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THE JOURNEY ZONE

http://www.journey-zone.com




THE REVIEWS

2002


Note: although the following guide is topical, these reviews are printed in chronological order.

January 7, 2002: Steve Augeri at New York City, December 22, 2001
January 4, 2002: Jonathan Cain's Namaste
January 9, 2001: The Journey 2001 DVD
March 22, 2002: The Storm: Eye of the Storm
May 4, 2002: Gregg Rolie Band Fresno Review
May-October 2002: Journey Under the Radar Tour Review Series
June 2002: Minority Report
June 2002: American Russian Young Artists Orchestra World Tour 2002

Journey: Red 13
  • September 1, 2002: by FoundryMusic.Com
  • October, 2002: by Classic Rock Revisited
  • November, 2002: by RevampScripts.Com


    For Journey's 2002 Under the Radar tour, the Journey Zone (then called Jrnydv.Com) solicited reviews from fans around the country with the intention of posting at least one review for each show.
    Various Reviewers:
    May 4, 2002: Journey at St. Petersburg, FL
    May 5, 2002: Journey at Atlanta, GA
    May 7, 2002: Journey at Little Rock, AR
    May 11, 2002: Journey at Cincinnati, OH

    July 6, 2002: Journey at Muskegon Summer Festival, Muskegon, Michigan:
  • by Muskegon Chronicle (marketing)
  • by TowandaRG
  • by Joleigh
  • by Muskegon Chronicle (review)

    July 10, 2002: Journey at Common Ground Festival, Lansing, Michigan

    July 13, 2002: Journey at Outagamie County Fair, Seymour, Wisconsin:
  • by Paul Beaudry
  • by GoOLDNGrl2

    July 21, 2002: Journey at Harley Davidson Festival, Atlanta, Georgia
    July 27, 2002: Journey at Bald Hill Ampitheatre, Brookhaven, New York
    July 30, 2002: Journey at Pier Six Concert Pavilion, Baltimore, Maryland
    August 9, 2002: Journey at Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, Iowa
    August 12, 2002: Journey at Lewisburg, West Virginia
    August 27, 2002: Journey at New York State Fair, Syracuse, New York

    August 28, 2002: Journey at Allentown County Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania:
  • by Lunchbreak
  • by GumOnMyShoe27

    September 6, 2002: Journey at Hutchinson, Kansas
  • September 18, 2002: Journey at Abraham Chavez Theater, El Paso, Texas:
  • by El Paso Times
  • by LAWoman

    October 10, 2002: Journey at Neil Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

    The LAWoman Under the Radar Reviews:
  • April 20, 2002: Journey at Santa Rosa, California
  • July 4, 2002: Journey at Casino Rama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
  • August 21, 2002: Journey at Santa Ana Star Casino, Bernalillo, New Mexico
  • August 23, 2002: Journey at Kelseyville, California
  • August 24, 2002: Journey at Antelope Valley Fair, Lancaster, California
  • September 18, 2002: Journey at Abraham Chavez Theater, El Paso, Texas
  • September 20, 2002: Journey at Anselmo Ampitheater, Tucson, Arizona
  • September 21, 2002: Journey at Camp Verde, Arizona

    The JRNY02 Under the Radar Reviews:
  • July 31, 2002: Journey at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
  • August 3, 2002: Journey at Meadowbrook Farm, Gilford, New Hampshire
  • August 30, 2002: Journey at Essex Junction, Vermont

    The Lunchbreak Under the Radar Reviews:
  • August 2, 2002: Journey at Clearfield County Fair, Clearfield, Pennsylvania
  • August 28, 2002: Journey at Allentown County Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • September 26, 2002: Journey at Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

    The JRNYVAL Under the Radar Reviews:
  • May 8, 2002: Journey at Poplar Bluff, MO
  • July 20, 2002: Journey at Route 66 Music Festival, Joplin, Missouri
  • August 10, 2002: Journey at Illinois State Fair, Springfield, Illinois



  • Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line
    Glen Burtnik's Xmas Xtravaganza
    New York, NY December 22, 2001
    All photos ©2001 Barbara A. Svachak

    Steve Augeri and Tony Shanahan
    Publication History:
    Originally published on this page, 07 January, 2002.

    It was with a feeling of joy and anticipation that I picked up my brother, Richard, at his home in Washington, DC for our latest trek north to see Steve Augeri. It had been barely three months since we had made a similar trip, on the day after the tragedy now known simply as "9-11", to see Journey perform in York, PA. Now we were heading north not just to see Steve Augeri at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, New York City, but to see our family for the holidays.

    We made it into town at about 7:00 pm on Saturday, the 22nd, and our first stop was The Bottom Line to pick up our three reserved tickets for the 10:30 show. Then it was off to dinner with Lana, friends, and parents at the Silver Swan in the Gramercy section of Manhattan. The Silver Swan is a pretty decent place to get good German cuisine; this was my second time there and I recommend it for the food, although the service is not excellent. We left the JRNYDV-mobile, with the autographed license plate in a bag inside, parked in Gramercy, and walked back down to the show; in retrospect we should have taken the license plate to the show, because there were other Journey fans there who didn't come over and say hi because they didn't know what I look like.

    At about 9:45 Lana, Rich and I got at the end of the ticket-holders' line, stretching west from Mercer Street on East Fourth Street, outside the venue. We were about twenty feet from the front. We chatted with people who had been to all eleven annual performances of Glen Burtnik's "Xmas Xtravaganza" as we huddled together against the biting New York City cold.

    I caught my first sight of Steve Augeri at about 10:05, when he left the club through the main entrance and walked east on Fourth Street towards Broadway, for a breath of fresh air and perhaps a cup of herbal tea. I couldn't help but think that he was walking towards the Tower Records downtown location, visible from our positions on the line, where I had made my first Journey-related purchase, nearly twenty years earlier. I couldn't see his face, and (as will be discussed later in this review) he was not wearing summertime clothing, which was the only mode of dress I had ever seen him in, but even from behind I knew it was him. I didn't call out or go up to him; I figured he was taking a break that he needed and certainly had earned.

    At about 10:30, Steve came back towards the venue, and hung out at the entrance for a minute. At this point I yelled out something like "Woohoo! Steve! Journey Rocks!" I can't be sure exactly what I said, because I was in fanatic mode, that weird psychological state that even we in our ivory towers enter when confronted with an idol. Steve turned and looked at me smiling, and gave a little wave.

    Then a few minutes later, Steve crossed Fourth Street and actually started hanging out on the corner across from the line. I figured this would be a good time to go over and say hi, and maybe get my DVD and Japanese version of Arrival signed. So I took them out, along with the Waterman® ball-point I keep clipped in-between the buttons of my polo shirt, and went over.

    Steve had just been joined by a couple of kids from his own neighborhood in Brooklyn (they told me exactly which one he's from but I won't reveal that online) that he had evidently invited out to join him at the show, and he was talking to someone else he also seemed to know. I approached but maintained a polite distance, and when he interupted his conversation to come over to sign my stuff, I told him to feel free to finish his conversation first.

    But he insisted on addressing his fan first, which is something that still amazes me about Steve Augeri. He's been famous as the lead singer of Journey for four years now, and before that he had earned a modicum of fame as the lead singer first of Tall Stories, and later of Tyketto. Steve consistently thinks of the interest of his fans, even when he thinks they aren't listening, which is remarkable.

    I handed him the CD and the Waterman®, and he asked me to whom he should make out the autograph, and I told him "Journey-Dave, without the vowels."

    He stopped and looked up at me, and said "You're JRNYDV? You're Dave?"

    "Yes, have you heard of me?"

    "Yes, I have," he replied, as he started writing over the golden sand of the Japanese cover.

    I fumblingly removed the silly Sony insert from the DVD, which advertised videos for other artists, and when I got it out, I realized that I had removed the wrong thing for his signature. "Wait--this is garbage," I said as he handed me the CD and reached for the insert, and I threw it in the New York City trash can next to him.

    I finally got out the black-covered liner of the DVD from it's plastic protection, and handed it over to him. "Do you mind if I sign on the back?" he asked, and I nodded OK. "What did you think of it?"

    "Oh, it was awesome," I replied, "but I was a little disapointed that you didn't play any of the [duet material] from the Rolie-Perry days. As I've said in editorials on my website, you and Cain...seem to have a better chemistry than Perry and Rolie did."

    "Well, we're actually working on some new material like that. I genuinely love Jon Cain. He's like a mentor to me."

    As I silently memorized his words, and got his approval to print them in this review, I thanked him for his time. Then he started to hand me back my Waterman®. "No, you keep it, please," I said. "As a token of my appreciation for your having saved Journey." He smiled and thanked me, looked the pen over a bit, and resumed his conversation with his friend as I walked back across the street to resume my place in line with Lana and Rich.

    Much has already been written about what happened inside the venue that night, so I'll limit the rest of this review to the words of others on Back Talk--The Official Journey Forum, and the complete lyrics, as promised, of "Christmas Lights."
    Glen Burtnik
  • On the subject of Glen Burtnik's Hair:
    JonChance--December 27, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    Dude, Glen's hair was REALLY green in the photos! It didn't look that green on stage. He's gonna dye it one time too many and then we'll be seeing him in hats because all his hair fell out.
    LAWoman--December 30, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    If anyone is keeping track of Glen Burtnik's hair--we saw him with Styx last night in Anaheim and it is still very green. He looks a little like the grim reaper sometimes under those spotlights, but he certainly does have a lot of energy.

  • On the subject of the George Harrison Tribute:
    GitarGrl--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    Last night we got to hear a lot of folks doing George Harrison songs in tribute, and it was clear that their generation was influenced by the Beatles. I wondered to myself if these guys realized that it was THEIR music that influenced a whole other generation?
    GitarGrl--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    Sat[urday] was the George Harrison tribute night. They didn't call it that, but that's what it turned into with Marshall Crenshaw there (who referred to his days in Beatlemania with Glen saying they played "fake Beatles" together).
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • On the subject of Steve Augeri's introduction:
    JonChance--December 28, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    ...At the first show when Glen introduced him he said something like "he's the lead singer for a little band you might know, Journey" and people sure cheered! Glen didn't do this at the second show and I have to wonder if some people were confused as to why he was singing what he did. In any case both audiences enjoyed it once it was said and done.
    GitarGrl--December 28, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    You're...right about Glen not really making it clear who/where Steve was from when he introduced him at the 2nd show, but I didn't really notice a difference in the cheering after he did his song. Can't argue with talent, I guess! (You are right about the reception when he took the stage, though.)

  • On the subject of Steve Augeri's outfit:
    JRNYDV--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    Steve wore shiny silver pants--I said they were leather but Lana and Rich say denim--and a tight long black single-breasted jacket.
  • GitarGrl--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    ...The pants actually looked sorta light silvery blue-ish -- kind of a cloud design or tye-dye or something. (I was sitting about 3 seats from the stage.) Some of the "STYX Chyx" had speculated before the show that he might wear red leather, so we were paying attention!
    augerifan--December 27, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    Those are the blue and white leather (yes they are leather, I touched them) "cloud" pants that Steve wore at the beginning of the Arrival tour that he retired because "they were too big after losing 10 pounds on tour." He then had them altered in NY and they were shipped to him in GA for the Volunteers for America shows.

  • On the subject of Steve Augeri on stage:
    GitarGrl--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    I was floored with the "Christmas Lights" version of one of my favorite Journey tunes. It was tasteful, appropriate, fun and AWESOME!!! As I said, Steve ROCKS!
    JonChance--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    I noticed Steve sort of 'took over' the stage as almost no one else that evening did ... I was contemplating it and I think its a function of him being very accustomed to dealing with these huge stages and having to try and connect with massive crowds. On a teeny stage with an audience of only a few hundred that translates to a HUGE presence. He knows how to work a crowd, that's for sure.
    GitarGrl--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    I totally agree!!! He takes command even of the tiny stage in the Bottom Line. It's a gift. It's subtle, but he makes you feel as if he owns the place... and HE DOES! From the moment he opens his mouth to sing, you're with him on the... ahem... Journey (pardon the pun), and waiting to see where he'll take you next. As I said in an earlier post -- a truly class act. I just can't say enough good things about the guy and my opinion goes up another notch every time I see him.

  • On the subject of Steve Conte on guitar:
    JonChance--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    ...Guitarist Steve Conti did a great job on the Neal solo in the song. (I am almost positive that's his name, but I've been wrong on such things before.) I don't know what band he's in or what else he's done, but he's great. He did a kicka$$ version of George Harrison's "What Is Life".

  • GitarGrl--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    As for the other hottie named Steve present at the shows... that was Steve Conte. He toured with Billy Squier this past summer and has a band with his brother John (another hottie!) called Crown Jewels. They performed as a band on Friday night. They're really GREAT!!!! They have 2 CD's out that I know of, but they're hard to find. They also have a great Web site, but I don't know the URL off hand. (Search Yahoo under the band name with Steve's name and you should get to it.) We talked with Steve Conte after the show and he's totally sweet!




    Steve Conte
  • On the subject of "Lights" being re-written for NYC:
    GitarGrl--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    ...Though I know "Lights" is about San Francisco, last night this native Long Islander felt like it was about MY hometown. We've been through so much lately, it was a great way to spend a few hours and forget the trouble in the world.
    CJ--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    We folks here in the S.F. area don't begrudge you this song one bit!! Our Hearts, Prayers and Lights are yours.

  • On the subject of Antonique Smith singing "Oh Holy Night":
    JRNYDV--written for this review
    After our Steve left the stage, I couldn't help but think that the next act had a really tough chore ahead, Steve being such a tough act to follow. I felt certain it would be a comic number. But then out came Antonique Smith, with "Oh Holy Night", which even Pavarotti can barely do justice to. I was skeptical of this choice at first, when she didn't even attempt the high note during her first rendition of the chorus. As it turned out, actually, she didn't sing that first high note because she was stylistically building the number to a grand climax. And grand it was indeed! Boy was I surprised not only to hear her sing that high note the second time through, but to hear her sing it as I've never heard it sung before! I see great things in her future.
  • Antonique Smith
    JonChance--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a certain Antonique Smith showed up on the next Journey album should female vocals be called for. That young lady blew everyone away. This was her second year at the Xtravagana and I hope to see her come back for many, many more.




  • On the subject of Steve Augeri in the audience:
    GitarGrl--December 23, 2001--General Forum--Steve Augeri at the Bottom Line last night
    I also noticed that he stayed through the end of the 2nd show, watching and enjoying the many different acts as much as we did, which was pretty cool. I didn't want to bother him, but some of my table mates got to say hello, which made their night very special. He is a class act.
    GitarGrl--December 24, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    I regret I didn't have the nerve to bother Steve Augeri to wish him a Merry Christmas, but he looked like he was really enjoying the second show, standing out in the audience, and I didn't want to be a pest.
  • On the subject of Chuck Buck as Snoop Clausy Claus:
    Rocker Chic--December 28, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    ...The guy who plays "Santa" every year is Chuck Buck. Who could forget such a character? Every year, he gives us something different: Santa Castro, Chanukah Harry, Santa Patel, Rasta Santa, and this year's Snoop Clausy Claus. He usually performs at the late shows, so, if you're bringing the kiddies, beware. He has a very "colorful" act to say the least. Perhaps Steve and his wife will want to leave their son home next time...then again, they seemed to take it in stride and enjoy it anyway. Hey, they're New Yorkers after all.

  • Chuck Buck as Snoop Clausy Claus
    Christine Ohlman JonChance--December 28, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    I enjoyed Hannukah Harry the best for one reason alone - he tossed out chocolate gelt (gold foil covered coins) instead of candy canes. Chocolate trumps peppermint!

  • On the subject of the "Fairytale of NYC" duet:
    JonChance--December 28, 2001--The Dixie Highway--Steve Augeri's appearance at the Bottom Line
    You know what else I loved? The Pogue's "Fairytale of New York" duet with Christine Ohlmann and Joe Hurly. There's just something about that song that I love, dark and twisted as it is.
  • "Christmas Lights"
    As sung by Steve Augeri at The Bottom Line
    Greenwich Village, New York City:

    Christmas lights go down in the city
    And the snow falls on Christmas day
    I want to be there in New York City

    When you're down and lonely
    Well my friend I'm lonely too
    I want to get back to New York City

    I'm sad, oh, and so lonely
    When I'm alone without you
    Without your charms

    Christmas lights go down in the city
    And the snow falls on Christmas day
    I want to be there in New York City

    Christmas lights go down in the city
    And the snow falls on Christmas day
    I want to be there in MY city



    Steve Augeri



    Jonathan Cain's Namaste

    Reviewed by Ohiojourney
    Publication History:
    Originally published on this page, 04 January, 2002

    Jonathan Cain's CD Namaste is his latest new age release. This is the CD I put in after a long day at work. It's upbeat and each time I listen to it I enjoy it more!

    I think Namaste has a little something for everyone. My favorites off this CD are "When Ever We Say Goodbye", "Namaste" & "In The Rapture". If your looking for something upbeat that will put you in a good mood, "Faces Of Mardi Gras" is the song for you. For those who like Jazz "Everytime it Rains" is a great song.

    Namaste is exactly what Jonathan Cain fans have come to expect from him. Wonderful moving music performed with classic style & grace. This CD is a must have for any Jonathan Cain fan!

    You Won't be able to find this CD in the stores--it is exclusive to Jonathan's site: www.jonathancain.com.

    Enjoy!

    Amy/OhioJourney.



    This review ©2002 by OhioJourney. No reproduction, whole or in part, is permitted without the express permission of the author. All inquiries may be made through the administrator of this website.





    The Journey 2001 DVD

    Reviewed by LAWoman
    Publication History:
    Originally published on this page, 09 January, 2002

    As diehard Journey fans know, Journey 2001 is a DVD (also available in VHS) of a live concert recorded in Las Vegas in December 2000. The DVD is 106 minutes of Journey's classic hits, a couple of their more rare, older songs (La Raza Del Sol and Fillmore Boogie) as well as a couple songs from their latest CD, Arrival (Higher Place and All The Way). As Neal Schon says on the DVD: "What's up Vegas? It's great to be back!" It's equally great to have them back, and with this DVD, it finally feels like they are back. Journey has always been a band that is best experienced live. The magic of a live Journey concert is on this DVD, preserved for all to see and hear.

