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Concert Review - Journey in Birmingham with Foreigner & Styxby Dave Morton - Evening Chronicle
June 09, 2011
DAVE MORTON enjoyed an evening of classic rock at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena watching veteran American bands Journey, Foreigner and Styx.
MOST rock fans have guilty pleasures.
I've got all the cool stuff in my CD collection - Zeppelin, The Who, Nirvana and the like - but there's also some decidedly uncool material in there as well…
Which brings me neatly to last night's line-up at the Arena.
Journey, Foreigner and Styx exemplify that often derided 1980s genre of Adult Orientated Rock - big hair, tight trousers and power ballads.
The truth is that the three bands, over the years, have all produced some great songs, are uniformly excellent musicians and, despite multiple line-up changes, still fill arenas here and in the States.
Chicago five-piece Styx kicked off proceedings with a rocking 45-minute set.
Thankfully absent was their famously super-sickly ballad Babe, but the rest of the songs were delivered with power and precision. Blue Collar Man and Come Sail Away showed off the guitar and vocal talent of original members JY Young and Tommy Shaw, while Todd Sucherman, who replaced the band's original drummer in 1996, showed why he's regarded as one of the best in the world with some blazing playing in Renegade and Too Much Time On My Hands.
A quick beer break and next up were Foreigner.
Again, original singer Lou Gramm is long-gone, but replacement Kelly Hansen does a great job in the soaring vocals department, while original guitarist Mick Jones still plays a mean axe.
Their chart-topping ballads I Want To Know What Love Is and Waiting For A Girl Like You really aren't my cup of tea, but went down a storm, while rockers like Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice and Urgent hit the mark.
And so to Journey. Local lad and X Factor winner Joe McElderry wasn't even a twinkle in his father's eye when the American rockers released THAT song in the early 80s - a song, of course, which last year propelled Joe into the limelight.
Yet again, Journey have a new frontman in pint-sized Arnel Pineda who replaced the platinum-throated Steve Perry.
And so the band romped through some of their 80s album favourites and a few tunes from their new release Eclipse, with guitarist Neil Schon in scintillating form.
Until it was time for Don't Stop Believing, which Journey and the Arena's sold-out audience reclaimed for themselves.
A fun night - and it might even be time to sneak out those dodgy soft rock CDs again!
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