert coordinator, said more than 200 volunteers also worked hard to make the event a success.

"We had some class 'A' musical talent here," Budda said. "The crowd was very well behaved and had a good time. The crowd was really into the music and brought Def Leppard back for a two-song encore."

The British-based band ended its regular set with "Pour Some Sugar on Me." The group then did "Love Bites" and "Let's Get Rocked" as encores.

Sheila Belcher, Marketing specialist, said the Milwaukee, Wis.-based band, Katella, opened the concert and built the energy of the fans as it reached the end of its 40-minute block.

"Members of the audience - almost all of whom were unfamiliar with Katella - began to warm up to the group's music as it moved through its performance," Belcher said.

A highlight of the event was the backstage presentation of a birthday cake to Def Leppard band member Vivian Campbell, whose birthday was later in that week, she said.

Sgt. 1st Class Claudine Jarrett of the 6015th Garrison Support Unit said she had seen Def Leppard perform in 1983. Jarrett served as a volunteer, representing the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program.

"The members of Def Leppard still sound great," Jarrett said.

Spc. Derek Saxton of the 339th Combat Support Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pa., was happy to attend the outdoor concert. He had first learned of it from the moving message boards near Fort McCoy as the unit was about to enter the installation.

"We didn't know about it before we got here," Saxton said. "It was really nice to hear the concert was outside."

Spc. Pete Tekula of the 339th said he appreciated the setup of the stage, sound system and lights that let the crowd see and hear the bands.

"I really enjoyed the last encore song, 'Let's Get Rocked,'" and wished they could have done more of their songs," Tekula said. "I would come back if we're here when Fort McCoy has a concert next year."

Budda said the installation already is working to attract a concert for next year.

Fort McCoy was one of only 12 Army installations chosen to host an Army Concert Tour stop.

The profits from the concert are used for Morale, Welfare and Recreation projects.

Sponsors of the event included 95.7 the Rock; Z-93; 103.3 WGLX Classic Rock; 105.5 The Buzz; 107.5 WCCN The Rock; Monroe County Publishers, Inc.; and Tomah Journal Newspapers/SCWN.

Linda's Bakery of West Salem donated the birthday cake.

By Triad Online 2000.


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