    This DVD captures the spirit of the band. You see five musicians all at the top of their craft who clearly love playing music and love playing music with each other. You can feel the camaraderie--the exchanged smiles and pats on the back.. But most of all you see that these five guys, each unbelievably talented and versatile in their own right, understand that Journey is bigger than the sum of its parts. There is something special that happens when these men get together and play in front of an audience.

    The picture quality of the DVD is sharp and clear as is the VHS version. Thanks to Kevin Shirley, the audio is outstanding. If you can experience it in surround sound, it is almost like you are at the concert. The mix is nice and clear. You can hear Steve Augeri's beautiful vocals while your china is rattled out of the cabinets by Deen Castronovo's drums and Ross Valory's bass. There were a few times when Neal's guitar seems to get a little buried in the mix, but overall the sound is excellent.

    Deen is so impressive on this DVD. The camera often comes up from behind him and we see him as a ball of energy with both feet slamming double basses, his arms a blur, while somehow managing to sing those ghost high notes that compliment Steve's lead so well. He is superbly versatile, proving he can pound a frenetic beat demanding everyone's attention on "Fillmore Boogie", while laying back and providing the solid backbone of "All the Way", ending with an almost delicate flare of the cymbals. He is Journey's secret weapon.

    Teamed with Deen's steady beat and flash is Ross Valory's masterful bass. Although sometimes overlooked, you only need to turn up your subwoofers to hear how essential Ross is to this band. He is the backbone.

    Jonathan, the jack of all trades of the band, does it all for this show. He sings, plays piano, organ, guitar he does everything, masterfully. He rocks out on Fillmore Boogie and he plays a beautiful piano solo with a classical feel. When you consider he was a major force in writing nearly every song in the show, it is obvious Jonathan is a rare talent.

    Neal shows that he only continues to get better as the years pass. He makes a guitar sing like no one else can. On this DVD it is a special treat to be able to watch Neal's hands and fingers in closeup as he blazes through those lightening riffs we have all come to know and love. He can play the ballads, the rockers, the blues. He makes it all seem so easy and he does it all with that famous Neal grin that makes you know he is playing for the love of the music and the fans. He plays from his heart and soul.

    Then there is Steve Augeri. Taking his place as the lead singer of this band, he owns these songs and shows his range and versatility. He delivers smooth, beautiful renditions of the legendary ballads, "Open Arms" and "Lights". With his power and phrasing on "La Raza del Sol", he helps turn a formerly forgettable song into one of the best ones of the show. Steve shines the brightest on "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" and the blues intro to that song, proving he can definitely sing the blues. All the while, Steve's charisma comes through the camera. His playful interactions with the crowd show his affection for the fans, his love of the music and performing.

    The final song of the show, "Faithfully", captures the relationship of this band to their fans. The band members leave one by one and Steve is left alone on the stage with the fans. The audience and Steve--all clapping together and singing. The audience seems to want him to stay and he does not seem to want to leave. He does, of course, but we all know they will all be back. So the journey Neal Schon began nearly thirty years ago continues, through the years and into the future better than ever. That Journey magic has been captured on a DVD, Journey 2001. Get it.

    This review ©2002 by LAWoman. No reproduction, whole or in part, is permitted without the express permission of the author. All inquiries may be made through the administrator of this website.

    Purchase your copy of Journey 2001 through CDNow Today!






    The Storm: Eye of the Storm
    By "A music fan from Ocean Springs, MS"
    Publication History:
    Originally published at Amazon.Com, 22 March, 2002
    Re-published at Jrnydv.Com, 17 August, 2003

    The Storm's first cd, was great ( 4 1/2 stars), and their second, is even better. This group does Journey better than Journey does Journey. Kevin voice has more soul than either Steve in Journey. Greg, Journey's orginal keyboardist, has only gotten better with age. And guitarist Jose, plays with the same passion as Neal of Journey. Maybe Journey needs to listen to the Storm, to remember how to play and to put fun back into their music, something than been missing since Frontiers.

    The cd starts out rockin with Don't Give Up, and never really lets up. I Want to be the One, has a familiar ring to it, like sitting down and listening to an old friend. A lot of the songs are this way, leaving you feeling pumped up and ready to go. Waiting for the World to Change, To Have and to Hold, What ya Doing Tonight, and Long Time Coming, are as beautiful as any Journey song. With Long Time Coming, being the first song in years to give me goosebumps, the song really has power and soul behind it. Livin' it UP, and Give Me Tonight, are Gregg's finest, better than any thing he has done with Sanatana, Journey, solo, or with the Storm. This cd is really worth checking out, it's a shame they only had two cds. And both cds, were awesome. I can't wait to check out their new project TWO FIRES.


    Journey at The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, California
    April 20, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    Journey's Friends and Family show at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa this past weekend was a benefit for the Brightstar Foundation and an exciting prequel to Journey's upcoming summer tour, the "Under the Radar" Tour. Approaching the venue on Saturday, there was a big red banner across the LBC marquee proclaiming the show "Sold Out". The 1,550-seat venue had, in fact, sold out hours after the tickets went on sale even with the increased capacity added by standing-room-only tickets. This crowd really was composed of a lot of "friends and family". The Journey faithful came from all across the United States and even from around the world as fans came from as far away as Japan and Ireland to see what these masters of rock and the power ballad have in store for us this year.



    Needless to say, Journey fans were on the edge of their seats with anticipation. We leapt to our feet as the lights finally went down right around 8 pm and through the darkness we heard that unmistakable sound of a searing Neal Schon guitar mixed with the roar of the audience. Our boys were finally there in front of us after a long winter filled with uncertainty and changes that seemed to be swirling around the band we love. I think I never stopped smiling from the moment I heard those first strains of the Neal electric magic.

    The first song of the night was one of the eagerly-awaited new ones, "State of Grace". It is a longish song--maybe ten minutes, and it rocks out. If you recall the first moments of any Journey concert, you will understand when I say that I can't tell you much about that song. It is all a wonderful blur, but I do know the band was jamming together like crazy. I was trying to take in everything. The stage was set a little different than usual. There was no video screen, but the LBC is really so intimate that one was not needed. There was not a bad seat in the house and the sound system was great--not too loud, not too soft, no drop-outs in the sound, no funky mix. There were no sound problems at all that I could detect.

    Deen Castronovo's drum set is now a bright yellow and he was closer to the front of the stage, much more visible than last summer. The guys are looking fit and rested. Neal is sporting a very cool goatee. The mandatory fashion report is that Steve Augeri's ensemble for the day was black leather with a black and white print shirt.



    Parts of the show were very reminiscent of the recent live DVD, Journey 2001. The set list and order was even quite similar. As part of Neal's guitar solo, however, he added "The Star-spangled Banner". His rendition gave me chills. Even Deen seemed blown away by the heart and feeling of that solo. Of course Neal got the standing ovation he deserved.

    Jonathan Cain seemed to be playing more rhythm guitar than normal, but he did go into a beautiful piano solo that was similar to his solo on the DVD. The solo led gracefully to one of the most beautiful renditions of "Open Arms" I have heard. Steve's voice was so strong and clear. Jonathan sang on "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime", which got great reactions from the crowd.

    The highlight of the show for me came when Neal, Steve, Ross and Jonathan came out center stage and sat on stools for an acoustic set. Deen stayed back on drums while the band played "Trial By Fire" and "Liberty". These songs brought tears to my eyes because of their quiet beauty and the meaning they have had ever since I saw the band play them at the Volunteers For America benefit in Atlanta after the 9/11 tragedy. Steve's vocals were exquisite and from his soul. Neal showed his versatility in that he can rock out and also play the most beautiful, soft guitar (which is, of course, why he is now "the Grammy-nominated Neal Schon").

    From the acoustic set they went into the only song they played from Arrival, "Higher Place". The song got a nice reaction from the crowd which was great to see. I would have liked to hear a little more from Arrival on the set list, but there are only so many songs you can cram into a show. Next we were treated to another new song, "The Time". Steve said the song was still a little rough around the edges, but that's what friends and family are for. The song is a great rocker with a Led Zeppelin feel to it.

    Another high point was when they included "La Raza Del Sol". Steve's vocals were amazing, but as on the DVD, this is a song that Deen owns. Deen was rocking out all night, but he was particularly unbelievable on "La Raza". I think he may actually have some extra hands and feet! Deen also seems so happy to be up there playing and singing. He was a joy to watch.

    All the guys seemed to be having a blast right along with the audience. We were treated to the Auggie shuffle and slide as well as some speaker-climbing to reach up to the audience in the balcony. Steve was working the crowd with that great, playful stage presence he has. There was a lot of high-fiving with the first few rows. At one point, Steve was playing around with Deen by trying to grab his cymbals. Steve told the audience to sing a refrain with Neal and stuck the mike in front of Neal so we could all sing together. On some of the instrumental portions the guys turned toward each other and jammed--rocking out together and taking us along for the ride. The guys have such a great rapport.



    Ross was his usual upbeat, entertaining self complete with various faces directed at whatever audience member happened to catch his eye. The guys did seem to be watching the crowd a bit more than normal. Perhaps they were seeing how the new material was going over and they acknowledged some familiar faces in the crowd. Many of the band's family members were also in the audience. As it turned out there were no guest performers, although Jack Blades was on the scene.

    Before I knew it, the night was nearly over and the guys were leaving the stage. We did manage to get them back for an encore: "Any Way You Want It" and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' ". But eventually all good things must end and after a two hour show they left the stage. We left the venue with our ears ringing, intent on going back to the hotel lounge, hanging out with other Journey fans and talking about the fabulous show. Little did we know that there were other surprises yet to come.

    After about a half hour at the hotel bar some Journey family members started filtering in. I had the pleasure of hearing some great Deen-o stories from his mom who is a charming and accomplished lady in her own right. Did everyone know that aside from being a monster on the drums and singing like nobodys business, Deen can play guitar, write a song or two and pick out songs on the piano by ear? What a natural talent.

    Then, out of the blue, I saw Mr. Steve Augeri walk into the bar with his lovely wife, Lydia. He got a spontaneous standing ovation that seemed to embarrass him a little. He quickly gestured to Ross who had slipped into the bar and was nearby, so that Ross would also be included in the applause--and rightly so. Then, for probably a couple of hours, Ross, Steve, and Lydia stayed there with the fans. Although Steve and Ross must have been tired after a two hour show and a meet-and-greet, they graciously talked to everybody who wanted to go up to them. Steve even went around to a few tables just to greet people. They signed autographs and posed for pictures. Lydia greeted any fan that went up to her and was also so warm and welcoming and seemed to have a great sense of humor. I was so impressed with the way they conducted themselves. It is often the case that meeting a celebrity is a bit of a disappointment, but on this night I left with nothing but more admiration for these men. They are so down-to-earth and appreciative. Steve seems to always make a point of saying "Thank you for coming to our show".

    I came away from that show and that night feeling that Journey is out there primarily for the fans. There is so much energy and excitement around this band now that new material is in the works and the summer tour is upon us. Although the planned EP containing the new material was not ready for the Santa Rosa show, it apparently is expected by the "official" start of the tour in July. There is a full CD planned for the end of the year. The online Journey store is scheduled to open sometime this month. Finally, there are changes on the horizon for the official Journey website. All in all I expect this to be one fabulous year for Journey and Journey fans. So if you have any opportunity to catch a Journey show this year, do it. Experience the talent and the grace of these five incredible musicians who have been giving it all to the fans for so many years now. I hope they never stop.
    Set list
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Neal guitar solo with "The Star-spangled Banner"
    Stone in Love
    Only the Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jonathan piano solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Trial By Fire (acoustic)
    Liberty (acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Dont Stop Believin'
    La Raza del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
    Used with permission of Traci Shumway
    Steve and Lydia Augeri at the after-show party












    Journey at Chrysler/Jeep Bay Fest, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Florida
    May 4, 2002
    Reviewer: Birdwoman

    On a balmy spring evening, as an unseasonably hot and cloudless day filled with music and madness drew towards dark, I awaited the arrival of Journey on the stage to cap off a wonderful day. Boats had pulled up along the bay, and the searing heat had relented just a touch, a gentle breeze was swaying the palm trees ever so slightly. The summer concerts had started here in Florida. As I stood there gazing at the somewhat tired, yet excited crowd questions ran though my head, and I felt a sense of anticipation a bit unlike other concerts I had attended previously. This wasn't just another show. This could be the last hurrah or a bold new direction for a most influential "Classic Rock" band. It seemed that tonight would bring no answers to many of my questions but would certainly answer one: there are MANY, MANY fans who are not yet ready for Journey to give it up. There was a crush to see Journey unlike any other for all the bands that played throughout the weekend.

    The "Under the Radar" pre-tour officially began as "the boys" made a staggered entrance to the stage. Ross, wearing a dragon-imprinted vest over a black t-shirt, was his usual clowning self. Deen, somewhat hidden behind the HUGE (ok, it was not so big) Sponge Bob Sticker on the drum cage, was wearing black. Has the Sponge Bob sticker replaced the lava lamp as tour mascot, I wonder? Jon looked liked he would be equally at home playing in an upscale jazz club, in black leather pants and a simple gray shirt. Neal was still sporting the cool goatee along with a tapestry-like vest and jeans. And finally, what you've all been waiting for. Steve arrived on stage wearing head to toe blue water reflection--something that ONLY Steve could pull off, but he pulls it off quite well!

    The band immediately launched into "State of Grace" one of the brand new songs from the upcoming EP, due out sometime soon--July, perhaps? This song rocks, and is beautiful at the same time. I can't be quite sure, but I think we got a shorter version than the 10-minute version the "Friends and Family" were treated to at Santa Rosa. It seemed to be well received by all and had so many changeups that one security guard actually thought it was two songs. However, I think this song perhaps should have been reversed with the second song, "Separate Ways" or even the third song, "Ask the Lonely", as the crowd seemed a little caught off guard by a brand new song with no introduction.

    The one flaw that was noticed right away, at least from the front rows, was that Steve's vocals were struggling to compete with the band. The sound was simply not quite right for you to be able to hear him as well as you should have been able to hear him. This was particularly a problem during the first three songs, and remained somewhat of a problem throughout the show, unfortunately. Perhaps this is a causality of the quick set up and little or no sound check at the festival shows? Or maybe it had more to do with my location in the crowd: when you are right up front, you don't always get optimal sound.

    Either way, I don't think the crowd minded much at all--they just wanted to hear and see Journey!!!! And Journey delivered. Some people actually got there at 9:30am for the 8:15pm show. Now that is true dedication in a fan.

    The set was just shy of 2 hours and included the standards that you HAVE to hear at a Journey concert as well as the two new songs, "State of Grace" and "The Time" and only the one track from Arrival, "Higher Place". The big video screen has been replaced by an awesome new lighting system, which gave great lighting on the stage but occasionally blinded the audience. The risers are gone, leaving Steve looking for a place to climb, on occasion, but bringing a closer, more intimate, show set up overall.

    Neal's first solo came just three songs into the show and included the now trademark "Star-spangled Banner" which was an almost surreal moment with the crowd hushed and still, the lighters glowing. This was the ONLY moment of the show when the crowd was quiet, I can assure you!

    "Stone in Love" was followed by "Only the Young," which led into "Lights". If you have the DVD, this is probably sounding somewhat familiar to you. But sometimes familiar can be a good thing. Next, Jon launched into his incredible piano solo and they went into the requisite "Open Arms" which the crowd sang as loudly as the band. After which, Jon brought us back to a "Special Time called Infinity" with "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime" during which Steve was having fun playing with Deen's cymbals.

    There was no acoustic set, and Jon was playing both guitar and piano on "Higher Place", the only song from last year's CD, Arrival. What a guy! Good looks, amazing talent, and a really nice guy, what else can you say?

    Steve introduced "The Time" making sure everyone KNEW this was a BRAND NEW song. It is guitar-heavy and takes you from bluesy to heavy, Zepplin-style rock and back again. This is gonna' be a GREAT song to sit back and listen to for hours on end. There are so many little nuances in it. "Don't Stop Beleivin'" came next, and is still simply a classic song. The next time you hear it, try to listen to it as if you've never heard it before and you'll see what I mean.

    The funky "La Raza del Sol" took us into dancing mode and gave Mr. Augeri a chance to catch his breath before "Faithfully" and "Escape". Then Neal and his guitar took the audience on a short trip to outer space with another solo before launching "Wheel in the Sky" where Steve finally found something to climb on and about gave the Security folks a heart attack! They didn't know he was too smart to fall or jump into the crowd! And finally "Be Good To Yourself" closed out the show. By the way, Deen really did a kick-ass ending on this song.

    Then came the encore with the predictable, yet, MUST HAVE, " Any Way You Want It" and "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'" before the guys threw out guitar picks, drumsticks, etc. and said their goodbyes and headed up the road to Atlanta for another show the next night.

    One of the incredible things for me about a Journey show, is that throughout the show, I can feel as one with thousands of others, or all alone, as if they are playing only for me. This is enhanced by Ross' continuing antics and eye games. That man says more with his eyes than most folks say with their voices.

    Steve Augeri goes out of his way to find the younger fans in the crowd and pay extra attention to them and you can tell he really CARES. Pointing out the person he wants to get the drumstick or whatever he is handing into the crowd. Towards the end of the show Neal was throwing water and then his water bottles into the crowd. And he seemed to be getting as big a kick out of it as the fans catching the stuff. Well, almost.

    As I was walking out of the park, I overheard one fan saying "Now if Steve Perry had been there." But I also heard her say "That 'New Steve' does a pretty good job too, and I'm really glad I came". One thing I DID agree with her about, it is STILL hard to hear "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" without it being followed by "City of the Angels", I guess it was just too many years of AOR radio and playing that album. Those two songs just NEED to go together.

