Journey turns back time in Milwaukee

For a band that’s cycled through as many vocalists as Journey has you’d assume they’d have fallen into the black hole of music, forgotten for good. But after almost 40 years, Journey can still energize a crowd of many thousands with hits that will bring many of them back to their high school days.

Journey even has a drawing effect on today’s era of kids; their music still being popular and widely known in modern day high schools and colleges. That’s not to say it’s as frenzy-like as in the 80’s, but it’s still lingering around.

Vocalist Arnel Pineda is especially popular with the younger crowd. Many in the first few rows had a great time with him as he was slapping hands and off his feet and all over the stage for the entire show.

“Any Way You Want It” was played very early on with a few other hits. The crowd was just loving the quick start and Journey didn’t let up much at all during their set. Through a few early songs, though, the crowd showed a less enthusiastic side by sitting down, but that’s not to be expected with slower ballads “Lights” and “Faithfully” where fans threw their hands up in the air, waving back and forth.

A few lighters remain in the crowd after all these years too, many replaced by the blinding screens of smartphones. There was also no shortage of people recording the whole show either.

Arnel wasn’t the only one with enough energy to make up for a whole band. Guitarist Neal Schon blistered away on multiple beautiful guitars pouring solo after solo into every song. Besides the vocals of Steve Perry, channeled flawlessly by Arnel Pineda, Neal Schon’s style of guitar is the signature of the band.

Drummer Deen Castronovo blasted out the vocals for  “Keep on Runnin'” with style similar to the old days of Journey. Arnel Pineda’s absence on stage seemed a bit awkward at the same time. There was no one jumping around or running back and forth. That highly energized front man is probably why Journey is still able to fill these arenas after so many years.

Jonathan Cain (keyboards & guitars) even jumped in for lead vocals on “Just The Same Way” and blasted off a harmonica on “Wheel in the Sky”.

“Don’t Stop Believing ” was saved for last, or so we all thought. It was a great teaser of an ending with the massive confetti blast to send fans out, but to all our surprise they rolled right on into “Separate Ways”.

Filing back on stage for a short one song encore, Journey sent the roaring Milwaukee crowd off with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”.

For more Journey photos check out the album from Rock USA 2011.

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