Journey is still underway

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Journey is still underway

Postby tater1977 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:37 pm

Journey is still underway ... -hotel/#/0

By Matt Kelemen
April 28, 2017

Journey returns to its Las Vegas residency this week at the Hard Rock Hotel with the wind at its back after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although classic-era vocalist Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon embraced after accepting the honor at the April 9 ceremony in Cleveland, fan fantasies of Perry singing with the band remained unfulfilled as current vocalist Arnel Pineda joined Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith for a three-song set. Theories abound as to why Perry wouldn’t take the mic, but the best bet is the former frontman graciously respected Pineda’s current role.

That role sees Pineda fronting the band for nine shows at Hard Rock concert venue The Joint beginning May 3 before launching a headlining summer tour that leads into its participation in The Classic West and The Classic East shows in July with Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire. Journey has a pair of classic-celebrating shows of its own set for The Joint, when the band performs its tour de force albums Frontiers and Escape in their entirety at its May 10 and May 17 shows.

While fans may always pine for Perry’s return, the direction of those albums owes more to Cain coming on board and replacing founding member Gregg Rolie’s Hammond organ with his synthesizers, completing Journey’s transformation from San Francisco progressive rock pros to arena-filling pop-chart superstars. Schon made sure to credit Rolie, who appeared onstage with original Journey drummer Aynsley Dunbar, in his Hall of Fame speech as it was Rolie who discovered him and introduced him to Carlos Santana. Rolie and Schon separated from Santana in 1973 and formed Journey (“Without Santana, there would be no Journey,” Schon told Rolling Stone in a post-induction interview), with Perry coming onboard in 1977 and Smith joining in 1978.

With hits such as “Lights,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” and “Any Way You Want It” in perpetual rotation on FM radio by 1981, Journey brought on Cain and modified their direction to conquer the pop charts. Escape was released that summer and yielded “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now” and No. 2 hit “Open Arms,” which became a staple at proms and homecoming dances throughout the decade. It hit No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, while 1983 follow-up Frontiers hit No. 2 and included ballad “Faithfully,” soft rocker “Send Her My Love” and synth-heavy MTV hit “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” It was the last album Valory would play on for more than a decade, while Smith left in 1985 and returned in November 2015.

Throughout that time of commercial success, Journey was famously a favorite target of rock critics. In hindsight, it could be argued that Journey became the scapegoat of their disappointment in a San Francisco scene that never recovered from its Summer of Love hangover. Although several band members downplayed the importance of the Hall of Fame induction before the ceremony due to the band’s history with critics, it’s hard not to see Journey as having received redemption. Today’s fans of “Don’t Stop Believin’” really don’t care what a critic wrote 35 years ago, not as long as Journey keeps working hard so they can get their fill of one of the finest pop-rock bands of the late ’70s and early ’80s.
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
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