    Set List:
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways
    Ask The Lonely
    Neal solo with AMAZING Star Spangled Banner
    Stone in Love
    Only The Young
    Lights
    Jon Solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Don't Stop Believin'
    La Raza del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel in The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Encore:
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin,'

    Merchandise:
    Sticker Pak - $5 (includes new Red 13 sticker)
    Mouse Pad - $15
    Baseball Cap - $25
    Girl's Tank (White) - $30
    JNRY Red 13 Tshirt (Gray) $27 size xx-$32
    Journey logo Tshirt (white) $27 size xx-$32
    Baseball shirt (White w/Blue sleeves) $35 - Under the Radar Summer Tour 02
    Sweatshirt (Navy) $45
    No CDs, keychains, or necklaces...and what? No panties? ;)


    Gregg Rolie Band Fresno Review, May 4, 2002


    Journey at Music Midtown, Atlanta, GA
    May 5, 2002
    Reviewer: Drmaftrdrm
    Photos by JRNYDV and Doug in NC

    WOW What to say??? When Journey comes to my town, I fear bad sound from Chastain, but from where I was standing about three deep on Jon's side of the stage, the sound was awesome and the crowd was really into each and every note. I was amazed at the different ages showing interest. Some knew the songs but had no idea what our fellas even looked like, God Bless 'em every one.



    This was a spectacular show. Jon seemed to be everywhere at once, playing both keyboards and guitars and looking great all in black leather; Deen has no peer on the drums and backup vocals. I loved watching Steve play drums with Deen. The dive off the piano did scare me just a bit but he seemed to recover quite nicely and never missed a beat. He was wearing Cream colored leather with a white shirt for those who need to know these things. Neal was, well, Neal, tearing up those threads. I think the long solos at time lose the younger folks though (sorry, Neal). Ross was so hilarious and the looks he gave while singing "Faithfully" were the topper. There was excitement in the air and no one can fill that like Journey can. They were the high light of the Festival for sure.



    I would have enjoyed more Arrival tunes, but at times I felt like we in the fan club were the only ones who knew the words to these songs. But the others are learning just the same. It was a great pleasure meeting new fans, and old friends that I have talked to on the back talk boards and other sites as well. Fan gatherings are always next best thing to a concert. Oh, lets not forget--there was this guy out there in the crowd with an inflatable doll, with a little inflatable pig strapped onto it, you know just about where. I tell ya, the embarrassed look on Steve's face was priceless. Deen and Jon got a kick out of it. I never saw a reaction for Neal or Ross though.

    Thanks, guys, for making all my dreams come true once again. You ROCK. Hope you got the two other JOURNEY afghans I gave to your roadie.




    Additional review provided by young Rachel Romick, Journey's newest fan for life:

    We flew to Atlanta from Asheville, NC with weekend passes to the Music Midtown Festival. The weather was not great Friday and Saturday, so we made the best of it with good food and swimming and health club and first run movies in the hotel suite.

    We started getting really excited for the Journey concert Sunday after lunch when the clouds went their Seperate Ways. The temperature rose about 20 degrees.

    We arrived at the festival prior to the Better Than Ezra show and my Dad started his quest for the front row. We watched BTE from about 10 feet from the front. The lights finally came down for Journey and with the help of some really nice people we were on the front row, center stage.

    The concert was awesome. Journey was so tight. The music was legendary. Ross was messing with me the entire concert, making faces and waving.

    Ross must have mentioned something to Deen because after the encore, the band joined at center stage and after a bow, Deen zeroed in on me. He yelled at the security guy, "Give it (the drumstick) to the girl, Give it to the girl." The security guy walks toward me and hands me one of Deen's drumsticks.

    I about fainted. I have never inhaled so much air at one moment in my life. Deen then still looking at me pounds his center chest twice and points right at me. I'm hooked. My favorite band is my Dad's favorite band, Journey.

    Thank you once again Dad for recruiting yet another fan for life. I had a great weekend, lets go on the road with Journey again soon!!!--Rachel

    Editor's Note: How rare it is to find such a gentleman in such a cut-throat industry. Bravo, for Deen Castronovo, "Gentleman of Rock'n'Roll."



    Set list:
    State Of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask The Lonely
    Nealís Solo with The Star-spangled Banner
    Stone In Love
    Only The Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jon Solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Donít Stop Believiní
    La Raza Del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel In The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Encore:
    Anyway You Want It
    Loviní, Touchiní, Squeeziní


    Journey at Riverfest Ampitheatre, Little Rock, AR
    May 7, 2002
    Reviewer: Pris

    My husband and I arrived in Little Rock at about 3 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, for the purpose of attending the Journey concert to be held that night. It would be the second show for me and the first for hubby. On the drive to our hotel, we passed the hotel where the guys were staying and I spotted the gold bus parked out front. My excitement mounted. I didn't see "anyone", but knew that I would soon.

    After checking in, we freshened up and started the short walk to the venue. There we met up with a fellow fan and his brother. The crew was setting up the equipment on the stage of the Amphitheater and Neal was playing, getting ready for the night's event. Soon after, Deen arrived and began with the drum check. Shortly, Ross and Jon were there, too! I was in heaven! Then, Steve walked out and I realized that the whole group was there, right in front of me! I began to shake. I stayed quiet as a mouse and enjoyed every note I was hearing. I knew that in just a few hours I would be rocking with everyone else.

    We left the venue after about 45 mins. and wandered to the restaurant where the fans' meeting had already commenced. I met some of the most wonderful people and the memories will last a lifetime. We talked, laughed, ate, drank, talked and laughed some more. Then it was time to head over for the event that we had all traveled so far to see!

    I was on my feet for the entire 2 hours! Hubby was on his feet, also, most of the entire show. The crowd was really into it from the first and kept on rocking all night!

    The highlight for me was the acoustic set of "Trial By Fire" and "Liberty." It was absolutely beautiful. Good job, Steve! For hubby, it was Neal's "Star-Spangled Banner." He looked at me with his mouth open and said "amazing"! The whole show was amazing to me! They only get better!

    The weather held, as it had been threatening to rain, and at the very end, Steve looked toward the sky and said "thank you for not letting it rain". All the guys seemed to be having the time of their lives. Ross' funny faces only get funnier! Deen is the god of thunder. Jon played a lot more guitar than usual. Neal....the master! Steve...what can I say?

    The show ended and none of the crowd wanted to leave. But we had to, as security came up and politely asked us to clear the area. Some wandered back to the restaurant, but hubby and I left the group and made the walk back to our hotel. I was tired but oh so happy! My feet haven't touched ground yet!

    Thank you to Journey for a most memorable night!

    Set list:
    State Of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask The Lonely
    Nealís Solo with The Star-spangled Banner
    Stone In Love
    Only The Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jon's Piano Solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Trial By Fire (Acoustic)
    Liberty (Acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Donít Stop Believiní
    La Raza Del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal and Jon solo
    Wheel In The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Anyway You Want It
    Loviní, Touchiní, Squeeziní


    Journey at Black River Coliseum, Poplar Bluff, Missouri
    May 8, 2002
    Reviewer: Jrnyval

    It was a very much-anticipated day for me, my sister, my niece and good friend, Christine. We were going to Poplar Bluff, MO to see the greatest rock band in the world! When we all finally got to Poplar Bluff, we ate dinner at Ruby Tuesdayís where we met up with another Journey fan named Tom, and his daughter, Tori. She is a cutie! We didnít get to meet up with Holly (The alternate reviewer) until at the show, but what a great pleasure that was!

    The show started just a few minutes after 8 pm, with the new rocker called "State Of Grace". Sure wished I had known the words so I could have sang along! It did get me ready for the new CD, however.

    I was shocked to find that Steve Augeri did not wear leather pants to this show. The pants almost looked corduroy to me. They were a light blue, and he wore the black and white faces shirt like he did in Santa Rosa. Still he looked fine! Neal was just as awesome on guitar as he always is. He can just blow me away with his riffs. Ross was just as funny and goofy as he usually is, making us all smile with his silly faces. He is one seriously funny guy! I always think of Ross when I hear the words "we all need the clowns to make us smile" from "Faithfully." Deen was brilliant, even animalistic. He is one of the best drummers that I have ever seen. And as for Jon, well, he was phenomenal as always. I wish one day that I can tickle the ivories even half as good as he. He is the best!

    The highlights of the show were, of course, the two new rockers ("State of Grace" and "The Time"), "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime," and the acoustic songs. They were very special, especially in these times. Other highlights of the night were meeting other Journey fans from the Back Talk boards, and the fact that I had a hand in giving three different people their very first opportunity so see Journey. Two of these people were my sister and her 16-year-old daughter; the other person is a good friend of mine from another group I am in. I met her for the first time earlier this summer. She is a sweetheart.

    After the show, we all went up to the guardrails and talked to some of the roadies, and Holly got a drum stick. I got the poster that was hanging in the window of the box office announcing the show. The only bad thing about the show, and it had nothing to do with the actual concert, was that NOBODY, I mean nobody, got backstage passes. Not even the press! The guy from the radio station that I was talking to said that all their contest winners that received backstage passes couldnít go backstage. I bet they were pretty disappointed. But as far as the concert itself, I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. There were some technical difficulties and some messed up lyrics, but who cares? It was, after all, Journey. Overall, a fantastic show. I canít wait for July so I can get another fix of my favorite band!

    Set list:
    State Of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask The Lonely
    Nealís Solo with The Star-spangled Banner
    Stone In Love
    Only The Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Intro to Open Arms
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Trial By Fire (Acoustic)
    Liberty (Acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Donít Stop Believiní
    La Raza Del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal and Jon solo
    Wheel In The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Anyway You Want It
    Loviní, Touchiní, Squeeziní



    We did not receive an original review from the May 10, 2002 Journey show at Moline, IL.




    Journey at Pepsi Jammin' on the Main, Cincinnatti, Ohio
    May 11, 2002
    Reviewer: Ohiojourney

    It was a warm humid night when Journey arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio to perform at Pepsi Jammin' on the Main. This was a general admission concert, so the Faithful Journey fans from all over arrived early to get the best spot in front of the stage. I have to say that Journey fans are one of the things that make going to a Journey concert so special! What a great group of people. I really enjoyed hanging out with the Back Talk group!

    While we waited for Journey to take the stage we got to enjoy some very talented local bands who made it a point to let everyone know that they were playing on Journey's stage. The Romantics were the last band to take the stage before Journey. They did a great job of getting everyone fired up and ready. Of course by this time most of us had been standing for more than four hours so we were more than ready for Journey to take the stage.

    Journey exploded onto the stage with their new song "State Of Grace". Neal's right, this song Rocks!! I can see why they decided to use this song as their opener. It makes a really bold statement about what kind of direction the band wants to take. The crowd really loved this song it didn't even seem to matter that no one knew the words. The other new song "The Time" was my personal favorite. Steve's vocals were fantastic his voice came through loud and clear.

    The crowd was so into the show dancing and singing especially on the old Journey favorites "Lights", "Faithfully", "Wheel In The Sky", and numerous other classics that Steve's vocals were sometimes drowned out, but it was really exciting to see the crowd was so into the show!

    Neal was amazing as always, his "Star Spangled Banner" solo was one of the many highlights of the evening. The lighting during this song was incredible--you couldn't actually see Neal, just a shinning bright light all around him. Neal's rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" left many with tears in their eyes, myself included. I really hope that they add this to the LP!

    Ross is really fun to watch on stage, he spends so much time interacting with the crowd. He was having a ball and the crowd loved it! Ross is so good at what he does that he makes it look effortless.

    Another highlight of the evening was hearing Jon on Lead Vocals on "Feeling That Way" & "Anytime", two of my favorites from the Infinity days. Jon & Steve did an excellent job on these songs. It was also nice to see Jon out front more with his guitar. He is so multi talented it makes him a real pleasure to watch on stage!

    The only word to describe Deen is "Amazing!" I have never seen anyone who can drum like this guy. I enjoyed watching Deen during "La Raza del Sol." He gave it his all and then some.

    Steve has such incredible stage presence. I have been to a lot of concerts and I honestly have never seen another performer pull the audience into the show they way that Steve does. He did such a good job in Cincinnati of getting everyone singing and dancing that the audience sometimes drowned out that incredible voice of his. I have always thought "Open Arms" was a special Journey song but it wasn't one of my favorites until I heard Steve Augeri sing it in Cincinnati. Steve sang this song with such heart and soul. I'm sorry but words don't do it justice. This is something that you will have to see for yourself!

    I won't go into details about what each of the Journey guys were wearing other than to say they all looked great, healthy & happy to be on stage and the Cincinnati crowd was very happy to have them there!

    After the concert I heard a lot of people say that they wished Journey would have played more songs from Arrival. The only song they played off of Arrival was "Higher Place". I also would have liked to hear more from Arrival but overall I think they did a great job of covering the classics and some new material. "State of Grace" & "The Time" have given Journey fans a small taste of what the future holds. The fans I talked to in Cincinnati agreed that Journey's future is looking really bright!

    If you get the chance to go and see Journey's "Under The Radar Tour" you won't be disappointed. I really don't know how its possible, but Journey gets better every time I see them! I'm already looking forward to my next show this summer. Hope to meet some of you there!

    Set list:
    State Of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask The Lonely
    Nealís Solo with The Star-spangled Banner
    Only The Young
    Stone In Love
    Lights
    Jon's Piano Solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Donít Stop Believiní
    La Raza Del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel In The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Anyway You Want It
    Loviní, Touchiní, Squeeziní


    Minority Report
    Starring Tom Cruise and Max Von Sydow
    Directed by Steven Spielberg
    Release Date: 21 June 2002
    Review Date:
    22 June 2002

    Two decades after Risky Business, forty-year-old Tom Cruise joins the ranks of such aging action stars as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwartzenegger in Minority Report, his latest release and first role directed by Steven Spielberg. Both are coming off solid losses, with Spielberg recovering from the sci-fi flop A.I. and Cruise attempting to rebound from last summer's romantic thriller Vanilla Sky, another non-starter. That coupled with the fact that I can list on both hands the decent science-fiction movies of the past four years, and one wonders at the confidence, and even outright gall, of Cruise and Spielberg to attempt to get back on track by making a film in this genre.

    That being said, the film is an unmitigated success. Minority Report tackles the "not-too-distant future" theme with poise and finesse, and delivers a cinematic work that will not only keep your heart pounding and leave you breathless from the non-stop action (even in a "calm" moment, Cruise is attacked by semi-intelligent poisonous clinging vines), but will make you think about some of the deeper philosophical ramifications of the plot's basic premise.

    The year is 2054, when our grandchildren will be our age, and in response to a rapid rise in the murder rate throughout the United States, Washington, D.C.'s experimental "Department of Pre-Crime" has been created to arrest offenders before murders are committed. Three "pre-cogs", the twenty-first century's answer to crack babies, are kept in a state of drugged torpor in a water-filled tank, where electrodes probe their brains for scenes of future murders. Cruise plays Detective John Anderton, the Chief of Pre-crime, who has suffered the loss of his own son and the estrangement of his wife. When the pre-cogs foresee that Anderton himself will soon commit a murder of his own, the film really heats up as Anderton's own team, and that of the Justice Department investigating Pre-crime for a possible nationwide application, find themselves chasing their most knowledgeable and talented "runner" yet, on a vertical highway, in federal housing projects that make today's slums look like suburbia, and even in a Lexus factory. And while the futuristic Washington of 2054 is barely recognizable, certain sets, like a pre-murderer's house in Woodley Park and the Pre-Crime headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, are easy to recognize.

    Swedish actor Max Von Sydow (A veteran of several films directed by Ingmar Bergman as well as The Exorcist, Pelle the Conqueror, Snow Falling on Cedars, Judge Dredd, and Hannah and Her Sisters, among many others) plays Anderton's boss, mentor, and friend, the founder and director of Pre-crime. While all the actors did excellent jobs, Von Sydow rises above the rest with a brilliant job which is only truly revealed as the chase continues.

    Perhaps of equal importance to the fantastic sets, costumes, drama, and special effects are the philosophical ramifications of the very concept of pre-crime. The film's premise, after all, is not entirely farfetched; we live in a world where crime, justice, and punishment, and everything in between are the subject of fierce debate. In Minority Report, one of our most fundamental constitutional rights, the right to face one's accuser, is denied to every detainee brought in on information from the pre-cogs. None of these detainees is given the benefit of a trial, but rather all are held permanently in a state of drugged paralysis in vertical tubes extending deep into the basement of the Pre-crime building. All trials are held in absentia, in the electronic presence of one lawyer and the Chief Justice. The right to trial and the right to face one's accuser are two of the most cherished of our constitutional rights; these are checks which are intended to balance the overbearing power of a potentially dictatorial state. Apparently the Bill of Rights no longer applies in this vision of 2053, although some semblance of democracy remains: there is a scheduled national referendum approaching in which all U.S. citizens will be asked to vote on whether or not Pre-crime should be made national. One wonders, then, about the lengths we as a society are willing to go to, the steps we are willing to take, to ensure peace and tranquility in our society. Minority Report by no means presents a peaceful, tranquil society in the Washington D.C. of 2054. While the murder rate has dropped to zero, drug abuse is rampant even in the highest levels, and new sets of eyeballs (designed to fool identity detectors), and the "doctors" who install them, are readily available on the black market.

    A second important philosophical question raised by the film pertains to the difference between pre-meditated murder and crimes of passion. No fundamental philosophical or even legal difference is presented in the the film between the two, but our own legal courts have strictly defined them as two very different types of murders. Put simply, a crime of passion occurs when an individual, in a moment of extreme duress, unable for the moment to think clearly of the repercussions of his actions, lashes out in an act of violence. A crime of passion is, unfortunately, something that is very human, something that most of us, in certain circumstances, are capable of committing, although we may otherwise be normal law-abiding citizens. Pre-meditated murder, on the other hand, is not an act under duress, and is not the act of a law-abiding citizen. The decision to plan and execute a murder is one of the most heinous crimes in our judicial system. The pre-crime system of Minority Report only differentiates between the two in it's assessment that pre-meditated crime in an era of pre-crime enforcement would be entirely foolish, giving the pre-crime detectives plenty of time to prevent the incident. In fact, pre-meditated murder, by the time of the film's narrative, is all but a thing of the past; only crimes of passion remain. And yet, the pre-culprits of each of these two distinct types of murder are treated exactly the same; each is detained indefinitely without trial and without a chance to face his accuser.

