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Journey Live In Santa Rosa, CA

By Perrin Wolfson, Pure Rock Patroller
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 @ 4:35 PM

Journey, (yes, Journey!) Live

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Yes I know, Journey isn’t exactly a metal band, nor do they often adorn the pages (or airwaves) of KNAC, but there is no doubting their place in the annals of American Album Oriented Rock. Journey kicked off their summer tour with a special “hometown” gig before friends, family, and 1,200 lucky fans (the show sold out in 30 minutes) at Santa Rosa’s intimate Luther Burbank Center for the Arts -- nobody left disappointed. Journey, having just severed ties with Sony music (a split rumored to be over Neal Schon’s desire to record heavier music), used this show as an opportunity to gauge audience reaction to several new tunes and warm up for their summer tour dates by performing a series of classics as well as some rarely played songs.

Much has been made of new vocalist’s Steve Augieri’s replacing of Steve Perry in the band. One simply needs to witness the live cohesion of the current line-up, which also includes founders Neal Schon (guitar), Ross Valory (bass), long time member Jonathan Cain (piano, keys, guitar), and newcomer Deen Castranovo (drums) to understand that Steve Perry or no Steve Perry, Mr. Augieri is the right man for the job. The new singer has a wonderful stage presence, interacts well with the audience, and most importantly provides perfect vocals on all songs -- new and old. Ah yes, the songs!

The band kicked off the evening by opening with a new rocker named “State of Grace.” If this and second new track, “The Time,” are any indication, Journey seem to be moving in a heavier, groove-oriented, ballsy direction which suits them very well. The new songs were well received by the Journey faithful, many of whom inquired as to when these new songs will be made available. The rest of the night focused on classics, as Journey treated the crowd to terrific renditions of “Separate Ways,” “Lights,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” and “Wheel in the Sky.” Other highlights of the evening included a short acoustic set featuring the rarely played “Trial by Fire,” and unreleased Escape-era track “Liberty,” as well as a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the incredible Neal Schon. Say what you will about ‘70s and ‘80s era bands replacing key members. These bands have the conviction to carry on and continue to delight their loyal fans, not to mention win a new generation of fans. Journey definitely did that on this night. The industry should stand up and take notice that the “new” Journey is new AND improved. A great show -- catch them if you can this summer!

Set List:
State of Grace (new song)
Separate Ways
Ask The Lonely
Star Spangled Banner (guitar solo by Neal Schon)
Stone in Love
Only the Young
Send Her my Love
Open Arms (piano solo by Jonathan Cain)
Feeling that Way/Anytime (medley from Infinity album)
Trial by Fire (acoustic)
Liberty (unreleased song – acoustic)
Higher Place
The Time (new song)
Don’t Stop Believing
La Raza Del Sol
Wheel in the Sky
Be Good to Yourself
Any Way You Want It
Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin

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