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 9/28/2008 and 9/30/2008 Greek Theater Los Angeles

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PostSubject: 9/28/2008 and 9/30/2008 Greek Theater Los Angeles   Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:33 pm



http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_10611240

Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick put on memorable show
By Gerry Gittelson, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 10/01/2008 05:39:47 PM PDT


LOS ANGELES -- What a trip. Thirty years later, '70s rock icons Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick are as big as ever. Maybe not on the sales charts or on radio playlists, but the threesome has proved quite a summer concert draw, selling out Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine in July, then returning for two sold-out nights at the Greek Theatre this past Sunday and Tuesday.

That's 25,000 tickets, proving once again that classic rock is alive and well - and oh so rewarding for the hungry masses of baby boomers who a generation ago enjoyed the luxury of great new songs on the radio every week but must now live a world that barely remembers who the Beatles were.

On Tuesday, all three were in fine form, particularly Journey, which features new singer Arnel Pineda, an unknown from Manila whom the band discovered on YouTube. He's 40 years old and sounds just like Steve Perry, whose soaring voice defined the band's sound in Journey's hey day but who hasn't been in the group in 10 years.

For those who believe Perry is the world's greatest rock singer - and there are a lot of us out here -- Pineda might be the second best. Close your eyes, and the newbie sounds just like him.

Pineda has collaborated with Journey on a new CD, "Revelation," the first post-Perry release that's proved a commercial success, and that has given the San Francisco group a reason to tour, sparking one of the year's biggest comeback phenomenons.

Clad in tight red pants and a black long-sleeve shirt, Pineda is just a little guy, but what a bundle of energy. He was constantly running the stage, jumping around, and doing high kicks, and he hit every glorious high note with a zeal and enthusiasm not witnessed since Journey headlined Long Beach Arena on the "Frontiers" tour way back in 1983.

Second song in, "Only The Young" rocked and had the crowd on its feet. A few moments later, "Stone In Love" came through loud and clear, echoing all the way through adjoining Griffith Park.

On the successive "Open Arms," "Faithfully" and "Wheel in the Sky," Pineda owned every inch of the stage, and guitarist Neal Schon was just warming up. The finale of "Lovin' Touchin, Squeezin'" barely saw a single patron leaving early.

For Journey, it was a total success.

Heart and Cheap Trick were on point, too. Heart's Ann Wilson delivered terrific vocals , finding her best moments on "Magic Man," "Alone" and "Barracuda."

Folks were still trickling in when openers Cheap Trick took the stage, and the Chicago band, the only one of the three featuring all original members, seemed to be having a lot of fun.

They say the great ones make it look easy, and that was Cheap Trick. Loose, carefree, and a huge hit such as "I Want You to Want Me" or "The Flame" never more than a few minutes away.

gerry.gittelson@dailynews.com
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PostSubject: From VARIETY!   Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:51 pm


The Set List is written and compiled by Variety associate editor Phil Gallo. Gallo, based in Los Angeles, writes about the music business for Daily Variety and reviews concerts, television shows and theater.
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=reviews_layout&dept=Music
Journey at the Greek: Post-Concert Thoughts Before Writing a Review

With Filipino singer Arnel Pineda having crossed the line from Steve Perry Karaoke master to respectable lead singer and a new album that taps into the energy and formulas of Journey's hitmaking era, there's little reason to doubt Journey has ability to keep their train moving with new passengers boarding at every stop.

But there's more than immediately meets the eye. Beyond it's pair of smart moves - the hiring of Pineda and the Wal-Mart exclusive release of "Revelation" - there are timing issues as well. The pop world is so devoid of well-crafted and polished rock music and bands with uniquely identifiable elements that Journey rises above the landscape like one of those birds on their album covers. There are plenty of us who looked at Journey differently when "Don't Stop Believin'" closed out "The Sopranos," but that's not who sold out the Greek for two nights; these fans, whether new or veteran, are attracted to the oeuvre and, for a certain segment, the nationality of the new singer.

