Finally, the nights are cooling off, but the music tonight was hot. On Sunday night November 19th Journey wrapped up their 2016 tour at The Pool at Talking Stick Resort. It was a sold out show with a lot of the fans standing around the pool. I saw Journey back in 1978 when Steve Perry was the lead singer. Steve has left the band and they have a new singer, Arnel Pineda who sounds a lot like Steve back in the 70s. Arnel’s voice was strong and he has an amazing stage presence as the lead singer. The band also made it very clear that Arnel is now the band’s longest running lead singer. Founding members Neal Schon on lead guitar and Ross Valory on bass guitar are still with the band. Newer members include Jonathan Cain on keyboards and guitar and Steve Smith on drums. As a sixth member of the band, Travis Thibodaux is kind of hidden in the back, playing keyboards.
From the very first song “Separate Ways”, the band was laying down their distinctive rock sound. The band initially started out with a jazz fusion sound and then in the late 70s, they developed a more classic rock sound with Neal laying down some classic guitar riffs. Most bands have a unique sound and Journey is no exception. From their soulful ballads “Faithful” and “Open Arms”, to their more classic hard driving songs “Separate Ways”, “Any Way You Want It” and “Wheel In The Sky”, once you hear the opening of each song you know exactly who it is and what you are in for. During the song “Lights (When the lights go down in the city)” the audience got out their lighter and phones and swayed with the music. The audience was standing for the entire show, singing along with a number of the songs. During the encore “Lovin Touchin Squeezin”, Arnel jumped off of the stage and went into the pit to sing, shake hands and do selfies with the people in the front row.
Journey’s fans got exactly what they wanted, the band played all of their greatest hits. Neal was at the top of his game laying down numerous guitar riffs. Jonathan switched between Journey’s signature keyboard sound and playing rhythm guitar to Neal’s lead. Both Steve (drum) and Ross (bass) provided the underlying rhythms. Arnel is just amazing as the lead singer and you would never know he was not there originally. If you love classic 70s and early 80s rock then this is definitely a show to see.
This was the last show at The Pool at Talking Stick Resort for this year. If you have never been to see a show here, it is a great medium sized outdoor venue. The really nice thing is that even if you are in the back behind the pool, you still get a good view. The area is divided up into 2 sections. The front has seating with VIP seating on the sides. The back area around the pool is general admission.
Review and photos Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: The Pool at Talking Stick Resort
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2016
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Frontiers)
Be Good to Yourself (Raised on Radio)
Only the Young (Frontiers)
Neal Schon Guitar Solo
Stone in Love (Escape)
Any Way You Want It (Departure)
Jonathan Cain Piano Solo
Open Arms (Escape)
Who’s Crying Now (Escape)
Chain Reaction (Frontiers)
La Do Da (Infinity)
Steve Smith Drum Solo
Neal Schon Guitar Solo
Wheel in the Sky (Infinity)
Don’t Stop Believin’ (Escape)
Lovin Touchin Squeezin (Evolution)