San Bernardino - Saturday, October 14
It is nights like these that I know exactly why I do what I do.
I thought I saw a good show last night in Hollywood. Sure, it was awesome, but tonight's show in San Bernardino eclipsed that in every way and then some. The guys nailed it tonight. Totally nailed it. From seeing this show and reading the reviews of the shows that have preceded it in recent days, it seems the band has really hit their stride on this third and last leg. The 'get to know' process is over, now the guys are gelling on stage like never before.
The entire band had the near capacity 20,000+ fans assembled eating out of the palms of their hands and on their feet from the word go thanks to Neal's awesome Star Spangled Banner.
No exaggeration, but the whole crowd was jumping from the get go and to turn around and watch all those hands waving in the air, especially when conducted by JSS during Lights, was simply amazing. But it wasn't just that song, they were waving, singing and jumping as soon as Stone In Love kicked in after Neal's inspired solo intro.
I turned around and watched the crowd a lot – they were really into this and why wouldn't you be? Journey come out swinging and it's not until mid-way through the set that anyone gets to take a breath.
Their energy is infectious and the tempo of the setlist makes for an 80 minute attack of the senses that gets the night off to ridiculously amazing start. This band raises the bar for everyone.
Tonight's show was made even better thanks to the weather which held out until just after the end of Journey's set. Then it really started to rain. But a dry stage and a pumped up band made the identical set list from the night before seem fresh and new.
What I saw tonight was a band that seems to be getting better and better and tighter and tighter.
Talking to the guys before the show I could see real a team spirit present and ever growing confidence – who wouldn't be confident when some of the reviews from the American press this summer have been their best in many years.
The on stage energy was even more infectious than the night before. Once again a dry stage gave everyone the confidence to resume their roaming ways, with Jeff Scott Soto covering every inch of the stage plus both side-ramp walkways.
Neal Schon and Ross Valory roamed freely, but the biggest surprise for me was watching Jonathan Cain while acting as second guitarist. He spent a lot of the time center stage, frequently hamming it up and during Chain Reaction, followed JSS' invite to the far side of the stage for some crowd pleasing jamming.
Soto again put in an amazing vocal performance, further adding his own stamp to the Journey classics.
One of the band's bus drivers Roy said before the show – “watch the girls During I'll Be Alright Without You…the song has soul. They love it…swinging, dancing and clicking their fingers.”
Yep…Roy was right – the crowd and the females present really dig that song. It looks set for a long stay.
This truly is a great rock band that I consider myself very fortunate to have seen. I talked to some fans at the shows too – they feel the same way.
Journey are going out there kicking serious ass, without any effects or the use of extra lighting effects or pyro – just a good old fashioned, high energy rock n roll show.
Set List: Star Spangled Banner, Stone In Love, Ask The Lonely, Wheel In The Sky, Keep On Running, Edge Of The Blade, I'll Be Alright Without You, Chain Reaction, Lights, Cain Solo – Open Arms, Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', Escape, Dead Or Alive, Faithfully, Don't Stop Believing, Anyway You Want It; Encore – Separate Ways.
c. 2006 / Andrew McNeice & MelodicRock.com