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This Journey continues on
by Felicia Bonanno - The Saratogian
August 18, 2011

Legendary American rock band Journey is returning to SPAC this summer as part of the Eclipse album tour with Foreigner and Night Ranger.

The band has been to SPAC many times in the past three decades, and Jonathan Cain (keyboards, rhythm guitar and vocals) even finished writing the song "Faithfully" on the grand piano that still stands in the orchestra room.

"We have a lot of fond memories of playing at SPAC," Cain said. "Once while out there back in the '80s we went out on Lake George in a metal boat and this giant lightning storm came in. There was lightning all over the place. After that we made t-shirts that said, 'We survived Lake George.' I am also excited to see the piano where I finished 'Faithfully.'"

Journey has undergone several changes through the years. The most recent alteration is the addition of Arnel Pineda as lead singer. Lead guitarist and vocalist Neal Schon found Pineda on Youtube, according to Cain. The band contacted Pineda, and since 2007 he has been a successful addition to the band.

"He has a rock edge and could do the ballads," Cain said. "He had the sound we needed and is a terrific performer and terrific in the studio. He could sing the phone book and it would sound good."

The music has undergone an evolution, as well as the band itself.

"It's a little edgier and raw, now," Cain said.

"We're a little more of a rock band now, whereas we were kind of pop and rock before. People in Europe have told us that we tend to be more rock'n'roll. I'd say we're a little rougher and we have bigger boots."

Even so, Journey has maintained the edge that has kept fans for three decades and continues to draw fans in.

"I think it's because we've always been authentic," Cain said. "There's a certain amount of soul that goes into that. We've made great-sounding c.d.'s that have stood the test of time because we crafted those records to last and to make people want to keep playing them over and over again. We always stayed true to our character that we believed Journey represented. We wanted the music not to be or sound dated. We are going to continue that, hopefully."

According to Cain, the Eclipse tour has been extremely successful so far.

"It's going great," Cain said. "We're selling out in many of these cities, and Night Ranger and Foreigner have proven to be a great edition. People are coming in droves to see it. We're thrilled in this economy to see so many people coming out."

So far on tour one of Journey's best moments was rocking on 'Today' show" with absolutely no sleep.

"Getting asked to do the 'Today' show was really cool," Cain said. "Our schedule was so busy, though, that we literally didn't sleep the night before that show. It was bizarre. We were constantly flying around, and then the same day after the show we flew back to Chicago, had dinner and went to sleep and played again the next day. It was five days in a row of gigging and T.V. shows and flying around. It was exhausting."

Even so, Journey managed to pull off a live show without collapsing. In fact, the crowds were exuding energy and excitement over the performance (you can watch them perform live on Today show online).

Cain, who has been with Journey since 1980, says that being a part of the legend that is this band has made him a happy man.

"Being a part of this band has enriched my life and given me a purpose to be part of something," Cain said. "To watch it grow has been so satisfying, and it's satisfying to know we're making happy. People have said they learned to play piano because of our music or have gotten married to our songs or that our songs have helped them through hard times. If I died tomorrow, I would die a happy man."

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2. Tickets are available online or at the SPAC box office, and Journey's new album Eclipse can be bought at Walmart.

"We're always excited to play at SPAC," Cain said. "It's a lovely place. We're really looking forward to bringing a great line-up to SPAC again."

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