Journey Rocks Cleveland With Hit-Filled Concert
Journey delivered a hit-filled, precisely performed concert that had 17,000 fans at Cleveland's Blossom Music Center on their feet and cheering for about eighty straight minutes last night (Aug. 2). The '80s legends headlined a bill that also featured sets from Foreigner and Night Ranger. (You can read about Foreigner's performance in our separate review posted right here.)
The band played strong versions of classic songs such as 'Be Good To Yourself' and 'Only the Young,' as well as displaying an honorable inclination to keep moving forward by performing a pair of songs -- recent single 'City of Hope' and 'Edge of the Moment' -- from their new album 'Ecl1pse.'
Naturally, the new tunes weren't treated with the same respect as the old ones, but by no means did they cause a mass exodus for the beer line, either. The guitar-heavy tracks also helped demonstrate how Neal Schon has further asserted himself in the band in recent years. The night started with him (kinda needlessly) introducing 'Separate Ways' with a brief guitar demonstration, and there was a clear added emphasis on his soloing throughout.
Schon's axe expeditions did result in the night's "rarities nerd" mark-out moment, when he dragged a healthy chunk of 'My Hometown,' from his 1984 HSAS collaboration with Sammy Hagar, into the middle of 'Wheel in the Sky.' (You can see video of a similar but shorter performance below.)
Lead singer Arnel Pineda, a three-year Journey veteran now, is without doubt a really good singer and a dynamic frontman, only losing out to opening act Foreigner's Kelly Hansen in the "calories burned" competition as a result of a probably-smart decision not to venture into the rabid audience.
It's impossible, however, not to still notice the absence of former singer Steve Perry's distinctive vocal touches -- which after all have been burned into our brains through years of repeated airplay -- particularly on ballads like 'Open Arms' and 'Faithfully.'
Still, that shouldn't and didn't stop anybody from enjoying what was one heck of a show, especially when they pulled out all the stops on a dynamic reading of set-closer 'Don't Stop Believing.' As the long-threatening skies finally turned into a rainstorm during the encore, some of the concert-goers headed for the safety of their cars, but many, many of them did so singing along to 'Any Way You Want It' out loud together in a real-life moment straight out of a 'Glee' script.
Watch Journey Perform 'Wheel in the Sky / My Hometown' in Detroit