Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Summer Journey experience to remember

July 16, 2008

I went to see the Journey band's Revelation Concert at Crickett Amphitheatre, Chula Vista (about 15 miles south of San Diego), California last night July 15th, 2008. What a night of melodic Rock music that was! Totally awesome night of music performance.

I went along with High School friend Charles Balmaceda and his wife Vicky and their friends James and Edith Dariano.

I grew up listening to this kind of mellow Rock music in the 80s, along with the Eagles, Styx, and Led Zeppelin. I would regularly hear Journey hit song titles like Faithfully, Open Arms, Lights, Separate Ways, Don't Stop Believing playing on the radio during my high school and were also played by student rock groups during my College years at Saint Louis University with shows like Vision Link. Who could forget Journey songs with that distinctive and signature Steve Perry tenor voice? I took it for granted that these popular songs were sang by the Journey band.

Fast forward 22 years later.

I stumbled upon Journey music again, after a chat with an online friend in UK. She mentioned something about their new Filipino lead singer named Arnel Pineda and Journey band making it big during their European tour last April 2008. That sparked my curiosity.

A quick search in You Tube with keywords "Journey, Arnel Pineda, Tour, 2008" returned video troves of how an awesome singer this fellow Pinoy is and how he sang beautifully, powerful, strong, angelic, soulful, with good and long range voice.

Before his Journey discovery by Journey's lead guitarist Neal Schon, Arnel and his group The ZOO band played cover music from popular rock bands like Aerosmith, Survivor, Toto, Boston, Led Zepellin, Bon Jovi, Queen, Styx to name a few. The guy is really talented.

Its one thing to watch Journey in You Tube, or in their Revelation DVD's recorded concert in Las Vegas last March 2008. Being in a 2008 Journey concert gave me another dimension: 19,480 Journey fans singing along with Journey music to their heart's content, the vibration of their music beating against your face and chest. its an experience like no other.

We were seated in the Orchestra area just below the stage speakers were located and wow, the sound was loud and the music was crisp clear.

I couldn't control my emotions while listening to live Journey songs, I just had to stand up from my chair, raise my hands, sing along or cheer after each song! Heck everybody was in the upbeat mood, singing along, jumping , dancing, and cheering. It just gave me the goose bumps to hear Arnel's dynamic voice, Neil Schon's Electric Guitar, Jonathan Cain's keyboards, Deen Castonovo's drums, and Ross Valory's Bass Guitar to the tunes of Faithfully, Open Arms, AfterAll These Years. It was crazy.

I wished Deen Castonovo sang the song titled Mother, Father which he did in the CD. Steve Perry originally sang the song 15 years earlier. You can view that rendition of the song in their DVD if you happen to have it or search it in You Tube.

I heard classic Journey songs such as: Don't Stop Believin'(played during the final night of Sopranos show), Open Arms, Lights, Wheel in the Sky, Anyway You Want It; Loving, Touching, Squeezing; Separate Ways; Wildest Dreams; Send her my Love; as well as new Journey songs included in their Revelation CD: After All These Years (ballad), Never Walk Away , Change for the Better (a song about recovering from alcohol abuse), Neil Schon's Electric Guitar solo rendition titled The Journey (Revelation).

Arnel also does those jump stunts and launch off from Deen Castonovo's drum platform at appropriate points of their music renditions. Classic rocker indeed. Those jumps and sidekicks seem like slow motion scenes from the Matrix movie.

Friends , watch out for Arnel and Journey band when they hit Manila and the rest of the Philippines for a series of Concerts sometime in November 2008. they are also pass by Toronto's Molson Amphitheater on September 5, 2008 .

Well if you haven't yet, buy their Revelation CD (two CDs and a DVD).
Its well worth the purchase if you like melodic Rock music.

What a Summer to remember. Thanks Journey.


Here's Journey band playing Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' at Cricket Amphitheatre,

Journey band playing Open Arms at Crickett Amphitheatre:

Click here or on the image below to view some of our pictures taken at Crickett Amphitheatre during the Journey concert.