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Journey - Still Doing It Right!by Greg Testerman - Austin Live Music
October 17, 2011
I guess anyone could put this catchy label on their own city "City of Hope" - the first song on Journeys new album - Eclipse. But if you've been listening to the news, and with our strong job market in comparison to other cities, maybe Austin is worthy of the title.
The band Journey has clearly been able to continue evolving over time and their latest release and major tour presents this in a modern way while reminding us of the bands core sound - gotta love that. Although I like several songs on the new album, "City of Hope" was the only song the band played from it which is selling well according to various web sources. As you can see from the set list below, the band offered hit after hit primarily from the '80's much to the delight of the medium sized crowd at the Frank Erwin Center.
This was a night that brought three great bands to town, all with the ability to headline there own shows. Night Ranger and Foreigner opened the show bringing their own major hits from years gone by as well as new material. As the crowd at the Frank Erwin Center continued to grow, the audience appreciation grew and I could tell this was shaping up to be a great night of classic rock!
Journey walked on the stage like old friends coming in the front door of your house. The bands leader, guitarist Neal Schon made his guitar scream as to say hello to the crowd in the best way he knows how. He plays with a style all his own and is not only one of my favorite guitarists, he's one of the very best anywhere - hands down. The band started the show off with Separate Ways, Ask The Lonely, and Send Her My Love. It's amazing how well and strong Arnel Pineda sings these classics and sounds so much like Steve Perry on the original recordings. Arnel is quite an entertainer as well and brings great energy to the stage. It's difficult to compare anyone with the great Steve Perry, but at a minimum, Arnel performed the lyrics pretty much flawlessly all night.
One of the highlights from the evening was the intense Neal Schon guitar solo. It was loud, fast, relentless, and extremely energetic and segued perfectly into Stone in Love. Jonathon Cain was also impressive as he displayed his piano skills in a brief solo before softly segued into the hit - Open Arms. All band members performed great including the original bassist Ross Valory and new drummer Deen Castrovono - arguably the bands strongest drummer to date.
The end of the main set came with the give away of a Paul Reed Smith guitar, signed by Neal Schon to a very lucky kid in the audience.
It will be interesting to see where the bands goes from here. They have a great young singer, one of the strongest drummers in the business, and obviously veterans that know how to write songs and entertain. We'll be watching............GT
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