    In sum, I recommend Minority Report to anyone interested in an action picture, seeing great acting, or discussing the philosophical ramifications of this particular vision of the future system of crime and punishment. I emerged from the theater both exhilirated and thoughtful.


    American Russian Young Artists Orchestra World Tour 2002
    Leon Botstein, Conductor
    Alexei Podkorytov, Piano
    Mikhail Simonyan, Violin
    Tour Dates:
    Miami, Florida, June 14
    Brevard, North Carolina, June 16
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, June 17
    New York, New York, June 18
    Yerevan, Armenia, June 22
    Moscow, Russia, June 24
    Novosibirsk, Russia, June 27
    Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 29
    Moscow, Russia, July 2
    Review Date:
    23 June, 2002

    Last weekend I had the distinct honor to be invited to follow the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (ARYO) to three dates on their fifteenth-anniversary world tour, and to assist the staff on two of those dates. I attended the Brevard, Harrisburg, and New York performances and was, frankly, amazed at what I saw and heard. The American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (which began in 1987 as the American Soviet Young Artists Orchestra) was the first cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. It's purpose is to promote peace and understanding between two great powers through music performed by young people representative of both nations. Auditions are held for each tour in multiple cities in the U.S. and the former Soviet republics, and the honorary chairwomen of ARYO have been the first ladies of both nations, beginning in 1987 with Raisa Gorbachev and Nancy Reagan and continuing today with Ludmila Putina and Laura Bush. But at the true helm is ARYO President and Co-founder Edythe Holbrooke, a tireless advocate of this new kind of harmony, who works her staff hard and herself harder. Her dedication, it seems, has paid off: today ARYO is an internationally-acclaimed organization.

    But aside from all that, there is the music, which has, as ARYO has proven, no boundaries that political turmoil or, for that matter, the problems that inevitably rise from life on the road, can create. The section of the tour which I was priviledged to witness was conducted by Leon Botstein (Director, American Symphony Orchestra; Editor, The Musical Quarterly; President, Bard College), under whose skilled supervision eighty-eight of the most talented young people in the world have mastered four complicated works (with only two weeks of pre-tour rehearsal): Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), Piano Concerto in F-Sharp Minor, Op.20 (Alexei Podkorytov, soloist); Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978), Violin Concerto (Mikhail Simonyan, soloist); Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Syphony No. 5; and Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Concerto for Orchestra.

    Alexei Podkorytov's rendition of the Scriabin, which I heard from the twentieth row at the Brevard Music Festival and from the second row at Lincoln Center's Alice Tulley Hall in New York, is a relaxed, competent dialogue with the rest of the orchestra, ably moderated and encouraged by Botstein. There is an ebb and flow between the pianist and his fellows on the stage for this three-movement piece, each allowing the other time to shine, admittedly moreso for Podkorytov. At Twenty-three, this Novosibirsk native is currently pursuing his MA at the Juilliard School in New York, and his list of accomplishments reads like that of a prodigy, which he is. Ten years ago, at the age of thirteen, he won first prize in the Siberian Piano Competition and third prize in the international competition in Senaglia, Italy. His most recent award was first prize at the California 2000 International Young Artists Piano Competition.

    The other soloist on the tour is Mikhail "Misha" Simonyan, a sixteen-year-old dynamo with an excellent ear for interpretation and amazing finger-work. I first met Misha two years ago, when he was fourteen, at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. His skills have, if anything, only improved since then. I heard Misha from the first row at the Forum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the second row in Alice Tulley Hall. Like the rock guitarist Neal Schon, who wowed audiences playing with Santana at the age of fifteen, young Simonyan wows them himself, playing the Khachaturian with an incredible skill in the way he handles each note at both the neck of his instrument and his bow. At moments, especially in the first movement, his fingers and bow are moving so quickly that they cannot be clearly distinguished, and yet one's ears can clearly make out each and every note, however brief. The only thing Neal Schon does that Misha has not done, at this point, is play behind his head. Having said that (and despite other rules of propriety), it is entirely possible that Misha may attempt such a feat if given the opportunity.

    The drawbacks to the performance are three. The first is technical, and may have more to do with the selection of the Khachaturian or the skill of Botstein. But unlike Podkorytov, Simonyan appears to play against his accompaning orchestra, waiting (perhaps impatiently) for them to finish their sections of the score so that he can get back to his own playing, and then, when he is ready to pass the ball back to their end of the court, there is almost a hesitation, as if he sees his own as the only capable hands for the work (which they are not). The second is breath control. Misha, when he does breathe, breathes very loudly, and the sound is very obvious in the first several rows, detracting from an otherwise solid performance. One can only conjecture that this may have something to do with the consumption of tobacco, which appears to be appropriate in his homeland even for persons of his tender age. Finally, there is what I consider an issue of heart. Misha is technically very skilled, much more so than perhaps anyone his age. And while he can play, technically, at a level only dreamed of by most professional violinists in their twenties, he lacks the life experience, the heart, to give a real passion to his performance. Emotions such as anger, fear, desperation, hope, confidence, and love are only just beginning to be truly contemplated at an adult level by people his own age, and in that regard Misha is no exception, and this lack of experience is evident. But given time, and, most importantly, experience of the world, I see no reason why Misha Simonyan might not overcome this last obstacle to greatness.

    The orchestra itself is fantastic. They received rave reviews by both the Miami Herald and the New York Times. When one hears them play, one can easily forget that not one of them is older than twenty-six. Many have had difficult backgrounds; all from the Russian contingent came of age (or will soon come of age) in the post-Soviet republics. They are being given a unique opportunity to travel to the west and play before audiences in four states. The American contingent are united by a desire to make a musical impact on audiences in both countries, and a genuine feeling that they are contributing to the furtherance of goodwill between two great nations. But perhaps what most impressed me about the orchestra was their very professionalism. Despite the large size of the group, it reached each destination that I attended in one piece and without major mishap. There would be an afternoon rehearsal, and then, wham! Right into the evening performance, which was always stellar.

    Will you be in Eastern Europe next week? This is a highly entertaining experience that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone within range of a ticket. Don't miss it! But if you do, ARYO will be back in the United States next year, with a brand-new group of young musicians (although probably with Podkorytov and Simonyan staying on as soloists), doing what it does best. For further information on the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra, log on to www.aryoonline.org.


    Journey at Casino Rama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
    July 4, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    Casino Rama sits on an Indian reservation about two hours north of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. As casinos go, this one is not worth your trouble, but the concert hall that is part of the complex is quite nice indeed. The venue seats about 5000 and was sold out for Journey. They had nice video screens going that I believe belonged to the venue, not the band. As Neal would later say during the show, Journey has not performed in Canada since 1983. The reaction of the Canadian crowd was an uncertain variable as this would be the first time most of the audience had seen Steve Augeri. I think it's safe to say that Journey conquered Canada and Steve won their hearts.

    We got a little treat while waiting for the show to begin when a familiar voice in an unfamiliar song came over the PA system. We knew it had to be Steve Augeri's voice, but what was that he was singing? It turned out to be "I Can Breathe" from Red 13. After the show as everyone was filing out, we also heard that familiar Stevie voice singing "Walking Away From the Edge." I think people are really going to love the EP. Steve would later tell us that "Walking Away From the Edge" was recorded the week after he got the job with Journey. That is one amazing song and I have no idea why they didn't put it on Arrival.

    But back to the show--when the lights went down a few of us brave souls decided to press the limits of security and just go stand in front of the stage. Then more people came until the people standing in front of the stage were five deep the whole length of the stage. The friendly Canadian security guys just said dont touch the stage and left us alone, so I got to be a few feet in front of Neal the whole show! And that is definitely the best place from which to see a Journey concert.

    The setlist was the similar to Santa Rosa and Moline although they added "Ill be Alright Without You." That song really fits Steve's voice and he did a wonderful job. It was a very good choice for the boys to do mostly classics at this show since it seemed that most of the audience had not seen Journey yet in their post-Perry line-up. We heard some skeptical comments before the show--until Steve opened his mouth. The skepticism changed to "Damn! Hes good!" By the end of the evening he'd won the crowd, as he normally does.

    Except for the fans standing in front of the stage, the crowd seemed to me a bit subdued. I later heard that security was telling people to sit down, so that might have been a factor. The crowd did get more enthusiastic when Neal basically ordered them on their feet. The band was a bit more talkative than normal between tunes which probably had to do with this being their first Canadian show in almost twenty years and the Fourth of July--lots to talk about. There seemed to be a few technical problems, but being the pros they are, I bet most of the crowd did not notice.

    The mandatory fashion report is that Steve was wearing blue suede pants and a sheer black shirt, strategically unbuttoned in the appropriate places. Neal was wearing a patriotic blue vest with white stars on it that he said his mom made for him. Neal lost the cool goatee but his hair is getting long so maybe he will get that fro going yet! All the boys are looking very fit and rested. Everyone will be relieved to know that Sponge Bob is still very much present and Deen's drums now have a beautiful yellow and blue scarab on the front.

    The highlight for me was Neal's "Star Spangled Banner," of course. It was particularly soulful, perhaps due to it being July 4th. Even the waitress where we had breakfast the next day (a big Journey fan who had been at the show) said she was just blown away by the "Star Spangled Banner" and she is Canadian! Neal was his usual amazing self during most of the show, but something got into him toward the end and he was pulling out all the stops. He did the Hendrix stance where he was down on his knees playing the guitar between his legs. He did the playing with one hand while looking at his watch and scratching his head. Neal was the absolute rock god that night--there are no other words to describe him. He seemed to be having a great time--I know I was!

    The acoustic set with "Trial By Fire" and "Liberty" was also a high point. Steve might have transposed a word or two of the lyrics, but his vocals are so great that it didnt matter. "State of Grace" and "The Time" sound better every time I hear them. "The Time" was especially rockin' that night. Deen was amazing on "La Raza" and was just consistently a monster on those drums all night long.

    Steve was really reaching out to the crowd. He touched a lot of hands, sang songs to people. He layed down on the stage to try to reach out and touch some fans out on the edge. He used a U.S. flag scarf and a Canadian hat, given to him by fans, to great advantage. The crowd loved him. Steve was goofin' with Deen, playing his cymbals and trying to grab them. Ross was playing with Steve, sneaking up behind him. The guys always seem to have such a great rapport with each other and the audience. Jonathan sang and came out from behind the Whale, playing guitar several times. Ross was his normal playful self. The boys were all in top form for the Canadian crowd and the U.S. contingent loved them as well.

    The icing on the cake came when the band generously came back to the hotel patio/bar and spent a little time chatting with fans before they had to take off on the buses. Im sure they were tired. They had a night on a bus and getting through customs ahead of them, but they still took the time. That meant the world to us. There were a couple of fans there who had traveled from the UK to see Journey. They said no one was even going to believe them that they had been able to sit down and chat with the band!

    The band members are always so gracious and giving to their fans. They are very down-to-earth and will talk about anything and everything you want--if you want a picture, they pose; if you want an autograph, they give you one--none of the "celebrity" attitude from these guys. Steve is such a warm, sweet guy. He makes a point of saying: Thank YOU for coming to see us. Neal is funnier than I ever knew and his coolness factor is off the scale. Jonathan and Ross seem like such normal, nice guys. Deen could not stay long, but he sweetly popped his head in to thank us for everything. They are so friendly, they almost make you forget they are these amazingly talented legends you have listened to half your life. Although we booed their management when they came in to take them away, they finally had to leave us and go off to the next city to do it all again. They left us with wonderful memories. To put it simply--Journey rocks in every way.

    Set list
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Neal guitar solo with "The Star-spangled Banner"
    Stone in Love
    Only the Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jonathan piano solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    I'll be Alright Without You
    Trial By Fire (acoustic)
    Liberty (acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Dont Stop Believin'
    La Raza del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'




    Journey at Muskegon Summer Festival, Muskegon, Michigan
    July 6, 2002
    Article in the Muskegon Chronicle


    Journey at Muskegon Summer Festival, Muskegon, Michigan
    July 6, 2002
    Reviewer: TowandaRG

    Growing up in a small town in Michigan gives one a sense of peacefulness, a strong sense of community, and out of necessity, a tremendous amount of creativity. If you weren't creative as a kid in Muskegon, you were bored to death most of the time. On Saturday nights, the only things we have to do here are bowling, bingo, or a movie.

    When I lived in DC, I saw Journey in concert at the DAR Constitution Hall. That was when Steve Augeri first toured with the band, and I witnessed a half-full auditorium that had crappy acoustics, and I was surprised to see many people walking out within the first 15 minutes, in total disgust when they realized that Steve Perry was no longer the lead singer. I actually overheard some people verbalize their frustration and disappointment when they learned it wasn't Perry.

    But, undaunted, I stayed out of curiosity's sake, just to see what Augeri could do. The show left me feeling that he was talented, sexy, and although he messed up some of the lyrics in a few songs and couldn't quite hit all the high notes, he did a very good job for his first tour with a legendary band. The amount of pressure on the poor guy must have been tremendous, but he impressed me with the range of his voice, his enthusiasm, and his energy. When I greeted him backstage and had my photo taken with him, he seemed rather excited, happy, and an easy-going personable guy who was thrilled to see so many fans gathering around him. All in all, I decided that he was a good choice to take over when Perry left.

    Now that I am back in my hometown of Muskegon Michigan, I'm enjoying a wonderful summer season at the beach and I'm spending a lot of time with my family and friends. Some things have changed around here since I left six years ago, but most things have remained the same.

    For instance, the Muskegon Summer Spectacular is still being held every July, like it has been since I was a kid. It used to be called the Seaway Festival, but now the name is a bit fancier. And, the carnival is much bigger. There is a huge arts and crafts show, which is always popular here...I enjoy making crafts myself and have sold them in craft stores before. It's always interesting to go and find new ideas.

    Concerts are also on the agenda at this Spectacular celebration, and this year is no different. And this weekend, which is the end of the Spectacular festivities, I will see Journey in concert, and then Richard Marx on Sunday night, along with the finale of fireworks after the show.

    When I was in high school, back in 1985-1986, I loved Richard Marx just as much as Journey, believe it or not. I was even in his fan club! I had loved Journey since the age of 10, but when Richard Marx came along---va va va voooooom.....that guy really rocked my world! I have seen him 6 times in concert, and met him in person and gave him a kiss on the cheek too. He was definitely a heart throb! It makes me chuckle now, when I think about it, but back then he was "da BOMB." We even lovingly called him "Skid."

    Well, the guy may not have been on the music scene for the past 10 or so years, but he's been busy raising a family of 3 sons with his wife, Cynthia Rhodes, living in Chicago. He's a great person, not at all conceited or snooty, no problems with his ego, and he's a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to seeing him perform again, for nostalgia's sake! It's nice to see him coming here to Muskegon again, as he did back in the 80's. He opened back then for REO Speedwagon.

    The thing that gets me is, why the heck would Journey come to this little rinky dink small town? The only thing that put Muskegon on the map is the lumber and furniture businesses that once kept this town booming economically. Some legends say that the town got its name by an American Indian who sat fishing one day in Lake Michigan. When he caught one, he proudly exclaimed "MUSKEE!" and when the fish dropped off his hook, he said dejectedly, "Muskee...GONE." I don't know how true that is, but it's a cute story anyway.

    I can truly understand someone like Richard Marx, an 80's heart throb with several decent top 10 hits suddenly coming around the tour circuit after 20 some-odd years, playing at various outdoor concerts and small town festivals, because that's all he can get.

    But Journey? At a rinky dink small town carnival? Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty big deal around here, to most folks. I mean, the rides are fun, the food is good, the arts and crafts are always great, and it's a great time for everybody. But to see a band as huge as Journey here...well...it makes me scratch my head in sadness really, because they were so HUGE and NEVER came here in the 80's. They've come to larger venues, like the Pontiac Silverdome, or Lansing, or Grand Rapids...but never MUSKEGON.

    On one hand, I think of it as somewhat of an honor that they are coming here now. Back in their huge heyday, Journey would only come to Detroit. Once, I saw The Storm about a half hour north of here in another small town, but Journey? Here in Muskegon? If this was the 1980's, I would be in seventh heaven, anticipating MY GUYS coming to MY hometown...it would have made me swoon....I would have butterflies in my stomach for weeks, planning which sexy halter top to wear, which nail polish to paint my fingerrnails, and making sure that I had a sign to carry that said I love them. I mean, that was the thing to do back then...boof up the hairdo, spray it with a half gallon of hairspray so it wouldn't fall from the dancing and sweating during the concert, and making sure our makeup was perfect. And of course, create a huge sign that expressed our love, lust and sincere admiration--in hopes of getting backstage!

    A week ago, there were still tickets available. Now they are sold out. So I will be going to this concert, re-living my 80's memories again, wishing that I could turn back the clock and see Steve Perry strutting his sexy butt across that stage like he used to...that man STILL curls my toes...I don't care how old he gets, or if his hair falls out, or if he has no TEETH, he'll always be sexy to me no matter what!! ROWR!! (God I really miss him).

    Part of me still wants to go down to the Summer Spectacular with my ticket in hand, just to sell it to some unsuspecting person who still expects to hear Steve Perry. The local radio advertisements, after all, have been playing Perry's version of "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin" when they describe all the bands who will perform here. So it seems like false advertising to me. What a lawsuit THAT would be. Even the local newspaper advertised Journey with a black and white photo from the 1980's of Perry, Schon and Cain together. They didn't mention Steve Augeri.

    I felt like calling the newspaper (which I fondly call the Muskegon COMICAL instead of Chronicle), to tell them of their mistake. But I figured it would be more fun to just let these rowdy rednecks show up, thinking they're getting Perry! It would be a hoot-n-a-half, to watch as all the small town redneck drunkards tear the stage apart in anger...hey, it could happen. Riots and small towns go hand in hand, dontchaknow.

