March 6, 2015
Winstar World Casino
Thackerville, OK USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh
Iconic 70's Band Still Ridin' High After All These Years!
Journey is one of those rare bands whose music has become part of American culture. Kids of the 80's remember playing the Journey Atari game, ex-lead singer Steve Perry led thousands of fans in sing-alongs during World Series games, American Idol contestants have solidified their chances of winning by singing a Journey song, and we all know about the torturous medleys on the TV show Glee. If you've ever seen a cover band or been to a karaoke bar, you've experienced a drunken fool trying to sing a Journey song. You would think that everyone would be tired of this music since we hear it everywhere we go. The cool thing is that when Journey hits the stage, you forget about all that garbage and get lost in the songs you've loved for your entire life. Last night at the WinStar World Casino, their fans come alive once again!
As keyboardist Jonathan Cain hammered out the familiar opening notes to "Be Good To Yourself," the sold-out crowd at Winstar jumped out of their seats and started singing along like it was 1986. As they tore through hits like "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)," "Only the Young," and "Stone in Love," guitarist Neal Schon nailed every solo with precision while bassist Ross Valory interacted playfully with the fans in the first few rows.
Energetic frontman Arnel Pineda jumped off of monitors, threw his microphone in the air, executed David Lee Roth kicks with ease, and pirouetted across the stage, but he never missed a note. He achieved vocal perfection as he made all the ladies cry during heartfelt renditions of "Open Arms” and "Faithfully," and he had control of the entire audience as he led sing-along versions of "Lights” and "Lovin', Touchin, Squeezin'."
Drummer Deen Castronovo took over the lead vocals for a very rare and cool performance of "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)," which was the lone studio track on 1980's Captured, and a scorching "Wheel in the Sky” proved to be the highlight of the night.
Even though it's been played to death, it's still a lot of fun to sing along to the most famous rock n' roll anthem of all time, "Don't Stop Believin'." It's one of those songs that takes us back to a different time and makes everyone scream the chorus at the tops of their lungs. It's a great moment, watching all the fans around you freaking out to a song that holds a different memory or meaning to all of us.
The addition of Arnel Pineda to this band has given them a new energy the last few years, and with the nostalgia of the band's catalogue and the masterful musicianship by Schon and company, Journey is once again one of THE live acts that you have to see every time they come to town. You're guaranteed a great time!