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Journey, still believin' 38 years later (with Foreigner and Night Ranger)
by Bill Stone -
September 14, 2011

You're never going to relive the glory days of Journey when it seemed like Steve Perry was crooning directly to you or about you and your date as you did things in the back seat of a car that would get you arrested today, but you can get the next best thing as Journey with frontman and Steve Perry-imitator extraordinaire (he's even managed to make that Filipino accent work in his favor) Arnel Pineda play the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre Sept. 17.

Journey's sound should be polished and fresh as they bring their swoon-croon ballads to Tampa since it's only the fourth show of a cross country tour. Pineda's voice should be rested and prime.

Certain to attract hordes of cougars, divorcees and middle-aged women, some who can still manage to fit into those Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein or Jordache jeans, teenyboppers, aging hippies, parents and grandparents will all be in attendance.

Forget about hearing any pre-Evolution rock for the most part (although they have pulled out Wheel in the Sky a few times)...make no mistake, this will be a collection of best hits and FM staples from the high school heroes and many fans wouldn't have it any other way.

Saving grace and salvation may be found in the fact original members Neal Schon and Ross Valory continue to hone their chops and should be in top form along with Jonathan Cain who, in 1980, joined the band and co-penned the world-recognized "Who's Crying Now?" Deen Castronovo, with the band for more than a decade, handles percussion duty.

Foreigner, sans lead singer Lou Gramm (responsible for the Foreigner "sound") and every other original member except Mick Jones, along with '80s kitsch rockers Night Ranger open the show.

Yes, Foreigner had a slew of hits and Night Ranger received regular airplay managing a few FM staples but make no mistake ...this is a night for Journey fans to play arena-karaoke with just about every selection.

Ladies, tease the big hair. Gentlemen, spring for the ticket, she'll thank you later.

Don't forget the lighters.

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