Like Santana, who employed Neal Schon prior to him creating Journey in 1973, the band has gone through a series of reinventions in the last decade before coming to this point, a focused celebration of the "Infinity" to "Frontiers" ('78-'83) edition of the band.(Santana learned how a bit of focus can help your career back in '99).

Everything about Journey feels rejuvenated - the energy in the playing, the songwriting, the feeding off the energy of the fans and, maybe quite significantly, their re-establishment as bona-fide headliners. Yes, without journeys into all that has defined Journey, their 90 minutes are divided into blocks of screaming rock tunes and power ballads, but there's nothing to derail them - no obsessive solos, nothing sonically wayward or off-putting and nothing that does not sound exactly like the audience's image of Journey.

This summer, Journey has headlined one of the smartest triple bills of the last several years. Cheap Trick played the nostalgia card and performed every tune that made it into heavy rotation 20-30 years ago. Ann Wilson demonstrated her pipes are still Superman-like and that the guitar riffs in Heart's songs still put smiles on the band members' faces; they perform like they're still eying potential in their act to breakthrough to headliner status.

It's not simply evidence that tours packaging artists whose heydays came in the late 1970s and early '80s will win over fans every time. Journey and Heart are full of life and vigor, making their standards such as "Lights" and "Magic Man" sound powerful and from the heart.
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PostSubject: From VARIETY!   Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:57 pm


Recently Reviewed : Journey
(Greek Theater; 5,700 seats; $110 top)
By PHIL GALLO
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117938566.html?categoryid=34&cs=1Presented by Nederlander Concerts. Opened Sept. 28, 2008. Closed and reviewed Sept. 30.



Band: Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo, Arnel Pineda. Also appearing: Heart, Cheap Trick.

Hits and songs that sound like hits dominate Journey's 90-minute set in one of the summer's most consistently successful package tours, a sign that the latest edition of Journey has assimilated new singer Arnel Pineda and returned to a strict focus on their hitmaking days of the late '70s and early '80s. Material from their Wal-Mart-only release "Revelation" stands up well alongside the classics; album is tailor-made to attract fans of the Steve Perry era of the band.

At the second of two sold-out shows at the Greek, Pineda proved he has crossed the line from Perry Karaoke master to respectable lead singer. That the new album taps into the energy and blueprint of Journey's hitmaking era makes for a clear formula for Pineda to follow and simultaneously gives a band an opportunity to maintain a focus in a career-spanning set.

Show is limited to two types of songs -- the screaming rockers and the power ballads -- and they are delivered in blocks; six up-tempo numbers open the show before a pairing of new ballad "After All These Years" and "When You Love a Woman," a hit from 1996's "Trial by Fire" album that reunited Perry with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain after a nine-year separation.

It's a smart tactic, this elimination of songs that wind up sounding like stylistic detours when placed against the likes of "Don't Stop Believin' " and "Lights": We live in a singles era, and no matter how focused Journey has been on cohesive albums over the band's 35 years, this show emphasizes the potency of Journey's singles, which in turn pulls in a wider audience. Concert emphasized the craft of Schon and Cain, not their moments of adventurousness.

Evidence that the two continue to fine-tune the Journey sound within these parameters showed up in "Change for the Better," one of the up-tempo numbers on "Revelation" that relies on the standard Journey-isms -- a story about searching for a brighter tomorrow, a catchphrase in the chorus and simple bite-sized rhymes. It's such a dense and rigorously performed track that when the band's 1983 hit "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" follows, the better known tune comes off as lethargic and riddled with holes; it's a bit of a letdown.