    So, once again I'm seeing Journey with Steve Augeri, only this time it's in my very own hometown, and you can BET that most of the people here are expecting Steve Perry because he's the voice who has been advertised all over the radio and newspapers for at least two months. Although, with tickets at $25 each, most people here don't like wasting that much money so I don't expect many to actually get up and leave like they did in DC. I guess all I can do is wait and see.

    But I really wish it was 1984 or 1985 again, when Journey was at their peak, because I can guarantee, in this town at least, there would be a frenzy clamouring to see them...and tickets would have sold out in the first day rather than a few days before the concert. Times change, people change, and small towns change too. I know I have changed a lot since living in DC. But I'm here now, and Journey is coming to my hometown, much to my surprise.

    And, of course, yours truly, "Towanda," will be there, somewhat reluctantly and rather skeptically. The only thing I am expecting to see, besides Neal Schon with his sunglasses on, and Steve Augeri with his pseudo-Perry imitation, is a totally confused crowd, when they see Augeri instead of Perry on that stage. It should prove to be interesting, if nothing else...but hey, it's better than bingo or bowling, right?

    2:00 p.m. Having just picked up my best friend's 11 year old daughter, Emily, we made our way down to the summer celebration area, and parked the car in a free parking lot. As we walked towards the big tented stage area, we saw this long line of people snaking around everywhere. I felt an instant dread come over me. I asked someone sitting there if the line was for Journey. They said yes. I groaned because I knew that it would be impossible to get close enough to the stage to actually SEE them perform. It was only 2:00 in the afternoon, and yet people were lining up already! You'd think it was the 80's!

    So, reluctantly, Emily and I parked our chairs there, at the end of the line, and I took a quick walk to see where the front of the line was. It was only 2:20 p.m., but already the line was totally outrageous. Someone near the front of the line said that they had arrived as early as 8:00 a.m.!! Now, I can understand if it were 1986....but now?? That seemed just a bit ridiculous to me, I mean, I have loved this band forever too....and I've waited in my share of super long lines at ungodly hours just to see 'em. But not NOW, not 20 years later, when Steve Perry is no longer even with the band. It just seemed silly to me. I was highly annoyed, to say the least, because I figured 2:00 was WAY earlier than most people would have thought to get there. Oh well, I figured wrong. Ya just never know in this town.

    Upon discussing it with Emily, who wanted to walk around the arts and crafts fair and the carnival to ride some rides and eat an elephant ear, I decided sadly to just sell my ticket and forget the whole concert. I wanted to make the kid happy more than sitting in a hot sun waiting for hours to get in. I figured that no matter where we walked around, we would still be able to hear the music, and I could still write down the songs as they were performed. I didn't HAVE to actually SEE them perform since I've seen them several times before. Besides, I noticed there were two large screens on either side of the stage, so I would be able to see some of the action no matter where we were. Why bother waiting in this massive line of people when I could go have some fun with my favorite kid?

    Debating on this decision, I noted that it was about 90 degrees, and no shade to be found anywhere. Emily spotted a concession stand further up the line, so we left our chairs and took a walk to get something to drink. After paying $2.00 for a bottle of water, I sadly decided to sell the ticket to someone else and proceeded to tell the ladies in line nearby that we weren't going to sit in this massive line anymore and we were going to sell my ticket. And, truthfully, I had every intention of doing so.

    When Emily begged me to get some pizza across the way at the art fair, I let her go by herself to get us some. Ah yes, there's nothing like waiting in a long line of smelly sweaty people, in 90 degree sweltering sunshine, with a bottle of overpriced, lukewarm water, and a well balanced, vein-clogging greasy lunch. I tell ya, I was disgusted by the whole thing. I was disappointed, to say the least. That is when I decided to take a walk and try to sell off the ticket. I had given up.

    After several attempts, however, I was unable to find anyone to buy my ticket, so we finally decided just to stick it out and wait around. We were both bummed out about missing the art fair, but at 4:00 p.m., I could hear Journey doing their sound check. They played Ask the Lonely, I'll Be Alright Without You, Trial By Fire, Liberty, and Separate Ways. It seemed like a rather lengthy warm-up, and Steve Augeri didn't sing much, just a few words here and there. Then it was silent again, and we sat there reading a newspaper that someone selling them had passed around to everyone in line. It had a pre-show article about Journey, so I cut out the article and put it in my fanny pack. The funny part of the article was the last line, in regards to Steve Augeri...it said, "No worries, he sounds just like Perry." I laughed out loud. (Man oh man, I'll bet Augeri gets tired of that!)

    I saw several people walking around in Journey Fan Club t-shirts, and other Journey t-shirts, but the majority of people just wore summer tops and shorts, and hats. I wished that we had brought along the large sun-umbrella, but we had forgotten it. There were people walking along the line, with petitions to sign, free suckers, magnets, chip clips, and other forms of entertainment while we waited. I even got to shake hands with Governor James Blanchard, who came around to remind people to vote and handed out flyers with his face on them. This helped us to pass the time.

    Finally, a group of concert workers came around to check everyone's tickets, and to give us each a wristband to wear. They said that it made things go faster once the gates were open at 5:30 p.m., so we could just walk right in and not worry about being stopped for anything.

    When 5:30 finally arrived, we had been sleepy from sitting in the sun so long. Carrying our lightweight chairs suddenly felt heavier than before. We marched with the crowd over the bridge, into the gated area, and rushed up to the front of the stage with everybody else, to get a good spot. It was all general seating, outdoors, and the stage had a large white domed tent around it, with a tall fence in front. There would be no shaking hands with the band while they performed, because the stage was kept far from the fence. Security around the fence seemed higher than usual, maybe because of the holiday weekend, and/or potential terrorism threat.

    Emily and I parked our chairs about 6 rows from the stage, right in the center. It was a perfect view, and we were happy. The first band took the stage at 6:30 p.m. and it was a local band out of Lansing, called "The Go Band," I think. Something like that. They had a trombone player, a trumpet player, and a sax player along with a drummer and a Sammy Hagar-wannabe singer who actually wore a red bandana on his wavy blonde hair just like Sammy did, but he also wore a bright red plaid KILT and white shirt. Everybody around me started chanting, "What's under the kilt?"

    This band played various songs by various artists, like Chicago, Huey Lewis, and Van Morrison. At one point during their performance, they all ran out into the audience, with microphones attached to their instruments, and played to the crowd. I thought that was kinda cool and the audience seemed to enjoy it too.

    Anyway, so then this first band played from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., and then all the roadies began assembling Journey's stuff. I took this opportunity between shows to go up to the security area and talk to a guard there about giving someone in Journey my business card. On my card, which advertises my web site, I wrote on the back of it, "Towanda says THANK YOU for finally firing Allen Craft! I am writing a concert review for Journey Dave's web site, and would love an interview!" Then, as a second thought, I jotted down my phone number...knowing realistically that nobody would call, but what the hell, I figured I might as well try.

    The security guard couldn't leave his post, but he said I could stop someone coming in with a pass around their neck, to give it to them for me. So that's what I did. A nice woman came around and smiled at me, so I smiled back and said, "Are you with the band Journey?" She said yes, so I asked her to take this card to Steve Augeri for me. She said she would, and I thanked her. I had seen Steve up on the stage, on the sidelines, watching the first band perform so I knew that she could access that area. I stood there watching as she walked around the back and made her way over to where he was. Then I walked back to my chair, feeling happy that the message had been delivered.

    Emily and I had a hamburger, hotdog, and elephant ear along with more lukewarm water for dinner. Yum yum. I knew I should have brought some TUMS along...but then we walked through the carnival and Emily won a couple of small stuffed animals at 2 different games, and then we went back to the concert area. We arrived just in time to see the stage all lit up and gorgeous, with Deen Castronovo's brand new drum set, they are very SHARP looking, quite nicely done with a newer version of the Captured scarab logo on them. And of course, the big red "whale" piano of Jonathan Cain was there too. I made sure to tell Emily some of this trivia, to pass the time. She didn't seem too thrilled, but she thought it was silly that they called a piano a whale, so we giggled about that.

    An announcer stated that this was the most crowded show of all 10 shows they've had so far, and to "be nice to your neighbors." We were very crowded, there were over 17,000 people at this event. Large beach balls were being tossed here and there throughout the crowd during both performances, and at first it was fun, but then it got real old, real fast, and I wanted to watch Journey perform rather than be distracted like that.

    Finally, at 8:30 p.m., Journey finally came onstage. In the past, they have run out enthusiastically, waving their arms in the air, jumping up and down or doing something with some fanfare. This time, however, I noted that they just calmly walked on stage, individually, and didn't wave or jump, or do much of anything except get into position with their instruments. I guess they are getting too old for that stuff.

    Here is the list of songs that they played:

    1. State of Grace. From their upcoming album. It was an energetic song, much like Separate Ways and the crowd seemed to like it immediately.

    2. Separate Ways. The crowd loved this one too, and responded enthusiastically, singing along and waving their hands in the air.

    3. Ask the Lonely (the audience seemed to like it, but didn't seem to know the words). I, of course, sang along to most of the songs, much to Emily's embarrassment! hehehe

    4. Neals' solo: the National Anthem....very moving, the crowd went wild. It gave me chills down my spine, because he played it so extremely PERFECT and somber. It reminded us all that it was the July 4th weekend, and how life has changed since September 11th. I applaud Neal Schon for making this choice in the playlist.

    5. Stone in Love (the real fans in the t-shirts all sang along with this one, but those around us didn't know the words). I fondly remembered Steve Perry's intro, saying that he called up Neal one night and Neal said he was bummin' out over some girl, and when Perry asked him why, he answered, "Because I'm so stoned in love!" ...I really miss that kind of fun banter that he used to do with the band members.

    6. Only the Young (same here, I sang along and so did the others in the front, but the people around me didn't know the words and didn't seem too enthused). Emily loved this one, and danced around with me!

    7. Send her My Love (most people around me slow danced together during this one).

    8. Lights (everybody knew the words to this one!)

    9. Jonathan Cain's solo (no title)...set the tone for the slower paced songs, but by this time, the crowd was moving around, getting beer or using the bathroom, etc).

    10. Open Arms (everybody had lighters going for this one, and sang it and danced with their partners, one guy near me yelled, "SENIOR PROM!" and everybody laughed).

    11. Feelin' That Way (we die-hard fans knew the words to this one and sang along!)

    12. Anytime (ditto)

    13. I'll Be Alright without You (they also did the "Someday baby, maybe your heart will be mine" chant). The audience seemed to like that, but it seems OLD to me.

    14. Trial By fire (This was performed with all the guys sitting together on stools, with acoustic guitars...a very nice touch but the audience didn't know the words and seemed more focused on the beach balls flying overhead than anything else)

    15. Liberty (the tempo for #14, and #15 seemed slower than usual to me for some reason. The audience seemed somewhat bored at this point because they couldn't understand the lyrics and didn't know this tune.)

    16. Higher Place (the crowd still seemed disinterested during this one, except for about 20-30 people at the front of the stage, most of whom wore Fan Club t-shirts)

    17. The Time, a new song from their upcoming album. I liked it. It was a very moody rockin' tune, much like Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', similar tempo, but with more intensity. The chorus was "All We Need Is The Time..." It was a bit too repetitive though, at the end, like Castle's Burning is.

    18. The band announced that the last time they came to Michigan, it was September 11th...then they broke into Trial By Fire (an acoustic set where they all sat on stools), and then, almost as an afterthought, they played:

    19. Don't Stop Believin'. (The crowd loved this one and most sang along)

    20. La Raza Del Sol (I was surprised to hear this one, with all the choices of more modern stuff they could have played. The crowd, however, didn't seem to know this one, and many people left, probably to get beer or use the bathroom again.) We kept getting tripped over all the time, which was highly annoying.

    21. Jonathan Cain had another rather long solo on the organ, with a Spanish-sound, as a finale to La Raza Del Sol. It was almost eerie, like hearing Gregg Rollie do it. The tempo of La Raza del Sol seemed a bit slower than what I remembered hearing on cassette, but they did a pretty good job of it overall.

    22. Faithfully (this is when Emily and I began to walk slowly down the aisle to leave) Usually it's the last song, so I figured we would beat the crowd if we walked slowly to the car. I saw lots of lighters waving in the air, and many people were singing along. I stood there, sadly thinking of how awesome that song was when Perry sang it, and how lackluster it seemed now. But it's still and always will be a beautiful song, no matter WHO sings it. And Augeri did a great job).

    23. Escape (one of my all-time favorites! We stopped and waited for this one to end, but again the audience didn't seem to know the words and seemed rather disinterested but I LOVED IT!! That song just rocks me wild!)

    24. Wheel in the Sky (we sang it as we walked to the car). From what I could see of the crowd, arms were aimed high and people were singing and waving to the beat.

    25. Be Good to Yourself. (we could still hear echoes of it as we got into the car). I expected this to be the last song of the night, and for me and Emily, it was. Now, we weren't the ONLY people leaving during the last couple songs. It seemed that most people began to make the exodus out of the seating area, into the aisles, toward the exit when this song was performed. Emily and I were still listening and watching the large screens on either side of the stage as we made our way slowly back to the exit area, and we could hear them all the way to the car.

    However, in the newspaper review the next morning, I learned that it wasn't the last song after all. I could have KICKED myself, but at least I missed all the traffic and the crowds getting out of there. Part of me wanted to stick around to see if I could possibly get backstage, but I was just exhausted from the day and needed to go home and get some sleep. I guess I'm getting too old for that groupie stuff too! Oh well, all in all it was a good concert and I am glad that I attended it. Emily was too.

    When we made it to my car, I turned on the radio, to WMRR (a local station), and discovered that they were playing every song that Journey played, right after they played it on stage! So anyone who didn't go, could hear the same stuff at least. (Apparently a simulcast would be too expensive/complicated/technologically advanced for such a small town radio station?) Oh well, what a cool idea though...except for the fact that the songs I heard on the radio were Steve Perry's voice....(Ahem... 'Nuff said).

    So we drove home, listening to the radio, after just having heard them performed live, and Emily said that she preferred the radio version better! (Gosh I really love that kid)! Then we got home, still wired up from the excitement of the day, and so I put in a Houston Texas concert video from 1982 that had been collecting dust in my entertainment center, and we watched Steve Perry shake his THANG all over the stage, singing the same songs, but with much more "chutzpah." Emily said, "Wow, he's a good lookin' dude." hehehehehe Of course, I had to agree!

    And then, exhausted and sunburnt on my forearms and face, I collapsed into bed with the fan on, still hearing echoes of Be Good to Yourself in my head. All in all, it was a pretty good concert for the most part. In the middle, though, the audience didn't seem to know several songs and lost interest. But other than that, most people knew the majority of the songs and enjoyed themselves.

    Ross looked GREAT, he had a new haircut, whiter teeth and seemed to have lost some weight. Steve Augeri wore a white shirt, and SKIN TIGHT mint green biking pants that revealed more about his anatomy than I cared to know, but he looked GOOD. Neal actually removed his sunglasses as the sun went down, he looked somewhat tired and must have been super HOT in his armless jean jacket, jeans and cowboy boots, but otherwise he was his usual hard rockin' self. Deen was hidden behind plexi-glass barracades around his drum set so I didn't get a very good look at him. Jonathan looked bored most of the time, wearing a polo shirt and dress pants, and throughout the show, he didn't seem very enthused to be there. But he looked sexy as usual.

    I would rate the whole concert on a scale of 1-10 as a 7, and I feel it was due to the play list. They chose songs that the majority of the audience did not know and it seemed to lose 'em for awhile. (Emily gave them a 6 because of the rude crowd of people in the audience). She is quite the critic! My overall review: 7 out of 10, mainly because of the circumstances of waiting in line, rude crowd, uncomfortable seating, and beach balls overhead the whole time. The band, however, performed quite well, much better than the first show I saw in DC, and the lighting and large screens helped a lot. All in all, it was a good concert, and most people had a fun time.


    Journey at Muskegon Summer Festival, Muskegon, Michigan
    July 6, 2002
    Reviewer: Joliegh

    The weather couldn't have been more perfect for Journey's appearance at the Muskegon Summer Festival. The skies were blue and the temperatures comfortably warm when we arrived at the venue 4 1/2 hours before the show was scheduled to begin. We were dismayed yet thrilled to find an incredibly long line had already formed, with many having been in line since 7 AM. Our dismay was due to the realization we would not be getting prime seats, but at the same time we were thrilled to see so many Journey fans had turned out and anticipated a rocking good time no matter where we sat. This was not to be case however.

    Once the band took the stage it became apparent most of the people seated around us were not there to see and hear Journey, but simply because it was something to do on a beautiful Saturday night. Who preformed seemed to matter little. The crowd rose to their feet when Journey took the stage but before "State of Grace" was half way finished most of the people around us had sat down and resumed their previous conversations. This was to be the norm for the remainder of the show. Due to the number of people moving in front of us we were unable to see the stage clearly, so I can not adequately report the great light show we had glimpses of, nor can I describe the appearance of the band. Although with the help of the large video screen I did discern that Steve was wearing blue pants and a white long-sleeve shirt, and Neil was wearing jeans and a sleeveless black vest of some sort. Unfortunately numerous people going in and out of our row constantly disrupted our view of the screen. It seemed that corn dogs and elephant ears were more important than listening to the band on stage.

    "Trial by Fire" was introduced by Steve with some sort of reference to September 11, and Jon made a comment on liberty prior to playing "Liberty," however my fellow concert-goers were more interested in discussing last week's golf game and next week's vacation and I was unable to discern much of what was said. Much of the acoustic set as well was drowned by the conversations around us. Nearby someone was talking on a cell phone, and I actually saw a group playing cards! To them the concert was merely a backdrop.

    On the other hand we could see the true fans in the front section were thoroughly enjoying a stellar show. Please don't misunderstand, I am not complaining about the location of our seats, but I am taking issue with the shamefully rude actions of those around us. Many even had the nerve to remain seated during Neil's "Star Spangled Banner" solo!!! Furthermore only an hour and half into the show many people started to leave and we spent the remaining time ducking elbows and lawn chairs. (How can anyone leave a Journey concert even one second early?)

