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Journey Concert Review – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena 9/12/2014

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    Posted 9/19/2014 

    Journey (Arnel Pineda) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Arnel Pineda) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey returned their rock show to Nashville, TN to thrill about 14,000 rock music fans at the Bridgestone Arena on September 12th, 2014 and Concert Blast was invited to cover the party. Nashville, TN seems to always be included on a Journey tour anytime they head to the eastern side of the country.  After seeing them perform here several times, I understand the reason … lots of Journey fans!  If that is not reason enough, then maybe because keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Cain also lives in this Music City.  Enjoy the Journey concert review with very special guests Joan Jett and the Blackhearts written by Mike Arnold.

    Joan Jett In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Joan Jett In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Written by Mike Arnold
    Downtown lower Broadway in Nashville, TN was a happening place to be on Friday September 12th, 2014.   Especially inside the Bridgestone Arena!  Waiting there to perform were two major rock acts that have been providing us with fun rock and sing-alongs since the 70′s, Journey with very special guests Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

    This was a fun night of classic rock as Joan Jett took the stage to an Intro song of “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful and then cranked out her concert favorites, “Bad Reputation“, the Runaways hit, “Cherry Bomb“, the sing along, “I Hate Myself  For Loving You” and the new rocker, “TMI“.  It took Joan a while to get this Journey crowd on their feet in the upper level seats, but when she cranked out “I Love Rock and Roll”  the crowd came alive and she continued thrilling the fans with “Crimson and Clover“, “I Hate Myself For Loving You“, and closed the evening with encore songs, “Wild One” and “Everyday People“.

    Journey (Neal Schon) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Neal Schon) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    After about a 20 minute intermission, the house lights went down and before you knew it,  a short, loud, energetic Philippino by the name of Arnel Pineda walked out on stage carrying a handheld spotlight shinning on various audience members who were already on their feet as the other band members followed.   They didn’t waste any time to start the night rocking as they started with an old favorite, “Be Good To Yourself“.  The rock didn’t stop as the band transitioned into the second song of the night, “Separate Ways“.  Again without stopping they went straight into, “Anyway You Want It“.  Right when you believed they were about to address the Journey fans, they kicked off with another rocker, “Only The Young“.

    During these first four songs Arnel was full of energy by jumping and running and pointing at the crowd while still singing.  His voice was cracking at times, but not bad enough to disrupt the show, after all everyone was into the songs and rocking out to the show to notice or care that much.  Arnel and other band members left the stage with the exception of Neal Schon who tore into a short guitar solo before blending the notes into the “Star Spangled Banner“.  On the large rear stage video screens there were photos of military and video segments of a United States flag flapping in the wind.  Toward the middle/end of the song, drummer Deen Castronova and bassist Ross Vallory slowly appeared to add a bass and beat to fill the tune.

    Journey (Jonathon Cain / Ross Vallory) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Jonathon Cain / Ross Vallory) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    By the end of the anthem, singer Arnel Pineda and keyboardist/guitarist, Jonathon Cain made their way back out to be ready for another continuous rocking tune, “Stone In Love“.

    I like to rock like most fans, but I was ready for the band to pause the music long enough to say hello!  I know, I know, people who know me personally can’t believe what they are reading!  They completed six rockin’ hits before they actually stopped the music… WOW!

    Now was time for Arnel to take another break from singing as Neal Schon introduced “The best singing drummer“, Deen Castronova to take over the vocals on the ballad, “Mother, Father“.  After hearing Deen sing, you will agree with Neal.  He too sounds a lot like Steve Perry on this one.

    Journey (Deen Castronova) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Deen Castronova) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    As soon as the song was over, Arnel Pineda returned to the stage to take over his vocal duties again.  His voice sounded top notch at this point throughout the end of the show.

    Jonathon Cain yelled, “It’s Good To Be Home!  We’ve performed all over the world and this is one of the best places to play.”  He then introduced the first of two songs of the night released in this century, from the Revelation album, “Faith in the Heartland“.

    Neal introduced the next one as the second song he ever written.  He said he wrote this one with his old friend, and former Journey vocalist/keyboardist, Gregg  Rolie.  Without further hesitation Neal picked the opening notes to the Journey sing-along classic, “Lights“.

    Journey (Jonathon Cain) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Jonathon Cain) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Arnel Pineda announces “Here comes your home boy!” as the stage emptied of the band members again, with the exception of keyboardist Jonathon Cain.  Jonathon began playing the piano section of his keyboards as a very interested solo with parts of Journey hits such as “Send Her My Love“, “Who’s Crying Now“, and others. At the end of his solo, he played the intro of the next number, which the band came returned to join in, “Open Arms“.  At the close of the song, Arnel introduced Jonathon Cain, who introduced Arnel Pineda.

    It was time to rock again as Neal led the band with one of the favorite concert rockers, “Escape“.  This was followed by another rock song released in this century from the Eclipse album, “Ritual” which led into a Neal Schon guitar solo.  Neal once again showed off his shredding talent which led into an old favorite, “Wheel In The Sky“.

    Jonathon mentioned he wrote a song in 1982 while on his first Journey tour about the family love of the members and road crew, “Faithfully“.  On the giant rear stage video screens, there were photos and videos of the road crew, audience members, and band members.

    Journey (Neal Schon) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Neal Schon) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey closed their set with their number one sing-along, “Don’t Stop Believin’“.  Those in the arena blasted out the lyrics with the band, which honored the song as the anthem that it is today.  Toward the end of the song, the party was turned up another notch as confetti cannons blasted off from various areas of the arena floor.  The guys in the band waved and left the stage.

    It didn’t take long for the band to return to the stage for an encore as the approximately 14,000 voices yelled for more. When they returned, they pulled out another favorite from their collection with a blues riff, “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’“.  At the end of the song, while the band was still playing, Arnel Pineda leaped into the crowd to be among the fans while taking photos, signing autographs, hugging and shaking hands.  The guys then gathered on stage with their arms around each other, bowed and waved goodnight before leaving the stage for the final time.

    Journey (Arnel Pineda) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    Journey (Arnel Pineda) In Concert - Nashville, TN 9/12/2014

    RECAP
    I’ve seen Journey in concert about seven times with four lead singers.  Arnel Pineda is the most energetic one they’ve had and probably the most energetic singer in rock music history!  This was a good show, but here are my improvement recommendations…. They performed six songs before stopping the music and addressing the audience.  They should have done this no longer than three songs.  There were practically two guitar solos.  One led into the “Star Spangled Banner” while the other was just a straight solo.  The straight solo should have included the national anthem if Neal really wanted to play it.  I would rather hear another Journey hit.  The song “Mother, Father” was ok to give Arnel a break, but again I would have rather heard another Journey hit. That one backed with “Faith in the Heatland” and a piano solo made the middle kind of boring at times.  ”Lights” and “Faithfully” were very good but should have been together in the middle instead of a rock song, slow song, rock song.  I did like the energy of the band, just not the arrangement of the setlist.  I loved it when the confetti cannons exploded and when Arnel went into the audience at the end.  On a Concert Blast scale (with 10.0 being the best) I will give this show an 8.5.  Will I want to see Journey perform again?  Maybe.  It all depends on the set list and the singer they are using at the time.
    Written by Mike Arnold


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