Journey Continues w/ Mile Marking Show in Music City

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Journey Continues w/ Mile Marking Show in Music City

Postby tater1977 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:28 pm

Journey Continues with Mile Marking Show in Music City

A MusicCityNashville.net Music Feature

http://www.musiccitynashville.net/files ... ourney.php

It's hard to believe that the American rock band Journey - formed in California in 1973 as a Santana offshoot - is now well into their fifth decade. The original incarnation of the group featured a psychedelic jam approach that never found mass appeal. For their fourth album they located the singer who would take them to the promised land in the form of Steve Perry. The Journey bus really got moving with the release of 1981's Escape and that album's 35th Anniversary is being celebrated during the San Francisco Fest 2016 that made a tour stop in Nashville, Tennessee on July 27 at the Ascend Amphitheater.

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http://www.musiccitynashville.net/files ... ourney.php
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Journey Continues w/ Mile Marking Show in Music City

Postby WalrusOct9 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:07 am

Pretty sad I missed this (I've only ever seen them once, and from arena nosebleeds), but the cheapest pavilion tickets were $150. Nope nope nope nope.
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Re: Journey Continues w/ Mile Marking Show in Music City

Postby tedpruitt » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:40 am

Curious if anyone else has had the same experience... just went to see Journey in St. Louis over the weekend, mostly because of the return of Smitty (who, by the way, did NOT DISAPPOINT!) and because my wife had never seen Journey in any incarnation and I figured time is running out to see them live, so this would be the time...

Let me preface this by saying that these are the comments of a musician, a long-time Journey fan and someone who hasn't seen them live since the ROR tour - so most of what I say should probably be taken with a grain of salt as I am probably a little harsher on things that don't register to the average listener (my wife included, she thought it was the greatest thing she'd ever seen.) So let me start with the critique and I'll end with the highlights on an up-note.

Sound was muddy, muddy, muddy - I have heard mixes by bar FOH sound people that were clearer and more precise than this. I guess I remember a time when Journey's sound was literally the high water mark that all other bands of the time tried (and usually failed) to emulate. Recommendations: Neal - please go to the soundboard - find the channel they are using for the echo on Arnel's voice on high notes and BREAK IT OFF. Seriously, they were using it all night long - and I guess that would have been fine on the times that he hit the note, but when he was slightly flat, it was accenting the fact he was slightly flat (more on this later) by repeating it for 5 or 6 seconds after the fact. I got the impression that the sound man thought he was helping -- he was not. The mix is way WAY too spread and separated. It's like they forget that not everyone sits center of house - so if you were to the left or the right you either heard almost all guitar or all keyboards. No balance at all. You could not hear any separate notes at all - it was a complete wash - I had to stick my fingers in my ears to hear Neal's individual notes (which he's famous for.) I would tell you it's the venue, but it wasn't. Doobies and Dave Mason (openers) were all clear and clean - not as loud of course - but that wasn't the cause of Journey's issues.

Arnel ---- poor Arnel --- the catalog is definitely taking a toll on his voice. The thing I truly admire about him is that he never let on that he was struggling, but I get the feeling that he wasn't choosing the song order. What little I know about vocals, they put some of the most torturous songs right up front (Only the Young for example) and you could hear him pushing his voice to get the high notes - which, of course, the sound man echoed....ugh. After Neal's solo and Cain's solo he started to loosen up and really nailed most of it. After Smitty's solo, he downright sounded refreshed (makes me wonder if he wasn't gargling with something backstage in between) and pulled off DSB without a hitch - including the sustained high note (peeeopllllllll-ah-oh-alllllll....) As with all things physical - it could have been an off night. He really did pick it up right at the end. I hope that he's not burning out but we all know that it is a killer catalog on vocalists.

Cain still appears to be lackluster to me - but I have to be fair and say that this is in comparison to his younger self - he's older now and certainly has played these songs enough - nearly non-stop over the last 15 years, so he's allowed some leeway. His solo was a mashup of Journey songs not being played that night - some of them probably should have been in the set, judging by the response of the crowd when he would start into the intros. As a keyboard player myself, I felt that he's been spending too much time on guitar - which allows the backup keyboard player to pick up the slack. The background vocals were spot on - but they are still sweetening with recorded BGVs. Several times you would hear 5 part harmony going on and look up to see only Cain, the backup keyboardist and Arnel actually singing (or at least miming it...)

Neal was amazing as always. The only comment I'd make there is that the solos - either the amount or the length - could be reigned in a little. Add a few more songs in the mix. Probably difficult if Arnel is pushing it, so I get the reasoning - and it's always great to watch him play. What a powerhouse.

Smitty -- wow -- just WOW. I really REALLY wish they had a better sound person. The only time I could really hear what he was playing was during his solo - and even then the toms and bass were both washed out and muddy. He'd do an incredible run down through the kit and it just garbled together. Steve was definitely the one in the band (besides Neal, who always just looks cool) getting into it. Obviously, the drum spacing is a lot tighter to allow him to conserve a little on the energy required - but his head was bobbing and he really cut loose. The solo was fantastic and the highlight of the night.

Overall, it was great to see 4/5's of the original guys and Arnel pulls off things that SP just can't now, unfortunately. Would still be great to see the whole band together one last time - but we all know the chances of that. It was as close to the original band that I fell in love with as my wife will ever see - so I was happy she was able to experience that. I have a lot of nostalgia for these guys - I started seeing them on the Infinity tour, opening for the Stones. Saw every tour with Perry after that and admittedly was one of those people who had a hard time accepting another singer in the band. Not that I ever wished any of them any ill-will and was honestly blown away by Augeri and Arnel as well in regards to their ability to emulate the legacy sound. But, for me, it wasn't the same. But AllenC was always right, you can only drop the key down so far before the songs lose their luster the way they were written. So if they are going to perform those songs the way they were written - it's going to have to be someone new and Arnel is truly doing an amazing job.

Anyway, sorry to hijack this thread - just felt like sharing my observations and curious if anyone else has had the same experience on this tour. I think 75% of the issues I saw could have been taken care with a better mix. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable show and nice to hear the songs live again after such a long hiatus (on my part --- no theirs of course.)

--T
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Re: Journey Continues w/ Mile Marking Show in Music City

Postby Onestepper » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:19 am

Great detailed review. I'm also in St Louis, and went and saw them the last time they were here at the same venue in 2014. From reading your review, coupled with that of the local paper review, it sounds like it was the exact same show as I saw two years ago, minus Deen C (who stole the show in my opinion). Would have loved to have seen Smith on drums, but honestly, I was afraid that it would just be the same thing with the same crappy sound mix....and apparently I was correct.

One of the comments from the local review was just how ill timed the Cain and Neal solos were...he particularly noted how much of a momentum killer Schon's solo's were..basically calling them painful. As always though, the guy had really good things to say about Arnel who is the constant showman.

Unfortunately, unless they were to release some new material, I think my days of seeing this band live are over. Which is really sad.
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