    When the show was over we left feeling disappointed, knowing we had missed out on a terrific performance. But was the evening a total wash? Of course not! Regardless of the frustrating circumstances it was still JOURNEY we saw and heard, even if only partially.


    Journey at Muskegon Summer Festival, Muskegon, Michigan
    Review Date: July 7, 2002
    Article in the Muskegon Chronicle



    We did not receive an original review from the July 7 Journey show at Toledo, Ohio.




    Journey at Common Ground Festival, Lansing, Michigan
    July 10, 2002
    Reviewer: Small Town Girl

    Journey definitely rocked Michigan's capital city of Lansing on July 10th. The Common Ground Festival was held in a park in downtown Lansing. It was a beautiful night for an outdoor concert.

    Even though my friend and I had just seen Journey a few nights before in Muskegon, we were especially excited for this concert because my husband, son and brother were going with us and had never seen Journey before. My brother, who is an Officer in the Navy, is stationed in Germany and scheduled his vacation around this concert. The seating was general admission, and when we got there, the lawn was quickly filling up. We got seats about halfway up. We could see the band pretty well, but it was nice to have a big screen for the close-ups!

    Journey came onstage at about 8:40 and opened up with "State Of Grace" from their new EP Red 13. The whole band looked great. You could tell they had been doing outdoor concerts since they all looked nice and tan. Steve even got into the summer look by going barefoot. Neal got the crowd's attention early in the concert with his version of "The Star Spangled Banner". We got so excited after the first couple songs, that my friend and I decided to try and take my son up a little closer so he could see better. He was so excited when Steve waved to him and even pointed to him during "Only The Young". After that, we went back to our seats, since it was a little loud up front. Later, Steve and Jonathan sang "Feeling That Way/Anytime." It was great to hear such an old song sound so good! About halfway through the concert, the band did an acoustic set of "Trial By Fire" and "Liberty". Since Journey was doing a concert in Allegan, Michigan last year on September 11th, these songs held extra meaning for local fans and the band. The concert included a good combination of old and new songs. I loved hearing lesser known songs like "Higher Place" and "Escape". Steve really impressed the Michigan crowd by changing from a black buttoned-down shirt into a Michigan State t-shirt and then into a Lansing Lugnuts (minor league baseball team) jersey. They came back for an encore with "Any Way You Want It" and "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'. It was hard to believe they had so much energy left to put into these songs after playing for about two hours already!

    Journey had a lot of long-time fans in the crowd, and it was great to see fans of all ages dancing and singing along. The Lansing concert was even better than I expected, and we're already looking forward to Journey's next visit to southern Michigan!

    Set list
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Neal guitar solo with "The Star-spangled Banner"
    Stone in Love
    Only the Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jonathan piano solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    I'll be Alright Without You
    Trial By Fire (acoustic)
    Liberty (acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Dont Stop Believin'
    La Raza del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'





    We did not receive an original review from the July 12 Journey show at Walker, Minnesota.




    Journey at Outagamie County Fair, Seymour, Wisconsin
    July 13, 2002
    Reviewer: Paul Beaudry

    On Thursday July 11th I received an e-mail from Caryn Signara asking me if I could be able to help with promoting Red13 during the day of the concert for Saturday....So I e-mailed her back and said "I would definately be able to handle that." I got up early on Friday July 12th and when I went through my normal e-mail check list up came another message from Ms. Signara. The message stated that myself and a guest were invited to attend Journey's soundcheck right before the show. At that moment I was overcome with joy you just couldn't possibly imagine. The message went on to say that I was also instructed to pass on the message that Red13 was coming out and to encourage others that weren't planning on going to the show later to try and do so anyways. Ms. Signara said she would have some promotional cards to pass out, but wasn't too sure how many since I was the last one on the list to be invited. So...since I am a graphic design major I made up some cards of my own using the Red13 idea and adding the band's website at the bottom. This was just so exciting to get that message that I honestly couldn't belive it.

    On Saturday July 13th, 2002, my fiancee and I got up really early--around 6:45 a.m.--to get ourselves prepared for a really nice, exciting day to see Journey. We got up to the fair around 8:15 a.m. My fiancee and I ran into one the "carnies" that morning and just started to talk about Journey and their career as it stands now. The morning started off kinda' hot, like 80 degrees, But very sunny for a great and wonderful day. We sat in the car for awhile to rest a bit...then by 11 a.m. we went into the fairgrounds. My fiancee wanted to walk around a bit looking at the exhibits and animals while we waited for more people coming to see Journey that day. At around 2:30 p.m. I got to meet up with Jodie and her husband, who was from northern Wisconsin, and she said she had tried to be there early in the morning to see some of my artwork, but got delayed trying to find a hotel. So we both went to the information booth and asked one of the directors where we should go for this soundcheck and who would let us in. Both of us had the e-mail message printed out to show them, 'cause they had no idea what we were talking about. So I followed Jodie and her husband past the gate to the Grandstand and into the field where the stage was. We got back to the VIP tent and that's when my heart was racing. My ultimate dream was about to be a reality.

    Ms. Signara arrived by 3:30 p.m., and she came out and said hello to everyone in the small group that had gathered. She started to see some of the work that Jodie and I had put together for the Red13 promotion. I had the cards that I put together and Jodie and her husband got these plastic hawaiian type balls that had Journey and Red13 all over them. After seeing our work she said "I got some good news and then I got some bad news." I said "lets here the bad news first." Then Caryn said, "Because of the fact Journey got out really late the night before, the soundcheck wasn't going to happen." My heart started to crumble a bit until she told us the good news...Caryn said, "I have, however, arranged a Meet and Greet with the band right before the show!" Oh my God...my heart just went into outer space. I couldn't believe I was actually going to see my Idols. Caryn then said that we should meet back at the gate entrance to the Grandstand around five-ish to pass out Journey Street Team shirts (which were free, by the way).

    I was a little shocked that my fiancee wasn't quite enthusiastic about this whole thing...but she said she was looking forward to it. Anyways...5 o'clock hit and we had gotten the shirts and the cards to pass out to the crowd. 6:30 p.m. rolled on and it was time for Ms. Signara to walk us backstage to meet the guys who had just rolled in about 6:15p.m. We had to wait a few minutes cause the band had just got there and Caryn didn't want us to be racing to the back too quickly. It was about 6:50 p.m. when Caryn said, "Let's go gang." So we headed backstage and my eyes just went out of my head...not literally of course. Standing in front of me was Jonathan Cain, and behind him stood Steve Augeri and Deen Castronovo. Caryn walked me up to Deen and I got to shake his hand. He said hello and nice to meet you. I had a couple album covers for him to sign, he looked at them and said "Uh oh...you got Steve Smith's signature on these." And I said, "what do you mean, 'uh oh,' he's a cool guy, I met him last year in Oshkosh for a small gig he did." And he started to say "Yeah, I know he's a cool guy." And then I started to go on and say He's the master and Deen agreed with me. Then Steve Augeri was standing in front of me and he was busy with a couple other Street Team members. Neal Schon was standing to the side while Ross Valory was signing a few of my album covers. Ross was like, "keep handing them to me....We are here for you guys." It just so happened that I had a towel with scarab beetles on it that I had made for my Fabric Design class and I handed it to Neal. He said, "this is great work..you sure you did this?" And I had my fiancee back me up...she had seen me make it. Unfortunately we started to run out of time so I got no signatures from Neal Schon nor did I get any from Jonathan Cain. But then Steve Augeri then turned around and said "oh...another fan. this is great." He said this with a really nice tone. My hand was shaking so much that I came out and said, "This is such an honor to finally meet you after the last 5 years." He then said, "Well...thank you so very much, your support means a lot to all of us." I then gave him the Arrival album to sign. Neal Schon then said, "move back everybody so we have some room here." Then Steve asked me to gather around the other side of the case stand that had his wardrobe. I showed him the poster I had done up, and he couldn't believe I did it. He said thank you. And that was about it. We then were asked to go back on out to the Grandstand to prepare for the show. It was trully a night I will never forget.

    Something else to report. I got my poster signed by Steve Augeri. The Arrival album has more than just a signature...It has To Paul...Thank you for your belief and Support ....Steve Augeri 2002. My fiance and myself got drumheads from Deen. Both of us have Steve's signature, Deens, and Ross Valory. My fiance....so very lucky she is, but I'm kinda jealous...she asked for a hug from Steve..and He gave her one. After that, my fiance started to understand what a tremendous honor this was to meet the guys and share a few words with them.

    The show started around 8:15 p.m. or so. A couple of Journey fan Club members had saved us some spots pretty close to the stage. Um....I had still been shaking so much..I really couldn't believe I had got to meet the band. I ran out to my car to make sure my stuff I got signed didn't get lost, trampled or stollen.

    My impression of the band was very personal, professional, and very affectionate. The music was great as it always has been and always will be. Separate Ways and Higher Place are my favorite songs. I went completly crazy when those two were played. Dont Stop Believin' is a song that will always hold a really true meaning to my heart. The impression I had of the audience from the field itself was very outgoing, a few were a little crazy as I was when certain songs started to play. The audience that was in the grandstand either were shy or just plain laid back cause there was a point right before and during Escape that Steve Augeri said to everyone to get up off your seats and join in. The Songs Trial By Fire and Liberty were sung on barstools which was a little different, but very cool nontheless. Um....All in all...this concert ranked a 200% in my book. No one will ever be able to take away the wonderful memories I had of July 13th, 2002.

    Set list
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Neal guitar solo with "The Star-spangled Banner"
    Stone in Love
    Only the Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    Jonathan piano solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    I'll be Alright Without You
    Trial By Fire (acoustic)
    Liberty (acoustic)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Dont Stop Believin'
    La Raza del Sol
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal solo
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'




    Journey at Outagamie County Fair, Seymour, Wisconsin
    July 13, 2002
    Reviewer: GoOLDNGrl2

    We were a stone's throw away from legendary Lambeau Field. One cannot be near that stadium & not feel excited. The same could be said for the Outagamie County Fairgrounds on Saturday night. Because this was a General Admission show, people started lining up at the gates before 5 PM. By 6 the line had grown & the buzz was how great this concert was going to be.

    I had the priviledge of being a member of the Journey Street Team for this show. Prior to the show it was my job to pass out CD-size flyers announcing Journey's new CD Red 13. This gave me an opportunity to talk to many of the fans. The general concensus. . . The show was going to Rock.

    And rock it did. From the opening notes to State of Grace, to the final Na, na, na, na, nas, Journey had the crowd going. Neal's Star-Spangled Banner was a major highlight of the night. That man can make a guitar sing. The band seemed totally into the crowd too. Ross got his lighter going & Jonathan led us in waving our arms during Faithfully. And Deeno, what more can I say about our wild drummer, he's a riot to watch.

    And Steve, well he was awesome!!!! Danced up a storm, climbed on the lights, crawled along some speakers & hoisted himself up on The Whale. And for this show's fashion report, Steve was wearing blue suedey pants & a black shirt. No shoes, again!!!!

    The only two mishaps--so to speak--were when Neal backed into Steve & almost knocked him on his butt. Steve caught his balance & then gave a little wipe of his forehead signaling "whew, that was a close one". The other was when Jonathan made the mistake of talking about Lambeau Field & how awesome that place is & then admitting he was from Chicago. I don't think he was prepared for the boos he got from that statement. But he saved grace by saying he was a big Bart Starr fan.

    There was no opening act, so we had a true Evening with Journey. Those are the best kind. All Journey for 2+ hours. We couldn't have had a more perfect night.



    We did not receive an original review from the July 15 Journey show at Okoboji, Iowa or the July 19 Journey show at Cadott, Wisconsin.




    Journey at Route 66 Music Festival, Joplin, Missouri
    July 20, 2002
    Reviewer: JRNYVAL

    Well gang, as you all know by now, I and a few others from this list went to see Journey in Joplin on Saturday night. Let me tell you, it was probably the best, most energetic show I have seen yet!!!! Steve was looking great, as usual!! Did anybody hear me *thud* when he walked out on the stage?? They opened with "State Of Grace", which is going to be one heck of a kick-butt song!! I can't wait for the RED13 to be released!!!

    Steve was wearing that wonderful creamy white shirt, with one button unbottoned at the very bottom...my my my....and blue pants that resembled the blue cloud leather from last tour, but they weren't that pair. And he WAS wearing shoes!!! LOL White ones! He did mess up on one song, which escapes me now, and his smile and laugh was so cute, that nobody seemed to care!! LOL Neal was looking mighty fine as well, and Jon, well......what can ya say??? Ross was very funny, as usual!! He is the clown that makes us smile!! Deen had his SpongeBob Squarepants on his drums, too!! Too funny!!!

    The audience was so pumped and ready to rock when Journey came out!! They were singing and dancing and screaming and playing air guitar and having the times of their lives!!!! It really made me feel almost honored to be a Journey fan!!!! These people in the audience were younger than me, too!!!! LOL That's what made me feel so good about it!!!

    I wish I could remember the set list, but I was way to ecstatic to remember to write anything down!! I know they also played "The Time" from the upcoming release, and I know that that song is going to kick some serious butt!!! I am so ready for my Red 13 to get here!!!! The direction this band is going is straight to the TOP!!!! Can't wait for my next show on August 10 in Springfield, IL!! These guys just make you feel so special and so proud to be their fans!!!

    If you haven't yet been to a Journey concert, please go soon!!! LOL




    Journey at Harley Davidson Festival, Atlanta, Georgia
    July 21, 2002
    Reviewer: brickhouse96@juno.com

    In my opinion, when Journey is on stage nothing else around me exist. Last night in Atlanta, GA at the Harley Davidson Festival was no exception. The band is like a magnet. Before the show started there was about 30 people waiting for them to come on (if that). But once they started to play "State of Grace," the people just piled up wanting more and they got it!

    Steve Augeri didn't where his signature red leather pants and white button down shirt but that signature voice of his was stronger than ever.

    You can tell that with each performance he gives he is more relaxed and enjoying himself. Neal Schon gave two spectacular solos that were absolutely breathtaking. One of which was his version of "Amazing Grace." Which is exactly what he was...amazing (but that's not a big surprise). Jonathan Cain had the crowd going with his dancing behind the piano and he had everyone dancing along with him. Mr. Cain's vocals during "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime" were absolutely flawless and his playing wasn't bad either (just kidding). Ross Valory was, well, being Ross with his humerous facial expressions and his heart pounding bass playing. Deen Castronovo's thunderous drum performance and melodic backround vocals made me scream "Hell Yeah!!!"

    The overall performance made me want more even after their encore "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'." I drove home with a smile on my face and I woke up the next morning with it still there. I could watch Journey forever because they never put on a bad or even a mediocre performance that's not the way they work. They always give 110% and that night was no exception. If I had the money, I would follow their tour all over the globe. There is one problem with their shows...when it's over.

    The set list is as follows:
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways
    Ask the Lonely
    Amazing Grace (Neal's 1st solo)
    Stone in Love
    Only the Young
    Lights
    Open Arms
    Feeling That Way
    Anytime
    Higher Place
    The Time (off of the upcoming RED 13 EP)
    Don't Stop Believing
    Faithfully
    Escape
    (Neal's 2nd solo)
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Anyway You Want It
    Encore:
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'

    Oh! I didn't just drive home with a huge smile on my face but I, also, went home with a Neal Schon guitar pick!!
    Sincerely,
    "Jade"



    We did not receive an original review from the July 24 Journey show at Portsmouth, Virginia or the July 26 Journey show at Big Flats, New York.




    Journey at Bald Hill Ampitheatre, Brookhaven, New York
    July 27, 2002
    Reviewer: anywayyouwantit

    Twenty years ago a bright eyed, exhilarated 18 year old went to his first concert ever; it was Journey, the Escape tour. A couple of days ago that same person, older, yet still loyal, sat among rows and rows of Brookhaven concert goers. The open-space Long Island grass terraces at this new venue supported the devoted aficionados of Journey who have, in turn, supported this band for decades. To the old faithful as well as the newfound fans, this music is the soundtrack for so many memories in each of our respective lives. The following humble point of view could probably come from any of us who recognize that we are all bound, each in our own unique way, by this Journey.

    The show was a well- polished outdoor diamond performance. The band was a tight, well-oiled harmony machine. Each member of the group brought brilliant talent to the table that night so we all could enjoy the feast together. Rock and Roll has many tastes, however, Journey has proven via the test of time that they are still "filet mignion" in what has become a "fast food" music industry. The weather held out and everyone involved in the production, from technicians to the guys themselves, welcomed us with open arms.


    The outdoor acoustics were really magnificent. The harmonious dynamic of the fans blended both in and out of the amphitheater that night. The scene in the parking lot was a cornucopia of Journey songs coming from more cars than one could count. We arrived with family and friends and met many pleasant people along the nature walk down to the place where the band would play. The general admission plateaus allowed room for those who brought their own chairs and/or blankets. My wife and I sat close to the stage, which was good and bad. Good because we got a great view and bad because it took two days for our ears to stop ringing!

    As per usual the boys did not disappoint. Deen's drums can be described as having a thunderous core surrounded by a gentle sensitivity that is unique to his caring and compassionate spirit. Ross plays a solid bass guitar, which acts as the strong knowing backbone for Journey's body of music. Jonathan has a classic composer's heart. He is the muse in music. Steve A sings from and for the soul. He has verve and style. He sings every song "faithfully", and has won fans over because of his gentle and sincere humility as well as confident stage presence. What can one say about Neal? His guitar has a strong emotionally charged voice. It is clearly driven and accomplished beyond other guitarists. He played the Star Spangled Banner as a statement of American resolve against terrorism. The music was the reason we all came together that night, but we all left there feeling happy that we are not alone in our inspiration through and appreciation of our Journey. To the fans and the band, Thanks for the great memory and don't stop believin'!




