Journey and Toto brought their 2022 Freedom Tour to the American Airlines Center in Dallas Wednesday and did what they do best, performed great classic songs to a packed house.
The revamped Toto, anchored by founding member, guitar great Steve Lukather and long time vocalist Joseph Williams put on an hour+ display of musical prowess. Appearing as special guests meant Toto had to lean heavy on the hits, but they made room for some surprises.
Familiar hits like "Hold the Line," "Ill Be Over You" and the ubiquitous "Africa" were met with rousing cheers while "Home of the Brave" and "White Sister," with its ripping solos by Steve Lukather served notice that Toto is not the fluffy pop band they were portrayed as. Half the fun of seeing Toto live is watching the reactions of people when they realize how great this band is and always has been.
The strength of Journeys performance was the nights bigger surprise. In recent years, their hit laden setlist had become fairly predictable, even stale. Tonight they played like a band on a mission. The 19 song setlist was still hit heavy, but Journey played with intensity and passion while adding a few twists. "Send Her My Love" was given a bluesy instrumental section while "Wheel in the Sky" became an epic 8 minute highlight featuring a grooving jam built around Neal Schons iconic solo. Drummer Deen Castronovos soulful, emotive voice turned "Mother, Father" into a showstopper and recently added keyboardist Jason Derlatka delivered a great vocal turn on "Girl Cant Help It."
Guitarist Neal Schon could make a tennis racket sound good. His playing is the lifeblood of Journeys songs and that was on full display the entire show. Jonathan Cain brings multiple weapons to the table. After 40+ years, its hard to believe he wasnt always in Journey. Between his voice and the pure joy he brings to the stage, singer Arnel Pineda has cemented himself among Rocks great singers. Why any fan would dismiss him because hes "not Steve Perry" is beyond me.
Theres a reason why the Totos and Journeys of the world are still LIVE. Tonight was proof.