One of the biggest double bills of the summer is the Journey/Def Leppard co headlining tour that will span 60 dates over 5 months. We will focus our review on Journey as they were the band who credentialed our outlet to review this show. The tour just started a few nights prior and each band will take turns alternating closing the show.
For the show in Buffalo, NY this past Saturday, it was Journeys turn to open. They took the stage promptly at 9pm and kicked into “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” Probably the most appropriate opener for Journey. It really set the mood for the rest of their 1 hour and half set.
Since their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there seems to be a peak interest in Journey. With the welcoming back of former drummer Steve Smith into the fold, the band that dominated the radio airwaves through the early 1980’s was intact minus former vocalist Steve Perry. The band struck gold when they found current singer Arnel Pineda on YouTube back in 2007. He sounds as close to Perry as you can get and with the rest of the band holding down that signature Journey sound, it’s a recipe or success. Arnel delivered throughout the performance. His voice never sounded better on songs like “be Good To Yourself” and the ballad “Open Arms.”
With Smith back in the fold, he and longtime bassist Ross Vallory give that rhythm section a true classic feel. He was very much appreciated as at the end of the solo he got a rousing round of applause for his efforts. Vallory led the way on track “Who’s Crying Now.”
Keyboardist Jonathan Cain just released his first autobiography on May 1st called “Don’t Stop Believin” but now is focused on the long tour ahead of him. He played some rhythm guitar on “Wheel in the Sky” along with his traditional keyboardist duties. It was nice hearing him talk about how he came up with “Faithfully” on a tour bus in NYC in 1982. He also played snippets of both ballads “”When You Love a Woman” and “Send Her my Love” during his keyboard solo. He really was endeared by the locals by coming out for the encore wearing a Buffalo Sabres Jersey.
The vision of Journey has been directed by founder Neal Schon since 1973. Schon sporting his traditional dark sunglasses for most of the performance is one of the most underrated guitarists of our generation. Schon isn’t as flashy as say Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai, but as s solid as a player you will find. He’s the heart and soul of Journey and you can hear that in his playing. He even used the extended stage at times and tossed out some guitar picks to some lucky fans as well. It was nice to see him play the track “Where Did I Lose Your Love” live as it doesn’t get enough traction during Journeys live performances.
This is the beginning of the run of dates as I mentioned earlier and Journey is already firing on all cylinders.
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Be Good to Yourself
Where Did I Lose Your Love
Stone in Love
Anyway You Want It
Keyboard solo (Snippet of “When You Love a Woman” and “Send Her my Love”
Who’s Crying Now
La Do Da/Drum solo
Wheel in the Sky
Don’t Stop Believin’
Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
We would like to thank Anna Loynes from Solters Pr for the credentials to review the show.