    Journey at Pier Six Concert Pavilion, Baltimore, Maryland
    July 30, 2002
    Reviewer: Captain013

    Ok everybody, understand two things...1> I interrupted my vacation to return home to see Journey. 2> My girlfriend was with me and terribly sick. She was an absolute trooper. She knows very little Journey but is enjoying her education. I spent a good bit of time tending to her needs during the show, but made sure to get the set list and a few highlightable remarks about the show.

    Now that I've had some time to mull over the performance, and make a sad attempt to figure out what the first song of the set was...I've got to say the performance was not terribly moving. It was hot, it was humid. Water and Beer were flowing everywhere. We were located about halfway between the lawn and stage...ear plugs were not necessary. The acoustics in the pavilion were atrocious on this night.

    There was no opening act on the ticket, so it was 7:30 and no band....30 minutes later, a rather restless crowd finally saw what they came for....Steve, Ross, Jonathan, Deen, and Neal.

    Through the first three songs, Steve, Jonathan, and Neal spent a fair amount of time trying to get the acoustics right. The first song was inaudible. I guessed from the handout after the show that it was a new song "State of Grace". But alas, I didn't know it, the crowd didn't know it, and the band lost the audience from the start. I really do not believe the band should start a show with a song nobody knows. Heck, I wasn't all that aware that a new album or EP was forthcoming. But this isn't the first band to start a big show with a new song nobody knows. But to have everyone hop on their feet when the come out, and then one minute later, everybody's sitting, mumbling and getting more water and beer seems like a really bad idea. Save the new stuff for the middle, when people need a rest, not when they're restless. But back to the dead crowd, beachballs that floated during the 30 minutes we all waited for the show to start, quickly disappeared. Several boats pulled up the wood plank fencing to listen for a few minutes to Journey belt out Rock History, but compared to shows I've been to lately in York, PA, and Bristow, VA, Baltimore was a disappointment from the audience to the venue, the weather, and to a lesser extent the band. I believe the humidity and heat and the crowd contributed to the lackluster feel, but I just didn't feel the energy in a lot of the songs. Steve did a lot of the same twirling with mic stand, Neal braced his guitar and arched his back. The band did its damnedest to get Baltimore moving. I've never heard a band include the the city in so many songs and monologues. If nothing else, the band knew where they were. The east coast version of the city by the bay, got the crowd's attention. The "It's Your Song" for the Star Spangled Banner (since it was written right here in our harbor)Most sang when they could but there was little clapping along, almost no dancing in the aisles (Ok, the rows are so tight together you have to leave your seat to let people pass-so forget dancing room). I do give marks to those who stayed for the whole show. The true fans did turn out and show their appreciation during the encore break. It was deafening, but the band barely took a two minute break, and hustled back on stage to do their two songs and call it a night. I felt a little better about the crowd at that point, but that was before the exiting nightmare. Unfortunately Pier Six has two exits, one that goes toward the Aquarium and one that takes you where the parking is. We all had to leave nearly single file to get across the foot bridge to the next pier and the parking garages. It took a good forty five minutes to leave the venue. But the last ten were entertaining for me, as I got to talk St Louis Blues hockey with a guy who was a St Louis native. My girlfriend, fever and all enjoyed the show, but was glad to be headed home, and a doctor's appointment the next day. Niki- love ya!

    The show lasted about 2 hrs and 10 minutes, so it was a good evening's entertainment, but unless you get up close and personal, i think the pier has seen better days. I'm giving the old pier a second chance in september for another concert,and the band is the mostly acoustic Indigo Girls. Should be interesting....until the next stop "Under the Radar", the is your Captain, turning off the seatbelt sign, and for the Carroll County based crew, we hope anyone who turned out enjoyed the show.

    Setlist:
    1)State of Grace--lost crowd
    2)Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)--happy crowd
    3)Ask the Lonely--indifferent crowd
    4)Neal solo "The Star-spangled Banner", that's right it is our song!
    5)Stone in Love
    6)Only the Young
    7)Send Her My Love
    8)Lights--East Coast City By the Bay
    9)Jonathan piano solo
    10)Open Arms
    11)Feeling That Way
    12)Anytime
    13)I'll be Alright Without You
    14)3 stools for the acoustic Trial By Fire
    15)still in acoustic mode: Liberty
    16)Higher Place
    17)The Time
    18)Dont Stop Believin'
    19)Chain Reaction--Ross started saying that they were going to play La Raza Del Sol, but Steve interrupted and said they couldn't play that, and he wrote down a substitute song. I'm glad he did, since I love Chain Reaction & it made our set different then the rest.
    20)Faithfully
    21)Escape
    22)Deen Solo into Neal's solo
    23)Wheel in the Sky
    24)Be Good to Yourself
    Encore
    25)Any Way You Want It
    26)Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

    Take care everybody, sorry it took so long for me to put to paper :) But I still care about you guys. Hope to see you all again, like we did in York, PA.


    Journey at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
    July 31, 2002
    Reviewer: JRNY02

    Under a scorching mid-day summer sun, Journey arrived from Baltimore, MD, to deliver yet another show to a sold out out house of nearly 11,000 fans at Mohegan Sun arena. The pre show event party consisted of 35 loyal, and boisterous fans, assembled at Big Bubba's BBQ, in the upper level of the Casino. The event provided much relief from the scorching heat outside, as freinds new, and old, got acquainted with one another. The highlight of the pre-show party was a visit from Neal Schon's stepdad, Les, Steve Augeri's mom, Emma, Steve's lovely wife, Lydia, Neal's daughter, and Steve's neice. All took the time to address each party-goer personally, which this author found most enjoyable, having never met them before.The party broke up around 4:30 pm, as everyone had to get ready for the show, which was to begin promptly at 7:00pm.

    There was once again no opening act, which caught many fans by surprise, and sent them scurrying like rats into the arena, when they heard the pre-show announcement. I was to have a birds eye view of tonite's performance, from my front row seat, directly in front of Jonathan Cain. The band hit the clean stage at precisely 7:13 pm, as the first chords of "State of Grace" were laid down. I must say, by the crowd reaction to this new tune, Journey probably could have done themselves a bit more justice, had they opened with something from their previous efforts. The song was muddled , and difficult to understand, as Steve's vocals were swallowed up by the cavernous building. A respectful ovation followed the song, which led of course into "Separate Ways". The band looked very road weary tonite, especially Jonathan Cain, whose arms went limp at his sides at various times during the show. His frequent attempts at smuggling yawns were a classic telltale sign that this tour schedule is beginning to grind on our heroes. Nonetheless, the band carried on, through a carbon copy set list, which I won't bore you with at this time. Steve wore his customary white chiffon shirt, and a purplish colored tie-dye type pair of pants, with no shoes. Neal has begun to re-grow his facial hair. Especially noteworthy was the performance of Neal's version of The Star Spangled Banner, which FINALLY got the mid-week crowd on it's feet, albeight only for a short while. Neal did not move around much tonite, instead preffering to remain at his usual station, stage right. Ross was his usual, predictable, clown self, posturing, and clowing with his little "pee to the crowd doll", attached to his microphone. Deen's playing is usually "right on", and tonite was no different. The man is awesome behind his yellow, metallic DW drum kit. Steve did, at one point "assist" him by playing the cymbals during one song.

    As the show reached the halfway point, I realized that this mid-week crowd just wasn't going to help pick up this tired band, what so-ever. I continually turned around, and gestured them to rise, which was fruitless. I was not going to happen on any grand scale tonight. Steve even quipped at one point, following a question to the audience, "well that was a smattering of applause!" The band played hard, and gave it everything they collectively had on this nite, despite being obviously tired, and road weary.

    "Only The Young" was to be this author's choice of "best song of the night". I thanked Jonathan for playing it, as it means a lot to me personally, as well as it does to Jonathan. Yes, they did the "acoustic" set as well, brief as it may be, yet beautifully done, and not overly blown out of proportion, as so many bands do. As the night , and show finally gained some crowd participation, the band capitalized on it, and tried to get everyone on their feet, yet once again. Success was a bit over moderate. I must add here, as a 26 year die-hard fan of this band, this was the least enthusiastic crowd I've ever seen at a Journey concert. It was my 38th time seeing them perform. Twoard the end of the set, the crowd started to lighten up, and get into the show, but much too late. I am sure that it did not go un-noticed by the band that they were playing before a lackluster crowd. I fully support that sentiment, and was most dissapointed by their lack of participation in, and during the show. Also noteworthy, was the fact that their oncore staple, "Faithfully" was miserably mired in the second third of the set, very much out of place, which is most unfortunate, at least in this authors eyes. It is one of their best efforts ever, and should be showcased as such.

    The show ended predictably, with LTS, and a very tired band, to retire to the safety of the hotel. There is something very positive to be said, when a band gives it their all, despite road wear, and that is the case here. The band showed it's true grit tonite, by "sucking it up" and giving what they had. I feel strongly that at the mid-set point, the crowd could have given Journey the shot of adrenaline it needed, with some bone jarring applause, and serious screaming. It did not happen. As a veteran, loyal die hard fan of so many years, and shows, I rate this show a "B", on total performance. I give the band an "A" by seeing it through as best they could. The crowd gets an "F", and I'll say no more about them. It was a good show, certainly not great. Last years performance at the Tweeter Center, in Mansfield, MA., was the finest performance I've ever seen them deliver. It was a performance by which I grade all others that they do. The crowds in Boston are among the loudest, rowdiest, and best in the business. A fact not missed by Neal's comments on that very show last year, as being their best of the tour.

    I had the extreme pleasure of talking with Neal after the show, in the mall area of Mohegan Sun, along with his step dad, Les. I took no liberty at all, and kept discussion very brief, as the man wanted his dinner, which was well-deserved, to my favorite guitar GOD.

    I look forward to seeing a rested unit Saturday nite, in Gilford, NH., when I host a huge pre-show party for many Street Team Members, and loyal die-hard fans alike. I hope to be able to offer a much more detailed, spirited review, from their performance there.


    Journey at Clearfield County Fair, Clearfield, Pennsylvania
    August 02, 2002
    Reviewer: Lunchbreak

    August 2, 2002, in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, was extremely hot and sunny. You could just stand still and perspire. But it didn't deter me from what I had to do - spend the day/evening with Journey!

    In the afternoon, I met up with two fans, Bobbie and Mikkimoose, those very industrious Street Teamers who had worked very hard to promote this show. After a bit I went over to the fairgrounds, hoping to get a bit of the sound check. That's what I got - a bit - before we were asked to leave, but I was able to see and hear most of it through the fence. The "infield" area behind the stage, where the band busses and trucks were parked, was very accessible, however, and in fact they were parking cars back there. Myself and another fan, Shell, were able to meet and talk with Deen after soundcheck. He's wonderful, a really sweet guy. When I told him what the Street Team had done in Clearfield, he got me four drumheads which he signed, and said, get the other guys to sign these and then give them to those Street Teamers. So now I had a project to do! Suffice it to say that even a miserable burly security guard could not stop me and after a while I had the signatures of all five band members on all four drum heads. That's an hour or so of my life I'll never forget!

    When I met back up with Bobbie, her daughter Nikki and Mikkimoose and told them what I had for them, they were ecstatic. All their hard work had been recognized, and I felt a great deal of satisfaction being the middleman! We entered the track area and after finding our seats, I headed to the merchandise table where I picked up a large handful of Red 13 promo cards and passed them all out. By that time it was 8 o'clock and I took my seat for the ride of my life!

    The band opened with State of Grace. When I first read that they were opening the show with a brand new song, I wondered how it would "go over," but when I heard it, I knew, it was a perfect show starter. It's quite different from Journey's usual style but I really like it. The crowd didn't really get into it, though. Next came Separate Ways, for which most of the crowd stood and cheered. After Steve made a nice compliment about "The Great State of Pennsylvania," (more cheering!), they played Ask The Lonely. Next came Neal's absolutely stirring Star Spangled Banner, which of course brought the entire crowd to its feet. People then stayed standing for Stone in Love and Only the Young (during which Ross was making hysterical faces!). The band then did Send Her My Love which the crowd seemed to like, but they did sit back down and stayed seated for several songs. I can't imagine why... Next was Lights, followed by Jon's wonderful piano solo into Open Arms, and the crowd did cheer wildly for this one. Jon then explained that they were going to back, way back, to play something from Infinity. They played Feelin' That Way which the crowd really seemed to love, followed of course by Anytime, during which Steve was clowning around on the cymbals with Deen. Then during I'll Be Alright Without You, I could see Deen's son Kyle off stage with drumsticks, drumming his heart out on two stools. Steve talked a bit while Kyle and his son Adam helped set up for the acoustic set. The guys played Trial by Fire and Liberty, and during some of the instrumental parts Steve sipped on tea. A flag had appeared on his mike stand that read "God Bless America." Next came Higher Place, which they played with a great deal of energy. After this came a new song from Red 13, The Time. The crowd didn't seem to get into this one much although I liked it. Ross then introduced Don't Stop Believing and everyone jumped up. Neal introduced La Raza Del Sol, on which I might add that Deen was absolutely awesome. This was followed by Faithfully and one of my personal favorites, Escape, during which Deen had a great solo. Then Neal did an absolutely haunting solo intro into Wheel in the Sky. Finally, they ended up with Be Good to Yourself. They lined up on stage and said goodnight, but the fans brought them back out for an encore of Any Way You Want It and Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'.

    At Clearfield, I felt that the band was completely "on," that's the only way I can describe it. It was boiling hot, I'm sure they were tired, and when I met Jon earlier in the day, he seemed down in the dumps, but on stage they gave their all, and somehow for those two and a half hours, five men fit their musical talent together so intricately that it seemed they were one.

    I wish I could be so complimentary to the venue, but unfortunately I cannot. The one good thing I can say is that it was a sellout crowd, even though at times they didn't seem very interested. You could pick out the pockets of real fans by the small groups of people who were standing and dancing/cheering here and there. Some of the fans who were standing at their front row seats were asked to sit down by security. I don't get that at all! It's rock and roll! Journey likes to see the crowd stand and I think they have to let the security people know that beforehand.




    Journey at Meadowbrook Farm, Gilford, New Hampshire
    August 03, 2002
    Reviewer: JRNY02

    Four months had passed since I first began planning to celebrate Journey's arrival in the Granite State, on August the third, 2002. Under a scorching summer sun, nearly 40 of Journey's most devoted came together as one to celebrate our heroes performance at Meadowbrook Farm. It was to be the party most dream about, only this was very real indeed. A gathering in mid-summer that few will ever forget.

    We began our pre-show event at 2:00pm, on a very hot summer afternoon. A meal fit for a king was prepared for the entire group, as all enjoyed watching the Journey 2001 dvd, shown on a special "tent" conceived by my partner in collaboration, Waboritas, aka., John Lorusso. This group of die-hards ate, drank, danced, and sang all afternoon, in preparation for the nites performance by Journey. Excitement was everywhere, at a fever pitch. A lot of the group were at the show in Mohegan Sun, just three days prior, and couldn't wait for more.

    The wait was just about over.

    At precisely 8:15 pm., OUR band took the stage, berry lights perforating the night air, and stage of black. The music began, the crowd rose as one. And so it began. The band ripped into "State of Grace" with a fervor seldom seen in previous shows. This show was to be like no other before it. The Gilford crowd was whipped into a frenzy instantly, and never let up, the whole evening. As the first piano intro to "Separate Ways" was heard, one had to pinch themselves to make sure it was all not a dream. A raucous audience picked this band up, and the band responded, and soared into the stratosphere, with a performance this author had never witnessed before. I'd seen the Mohegan show, from the front row, 3 nites before, and there were going to be no comparisons made to it on this nite.

    The band got even better as the show wore on. Neal Schon absolutely tore into the S.S.B., with a seguay seldom seen by anyone. His rendition just lit this crowd into absolute an absolute frenzy. A long, standing ovation was to follow, and did not go un-noticed by the band. You could see the band digging on this crowds genuine enthusiasm, and admiration. I have seen this wonderous band perform live 38 times over the last 26 years, including 11 shows of the "Escape" tour. I had been judging their performances by last years Tweeter Center show in Mansfield, MA. Up until now, that show was the finest I'd ever witnessed them do. Neal, obviously pleased with the New Hampshire faithful, asked the crowd, "Have we ever played here before?"...A resounding series of NO's followed, and Neal responded in kind by saying, "Well God dammit, we're coming back here !", to a thunderous roar.

    The acoustic "set" was beautifully performed, giving the hoarse, and sweat drenched crowd time to gulp on their libations of choice. At this point in the show, I, myself had to do a "gut check", as I had already exhausted myself, and was drenched from head to foot. A very good sign of things yet to come.

    The set list was the same as Mohegan Sun, and most other shows, so I'll spare it here. As the band tore into "Only The Young", I choked back tears, (unsuccessfully) , as this song just rips my heart out every time I hear it, least we all not remember Behind The Music . It's always been one of my favorites, since the first time I heard it on the soundtrack of "Visionquest", and before "Kenny" passed away.

    Song after song, hit after hit, Journey blistered the night air with a performance I'll NEVER forget. This show is one that EVERY Journey fan should have on D.V.D., it was that good. Jonathan Cain constantly dueled with Neal, side by side, much to the frenzied crowds delight. Neal was a monster on this nite, moving all over the huge stage, back and forth, to and fro. Ross Valory had a mile wide smile the whole nite. The entire band was totally onto this set, perhaps knowing a week off was just about two hours away. If I had any personal "buts", or "if's" with the set, it would only be that I think "Faithfully" should be showcased more, and not muddled into the second third of the set. Small complaint, not worth mentioning further, as this show was a gem.

    Journey ended the nite performing a very extended "Lovin', Touchin", Squeezin'", in which Neal went absolutely ballistic, shredding his guitar, blistering the night air with a solo I'll remember forever.

