Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Concert Review: Journey with Cheap Trick, Heart

He does a great Steve Perry impression.
Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
Imagine Aerosmith without Steven Tyler, or if The Doors had existed without Jim Morrison. Exactly - you can't, and Journey will never be the same without Steve Perry for that same reason. That doesn't stop them from trying, and on Sunday night, supported by a couple killer opening acts, they just about succeeded.
Despite pitch-perfect live renditions of the old stuff and identical sounding new songs, the headliners might as well call themselves Open Arms: The Journey Experience without the original singer of their hits. Now led by sound-alike Arnel Pineta, the band is little more than a nostalgia act, akin to the Brian Wilson-less Beach Boys. Predictably, the new stuff almost put the crowd to sleep, but the set contained many more hills than valleys, with just enough pop-metal classics to merit an encore.
Guy on the right believes you have his stapler.
I can't complain nearly as much about the preceding bands. Cheap Trick threatened to get gimmicky with the constant guitar switching and Rick Nielsen's pick throwing between strums, but they set the power pop tone of the night with "I Want You To Want Me", "Surrender", and plenty of songs you haven't heard.  Their short songs recalled classic punk, and their style was the most lo-fi of the night - and that's a good thing.
Ann has since gained a little weight.
Even better was Heart, whose six members produced a heavy sound between the many instruments and Ann Wilson's powerful pipes.  Their set was a perfect mix of their hits, their more obscure tunes, and surprising covers.  Their takes on The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" and Zeppelin's "Going to California" proved that Ann and Nancy could rock just as hard as their male contemporaries.
Good thing Journey has such fine tourmates who set a high bar.  If only they would ditch "After All These Years" and throw in a song that won't kill all momentum.  Then we could forget about Steve Perry.


  1. Ew, Journey.

    Isn't Cheap Trick a guilty pleasure of yours, Chris?

  2. I dont know about Chris, but for me, sure. Cheap Trick is probably a guilty pleasure. And yeah, ew...Journey.


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