JULY 11th 2015
Review & Photos by: Char Tupper
A rainy summer night here in Vancouver, BC, but that didn’t stop people from making the trek into town to see the one and only, Journey and guest, Neal Schon. Tonight, it is time to “escape” and open yourself up for a little trip down rock and roll’s memory lane.
Neal Schon, an American guitarist that is of course, legendary for his work with fellow band mates, Journey, in fact, he is Journey’s longest lasting constant member since the formation. That being said, Neal has branched into a new solo project, which he recently released an instrumental album called “Vortex” in late June. Touring in support of this new record, listening to a variety of the songs, personally, I couldn’t tell the songs apart, they all sounded very similar to one another. Thankfully Neal stopped and talked between songs, or I would have thought it was one giant song. Don’t get me wrong, the musicianship behind it are well executed and from the back of the room, very crisp and clear. Musically though, it was safe to say, I was eager for Journey.
It was now time to watch Bay Area rockers, Journey. Of course, quite a few years ago, Steve Perry left the band, but Arnel Pineda stepped up to the plate in 2007 and has since filled in Perry’s shoes. On June 29th, Dean Castronovo faces felonies of rape, sexual assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and numerous other convictions. Due to these felonies, instead of Journey cancelling their North America tour, they had Omar Hakim fill in and can I say, for a short notice, he does an excellent job behind the kit, not a single beat was missed to my ears. Now both Neal and Omar were doing double shifts of performances this tour, but did that show? Not even a little, both musicians along with the rest of Journey played practically a perfect show. I will be honest, I would have loved to see Journey with Steve Perry since I hear the original material when Im with my parents, out enjoying a sunny day off work. It would have been phenomenal to see him perform, however, Arnel would be the next best thing. Arnel hit at least 90% of the notes pretty dead on, some notes weren’t exactly like Perry, but, considering Arnel came from a cover band that played songs of Journey, safe to say he had good practice hitting most of Perry’s notes.
Overall, the night was a great night filled with great music, great friends, and great energy all around. No fist fights, none of the “bull hunk” mentality here tonight, which sad to say I see that far too much these days, pathetic really. It was nice to see a show that everyone simply was having a great time making amazing memories on this “Journey” we call life.