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.

Setlist:

Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) 

Be Good to Yourself

Where Did I Lose Your Love

Guitar Solo

Stone in Love

Anyway You Want It

Lights

Keyboard solo (Snippet of “When You Love a Woman” and “Send Her my Love” 

Open Arms

Who’s Crying Now

La Do Da/Drum solo

Guitar Solo

Wheel in the Sky

Faithfully

Don’t Stop Believin’ 

 

Encore:

 

Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

 

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Anna Loynes from Solters Pr for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.