Journey Ignores Drama at 2023 Tour Opener
Journey played the first concert of their 50th anniversary tour on Jan. 27 in Durant, Okla. despite the ongoing litigation between principal members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
The discourse stems from an American Express card meant for the band’s enterprises, with Schon and Cain each claiming the other has misused the card for their own personal expenses. Since the initial lawsuit was filed this past November by Schon, many have wondered how the band would go on the road before the preliminary hearing for the guitarist's suit on March 3.
The group answered those queries on Friday evening at the Choctaw Casino & Resort by playing a two hour set which largely focused on their greatest hits. In spite of the ongoing internal strife, there were no signs of any discord on stage. In fact, the group was impressively in good form after being on a touring break since early October. Singer Arnel Pineda, who has wrestled in the recent past with vocal issues, was particularly on point through the night. You can see a set list from the concert below.
The Grand Theater at the casino, with a capacity of just 3,000 provided an intimate setting for the tour launch. With their mega-hit, "Don't Stop Believin'" making an appearance only three songs into the set, Schon paused at its conclusion to acknowledge the group's important milestone. "Welcome to our 50th anniversary," he told the sold-out crowd. "We're the fortunate ones to still be alive here."
Nearly an hour later, Cain shared his own greetings. "We are so happy to be back," he said. "It's good to be back, all together again."
But in the months leading up to the 50th anniversary run, the headlines have been far from celebratory, instead dominated by mounting developments in the ongoing schism between Schon and Cain. The pair have been at odds in the past, largely centered around political differences. In a 2022 interview, Schon admitted that he kept his discussions with Cain purely musical, in an effort to maintain their creative bond.
Despite that goal, the guitarist's harmony with Cain came to an end that same year. Schon filed a November lawsuit alleging that his access to financial documents related to Journey's credit card had been "improperly restricted." He indicated that the issue had been building for "over a year."
In response, Cain accused Schon of running up "enormous personal charges" on the group's credit card. Tension continued to build, with Schon labeling his bandmate as a "hypocrite." Cain separately charged that the guitarist has caused severe "damage" to the Journey brand.
Additional drama developed as Schon unsuccessfully sought to bring former member Gregg Rolie back into the fold for the current anniversary run, later intimating that he'd encountered resistance in regards to that idea. Two weeks ago (Jan. 13), Cain filed his own lawsuit against Schon, alleging that the musician ran up more than a million dollars in personal expenses on the Journey credit card.
Journey will play a second show Jan. 28 in Durant. The 50th anniversary tour will then resume at the end of next week, in Allentown, Pa. on Feb. 4. The dates, which currently run through the end of April, once again feature Toto sharing the bill. The pair previously toured together in 2022 as part of a trek that was initially also supposed to include Billy Idol.
Journey, 1/27/23, Grand Theater at Choctaw Casino & Resort, Durant, Okla.
1. "Only the Young"
2. "Stone in Love"
3. "Don't Stop Believin'"
5. "Send Her My Love"
6. "Feeling That Way"
9. "Dead or Alive"
10. "Who's Crying Now"
11. "Mother, Father'"
12. "Let It Rain"
13. "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"
14. "Open Arms"
16. "Girl Can't Help It"
17. "Wheel in the Sky"
18. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
19. "Be Good to Yourself"
20. "Any Way You Want It"
The Best Song From Every Journey Album
You Think You Know Journey?