LIVE: Journey @ SPAC, 9/2/11

Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda of Journey

Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda of Journey

Steve Perry’s vocals may have defined Journey’s sound in the 1970s and 1980s, but that was then. In the now, Philippines-born singer Arnel Pineda has taken over the vocal duties and propelled Journey back to the top of touring success.

It’s uncanny how Pineda nails Perry’s vocals to perfection on “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Wheel in the Sky” and “Any Way You Want It.” It’s also interesting to note that more than seven years ago, guitarist Neal Schon found Perry’s successor on YouTube where he was doing karaoke imitations of Journey tunes.

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Out touring in support of their newest album “Eclipse,” with Arnel Pineda in the driver’s seat, it didn’t make a difference to the massive audience assembled at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last Friday night. They were there to hear Journey’s 17 Top 40 platinum hits… no matter who was singing them.

Last year at SPAC, Journey shared the stage with Foreigner, but this time around, the hard-rockin’ sounds of Night Ranger could be heard shaking the house as the opening act, performing a handful of their ’80s hits including “Sister Christian,” “(You Can Still) Rock In America” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.”

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Lucian A. McCarty’s review at The Saratogian
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “They carried the momentum to the end of the show, unleashing more big ones including ‘Anyway You Want It,’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.’ A wall of 30 screens blared graphics all night from behind the stage. Yes, this was unnecessary, the band was more than enough entertainment. Journey music is like the McDonald’s arches: ubiquitous in our culture. Similarly, Journey songs find you – often alone – in a restaurant bathroom, the supermarket, waiting for your boss in her office, and the elevator. Friday night you got it directly, head on, and a great big crowd embraced it together, the way Journey fans probably like it best.”

Night Ranger

Night Ranger

Journey's Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon

Journey's Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon

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