Overall, though, everything about Journey feels rejuvenated -- the energy in the playing, the songwriting and the feeding off the energy of the fans. Heart made a good case for their legacy, too. Ann Wilson demonstrated her pipes are still Superman-like -- particularly on an extended "Magic Man" and a convincing version of the Who's "Love Rein O'er Me" -- and guitarist Craig Bartock brought playful touches to many of their trademark riffs. Cheap Trick stuck to hits, too, but appeared a bit worn out by the trek that started July 9 and closes Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
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PostSubject: Re: 9/28/2008 and 9/30/2008 Greek Theater Los Angeles   Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:11 pm

http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view/20081002-164260/Arnel-Journey-welcomed-with-Open-Arms

LA Welcomes Arnel and Journey with 'Open Arms'
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3 October 2008
Review of Ruben V. Nepales



STANDING ovations, cheers, applause and whistles for Arnel Pineda, right, and Journey in a sold-out concert at LA’s Greek Theatre. Photo by Ruben V. Nepales

Only in Hollywood
Arnel, Journey welcomed with 'Open Arms'

By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:25:00 10/02/2008


LOS ANGELES, California—The crowd at the Greek Theatre, constantly on its feet, cheered and whistled its appreciation for Journey as the band performed for the first time in the LA area with its new vocalist, Arnel Pineda.

A second show was added on Tuesday to accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets to the first show last Sunday.

We never saw so many Filipinos in a rock concert in Los Angeles. But despite the large turnout of Pinoys at the open-air, over-5,000 capacity venue, the audience was still predominantly white. Right from the opening number, "Never Walk Away," the band's new lead singer from the Philippines was embraced with open arms by the cheering crowd.

Blessed with a powerful voice, a higher pitch than former front man Steve Perry and able to sustain difficult notes, Arnel instantly laid to rest any doubts on whether he deserved the lead vocalist spot. The verdict is in: After a parade of replacements for Steve, Arnel is turning out to be the most effective and successful.

Bouncing all over the stage, making scissor kicks in mid-air, playfully fist-bumping with people in the front-row, the former Olongapo-based musician looked comfortable already in the role.

The short singer sure can sound like a giant. His band mates, guitarist and Journey founder Neal Schon, keyboardist-guitarist Jonathan Cain, drummer Deen Castronovo and bass player Ross Valory also appeared relaxed and happy with their choice. They smiled appreciatively at the new kid on the block as his solid voice reverberated throughout the outdoor setting. The Sampaloc, Manila native was offstage only during a number or two so he can rest his voice.

Early on, the audience lapped up the band's new songs—"Only the Young," "After All These Years" and "Change for the Better." So imagine how the house broke loose when Journey launched into its chestnuts like "Lights," "Open Arms," "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully." The largely middle-aged crowd, which attended proms that blared these anthems, embraced their spouses, dates and partners; they danced, exchanged high fives with seat mates, raised and swayed their arms, sang along and screamed their approval of Arnel and his band mates while standing throughout most of the remaining set.

No flashy gimmicks

With such pop-rock classics, Journey didn't need any flashy gimmicks onstage. Save for a giant video screen, it was a no-frills, straightforward show. The songs were the centerpiece, especially since there is new appreciation for these '80s rock hits, which were once commonly described as "cheesy."

Journey and their front acts, Heart (Ann Wilson showed she still has those impressive pipes) and Cheap Trick, are all benefiting from the resurgence of music from their era. A new set of fans, whose parents played these bands' albums when they were kids, is invigorating the careers of these groups.

And the infusion of new blood into the bands, like Arnel's admission into Journey, has sparked new interest. (We're sure that many of Journey's fans will be surprised to learn that the long-haired and "baby-faced" rocker is not twentysomething but a veteran of Asia's live music scene at 41.)

The band announced onstage at the Sunday show that "Revelation" is Journey's best-selling new album since 1986's "Raised on Radio."

The audience, of course, wouldn't leave without hearing an encore. The band came back with "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"-the crowd chanting along, swaying their bodies and exchanging friendly nods and smiles with fellow spectators.

If people at the show in LA are this enthusiastic for Arnel (as well as Journey again), how much more when the rocker living a Cinderella dream, a former street urchin who slept in Manila's parks, goes home to perform with the band next year? We predict that there won't be a dry eye left in the house as Filipinos see in person one of their own, a kababayan who may be short in height but is now walking and singing tall in the global rock scene
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