    As the band left the exstatic crowd gasping for breath after a 2 hour and twenty minute set, Deen came over stage right, and handed a girl his autographed "Crash" symbol, much to her delight. Two days have passed since I witnessed this marvelous show, and it has left me wanting more. Much, much, more. The tired band that had taken the stage just three nites before in Ct., had just played like it was their last concert ever. I met a lot of friends at Meadowbrook Farm, the other day. I am most proud that my friend, jrnydv, was by my side for both the Mohegan Sun show, and this gem at Meadowbrook Farm. This, people, WAS the performance of a lifetime. Rating:A++




    Journey at Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, Iowa
    August 09, 2002
    Reviewer: Jody Crossman, Staff Writer, Des Moines Register

    With all the rap, R&B and pop phenoms hogging the charts, it's nice to see that Iowans still have a warm little place in their hearts for "80s rock band Journey.

    A rambunctious crowd of 7,841 adoring fans roared their appreciation for the band at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Friday night, proving that they're forever fans "Faithfully."

    But through the constant roar of this two-hour-plus show, something seemed a little different about the band, which has been rocking since 1973. Maybe it was the lead singer. He looked like former Journey frontman Steve Perry, sounded like Perry, even wooed the crowd like Perry was known to do, so certainly it must have been Perry himself, right?

    Wrong.

    Journey's latest addition, lead vocalist Steve Augeri, infuses a new kind of energy and spirit into this once sizzling-hot, chart-topping group, crooning tunes as Perry did before leaving the band in 1996.

    Even without him, let the record state that Journey still puts on one heck of a show.

    Augeri and longtime Journey-men Neal Schon on guitar, Jonathan Cain on keyboards and Ross Valory on bass, plus newcomer drummer Deen Castronovo, played a crowd-pleasing set of older tunes such as "Only the Young," "Open Arms" and Don't Stop Believin"," mingled with a few new tunes.

    Journey's latest effort, "Red 13," released in late July, proves that the group still has the oomph it did almost 30 years ago with tunes such as "State of Grace," which opened the show to a wildly eager audience.

    Still, where this group remains the strongest is in the old favorites, the tunes audience members of many ages can remember played at high school dances. And Augeri, barefoot and microphone-loving on stage, ably does them justice.

    Following the rousing opening number, the band kicked into high gear, playing longtime radio hits such as "Separate Ways" that had fans on their feet quickly.

    Shortly afterward, guitarist Schon played a heated solo version of the national anthem while bathed in the red, white and blue of the stage lights.

    It didn't stop there.

    "Stone in Love," "Feelin' That Way" and "Any Way You Want It" had the audience applauding the band's hard-rocking style. And ballads such as "I'll Be All Right Without You" and "Faithfully" made this show a real treat for longtime fans.

    Unfortunately, intermittent sound glitches and a fuzzy sound system took away from the purity of some of the songs. Many in the audience didn't seem to mind, however, as the dancing, screaming and rowdiness ensued until the end of the set.

    A two-song encore wrapped up the night, followed by a fireworks show that seemed to finally drown out the screams of these colorful fans.


    Journey at Illinois State Fair, Springfield, Illinois
    August 10, 2002
    Reviewer: JRNYVAL

    Well, finally the day had arrived! It was time to go meet several of the Forum members from BackTalk on the official Journey site! What a very good lunch we had at Cheddar's. It was so awesome to meet Chrissy, Mel, Tanya and Andy. It was one of the highlights of my day.

    When we got to the fairgrounds, we had to walk all the way from the farthest gate to get to where we were going to meet Cat for the Pre-show Meet & Greet, but we finally found it. While standing in front of the Grandstand, we saw several other Street Team t-shirts and lots of different Journey shirts. I can't remember all of the names of the people that we met. It was just so overwhelming to finally meet you all in person.

    After sound check had started, albeit late, we were able to go watch the greatest rock band in the world jam. How honored I felt! The only thing that really broke my heart was when Steve Augeri came on stage to tell everybody that he was skipping sound check to go get a corndog and a massage. He was there and gone so quickly that I never thought to get a picture of him when he was standing there. But when they started jamming and Neal was shredding the chords on his guitar, I didn't seem to mind at all!

    Then, when the tractors started bringing the pallets to set up for the SRO people, and we kept getting pushed back farther and farther, and we finally got kicked out of sound check by the Illinois State Police, my world turned upside down, because I knew that, after 25 years of waiting to meet this band, I still wasn't going to meet them at the meet and greet I was invited to. I am certain that I will meet this band someday; "on my heart it's written!"

    Before the concert, my husband and I went around the Fair grounds handing out Red 13 promo cards and talking to people about the band and the EP. It was GREAT! I talked to some really neat people that were very anxious to hear the EP, and that made me so happy and honored to be a part of the Street Team and be a fan of Journey. Finally, it was time to go to our seats before the concert. By this time I was so excited I could hardly sit still! My poor husband--he just doesn't know what he is in for every time he takes me to see my favorite band in the world!
    They opened with "State Of Grace"--what a rocker that is! They followed with the classic, better known songs, and people were jamming, although not very much where I was sitting way up in the Grandstand. Those people seemed quite lame and they were actually making me mad that they weren't up there rocking with the band. That's why we are there, right, to have a great time and jam with Journey? I still had a great time rocking and rolling. There were some technical difficulties, but I think that is to be expected, isn't it? Not every show is perfect, but this show was by far the best show I have seen yet. These guys get better and better with every show. Steve had a good time with the video camera that he talked the cameraman out of! It was funny to watch him go around the stage filming the guys! That's the first time I had seen him do that, and it was great!

    It was also the very first time I had heard "I'll Be Alright Without You" performed live, and I was so happy about that. Everything was fantastic, right down to the very last note of the very last song.

    There you have it, my Journey concert review and short story. I didn't write down the set list, but I can tell you that it was fantastic and pretty much the same set they have been doing all tour. I love the acoustic versions of "Trial By Fire" and "Liberty." I am so glad they decided to add those to the setlist this tour. Thank you, JOURNEY, for everything you do for us fans. I am very proud to call myself a fan of you guys!




    Journey at West Virginia State Fair, Lewisburg, West Virginia
    August 12, 2002
    Reviewer: Melissa Mayhew

    Well let me tell you, Journey hasn't changed since the last time I saw them (last year). They opened the concert up with "State of Grace"; it was OK, but I'm still hooked on Arrival. Steve had on tie-dyed pants, a white shirt, and no shoes. He had a blast! He was dancing on the speakers and Helping Deen with the drums. Everyone went wild, which encouraged them to explode into song after song after song. They also played "The Time" from Red 13 and "Higher Place" from Arrival. But the rest of the concert was all the older ones, which was great. Jonathan cain Did great with his piano playing, singing, and guitar, and of course everyone went absolutely wild when Neal did his rendition of the National Anthem--it was awesome...it gave me goose bumps. All his solos were great. He is one of a kind. They way he makes his fingers fly over that guitar is something to see. One thing that really amazes me is...how does Deen go on and on without his arms hurting or cramping or something. He puts everything into those drums. Ross was his same ol' silly self. It is really refreshing to see him on stage with his sense of humor. One thing is for sure--that group enjoys their job!!! It shows in everything they do on stage.

    Oh, by the way, they were only 5 minutes shy of playing for two and a half hours!





    We did not receive an original review from the August 16 Journey show at Morton, Minnesota, the August 17 show at Escanaba, Michigan, or the August 18 Journey show at Omaha, Nebraska.



    Journey at Santa Ana Star Casino, Bernalillo, New Mexico
    August 21, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    The venue in New Mexico was the Star Casino which is sort of in the middle of nowhere like a lot of casinos are. I was a little unsure about the place because the venue was on the small side and reminded me of somewhere you'd go to see a basketball game, not a concert. As it turned out, the place had nice acoustics, the show was sold out and the crowd was very, very enthusiastic. The crowd really got into the show after the first song or two and they were very noisy and on their feet.

    The setlist was the normal one they have been pretty much sticking to on this tour, with "Chain Reaction" and the acoustic set. The boys played for around two hours, I think, although I lost track of time and they were the only band on the bill. The mandatory fashion statement is that Stevie wore black leather pants and a grayish-brown shiny shirt--with no shoes, of course.

    The new things for me were that Neal played something he called "the guitar game" with the crowd. Neal plays a blues riff and the crowd has to sing it back. Of course Steve helped us because Neal got a little complicated toward the end, but the crowd was really into it and that little game adds such a cool touch to the show.

    "Liberty" seems to be a lot longer now than last I heard it in Canada, as the instrumental section has been lengthened. Neal shows his versatility in that one. He can just switch between that amazing "Star-Spangled Banner" to an acoustic set to his searing, rocked-out sound on "State of Grace" and "The Time" with such ease. The classics seem to have some new twists to them. The intro to "Wheel in the Sky" is something I had not heard before--a sort of jazz-inspired drum sequence with some heavy, trippy guitar. Neal definitely continues to live up to his "rock god" status at every show.

    Jonathan's piano solo had parts I not heard before either--very beautiful and inspiring. Steve seemed to be having fun and the audience loved him as usual. A few roses were exchanged to the delight of the crowd and he sang to some folks. Deen was also so amazing to watch and I had a really good view for a change. On "The Time" he is just unbelievable. That man has such energy.

    So the boys turned out another amazing show at a little venue where a lot of people had probably not had a chance to see this line-up before. I'd say they won some new fans. For me they just maintained their status as the greatest rock and roll band on the planet.




    Journey at Konocti Harbor Resort Ampitheatre, Kelseyville, California
    August 23, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    If you've never been to Konocti, let me tell you it is at the end of a winding mountain road and it seems to take forever to get there--but it's worth it. Konocti has a quirky staff and quirky service, but great indoor and outdoor venues. Journey was playing the outdoor amphitheater and there really is not a bad seat in that house. The night of the show was a beautiful evening for northern California. The amphitheatre is right on the lake so behind the stage area you get glimpses of the lake and surrounding the whole venue are pine-covered mountains. It's a very beautiful setting in which to enjoy Journey and I still have the image in my mind of Neal playing one of his blazing solos with that pine-covered mountain rising up behind him.

    The venue was nicely filled--probably nearly sold out. When Journey took the stage it was still light out and they played for over two and a half hours--working their butts off. There was a very short opening act and I cannot tell you a thing about them because they were so short that we missed them entirely. It seems that Konocti has a noise ordinance so shows are limited by a definite end time that I believe was around 10 p.m.

    The high point of the entire evening (and maybe the entire tour, for me) was a little Santana set the boys threw in. It really left me speechless for awhile (if you can believe that!). Original Santana members Michael Carabello (congas) and Chepito Areas (timbales) along with Chepito's son, Adrian (timbales) came onto the stage and they went into "Black Magic Woman" with Neal singing. (Michael and Adrian currently play with the Gregg Rolie Band.) I cannot tell you how great it was hearing Neal play those familiar riffs from "Black Magic Woman." When Neal sings he can almost sound more like Gregg than Gregg. I managed to get a little preview of this set by peeking in during the sound check (thanks to a very nice security guard) and the first time I heard Neal launch into this song, I literally got choked up. It was like hearing from an old, beloved friend you hadn't heard from in years. For anybody who has never experienced a little bit of a sound check, I was also amazed at how much energy the band puts into it. They are playing flat out even while rehearsing.

    Next they did "La Raza Del Sol," with Steve singing as usual, but the addition of all that percussion makes the song sound so much more full. The last song of the Santana set was "Everybody's Everything" with Jonathan singing. You may not recognize the name, but you would know the song if you heard it--a tremendous Santana song. That whole set sounded so fabulous with all that percussion going. The guys were so into jamming. It was just amazing. Words cannot really describe it appropriately.

    All the boys were in top form that night. Steve sounded great as usual. Jonathan seemed more into everything than normal--he was very pumped for the jamming in particular. Deen was amazing and Ross was also very animated and totally into the jamming. I suppose it helped that most of the band had family members present. It was very cool to look over at the area where the family members were sitting and see how proud they all looked of the boys and how totally into the show they all seemed to be.

    Another extreme high point was when Dennis Erokan, the founder of Bam Magazine and the Bay Area Music Awards (aka the Bammies) came out and gave us the news that Journey is going to be honored on the Walk of Fame in San Francisco next year on their 30th anniversary. The crowd just went wild! This honor came about from a lot of hard work from the Journey Past and Present (JPP) committee. A cool moment was when Dennis Erokan asked the pro football players in the front row to sit down so the JPP committee could be seen. There was a celebrity golf tournament going on at Konocti that weekend and a lot of celebrity football players were swarming around. They took up the front row center at the show and in my opinion they were not very well behaved, so I thought it was a nice touch to get their egos in check for five minutes.

    All in all this was one absolutely amazing concert! It was a show of a lifetime and they will have trouble topping this one. They must have been exhausted at the end of it all because it was longer than any show I'd been to--over two and a half hours, perhaps closer to three, but again I lost track of time. When they came out to take their bows I saw Neal and Deen comparing their fingers--apparently each had some torn up fingers from all the playing. Now that is a show!

    Setlist:
    Red 13 Intro/State Of Grace
    Separate Ways
    Ask The Lonely
    (A Neal Solo was here somewhere but it is not on the set list)
    Stone In Love
    Only The Young
    Send Her My Love
    Lights
    (Piano Solo)
    Open Arms
    Feelin' That Way
    Anytime
    I'll Be Alright
    Acoustic Set:
    Trial By Fire
    Liberty
    Journey is joined by original Santana members Michael Carabello and Chepito Arias along with Chepito's son, Adrian, for the next 3 songs:
    Black Magic Woman (Neal sings)
    La Raza Del Sol (Steve sings)
    Everybody's Everything (Jonathan sings)
    The Time
    Don't Stop Beliving
    Faithfully
    Escape
    trippy Neal and Deen solo/intro
    Wheel In The Sky
    Be Good To Yourself
    Encore:
    Anyway You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'




    Journey at Antelope Valley Fair, Lancaster, California
    August 24, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    Lancaster is my home turf now and for those who are unfamiliar with the area, it is about an hour outside of L.A., in L.A. county. The venue was at the annual Antelope Valley Fair. I have to admit I was worried about how the Lancaster crowd was going to react to Journey. Because I live in the area, I have been hearing about Journey coming to Lancaster all summer. Most people had never heard the current line-up, in fact a lot of people had no idea Perry was gone. But it became apparent pretty quickly that the crowd loved the boys. The venue was packed and appeared to me to be a sell-out--or nearly so. The venue holds around 10,000.

    Security was a little strict and did do that annoying thing where they tell people to sit down, but eventually they relaxed and people were on their feet and very noisy. The sound system was better than I expected and I thought everyone sounded great. Near the end of the night Neal gestured for the crowd to come forward and then everyone pretty much went crazy. The crowd was so loud and enthusiastic it was a joy to see even though I was pretty much crushed up against the front barrier and I was thinking the whole thing might just tip over. The crowd loved Journey and Journey loved the crowd. That's the way a rock'n'roll crowd should be.

    Let's start with the mandatory fashion statement--I believe those were some kind of purplish snake-skin print pants Stevie had on with a white shirt and, of course, no shoes. Fortunately the high desert cooled down by showtime so I don't think Stevie roasted his toes. The band seemed very energetic and rested even though I know they had just performed an exhausting show the night before (Konocti Harbor) and had a grueling bus ride that must have taken around eight hours.

    They were back to the normal setlist--no Santana material as that would have been hard to do without all that fabulous extra percussion. Deen-O the magnificent was sounding incredible. My view of him was pretty much blocked, but fortunately there was a video screen. The video also let me see Jonathan during his beautiful piano solo and he seemed particularly dynamic. Jonathan was in top form and seemed to really be enjoying himself, too. Ross was fabulous as usual and he took the time to wish a happy birthday to one of the fans in the crowd, [the great twentieth-century actor] Vincent Price. Vincent was near me and I thought he might need medics after that one--he was totally on cloud nine thanks to that thoughtful acknowledgment by Ross.

    As for Neal the rock god, let me just say that I am running out of words to describe Neal. One can only say "amazing" and "incredible" so many times. I tell you that lengthened acoustic "Liberty" still brings tears to my eyes. Neal is such a master. He can go from that softer acoustic set straight into the searing, rocked-out numbers and then into the most soulful blues. It appears to be like breathing for him--just so effortless. I will never tire of hearing and watching the magic of that man. The passion and emotion from that guitar is like nothing I hear in any other guitarist.

    AND---Neal breaks a string in the intro to Wheel, so while sustaining a note, the guitar tech hands him another guitar. He proceeds to calmly, effortlessly build the intro back up again taking his time so if you had not been watching him, you would have never known he broke a string. He was not having the audience remember that broken string. Oh, no--you were going to remember his amazing playing if it killed him. Now if that is not the epitome of a rock god, I don't know what is. Over and over throughout the show I was just shaking my head in disbelief--how does he do it?

    They played the "guitar game" again with the audience. I'd say the Lancaster crowd was better than Konocti, but I still think Bernalillo was the best. That is such a cool part of the set, along with a similar game Stevie plays with the audience.

    And speaking of Stevie--the audience loved him. For many in this crowd it was the first time they were seeing Steve and they loved him. A particularly sweet thing was during "Send Her My Love" a fan gave Steve a rose with a picture of his wife, Lydia, with the rose. After the song Steve said he hadn't seen his wife for awhile and he got a tear in his eye seeing the picture. He was so obviously touched.

    Once again, the Lancaster show was another awesome show by the legends. Every show has its own bit of magic and Lancaster was another very special night. Thank you, Journey.


    Journey at New York State Fair, Syracuse, New York
    August 27, 2002
    Reviewer: Mark Bialczak, Staff writer, from The Syracuse Post-Standard

    With a steady stream of hits from the feel-good days of rock, Journey kept the State Fair Grandstand crowd feeling very good indeed Tuesday night. Lead singer Steve Augeri, guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain did their very best to make sure that every note was filled with the kind of energy that made Journey a ruler of rock radio in the late '70s and early '80s.

    "Separate Ways" and "When You're Feeling Lonely" made sure everybody knew it was going to be a night of great memories.

    And the ballads were even better. Augeri handles some of the best love songs from that period with every bit of grace as former Journey lead singer Steve Perry.

    On "Open Arms" and "Faithfully," you'd think that when the Journey guys call him Steve, they're still referring to old mate Perry.

    Schon gave goose pimples with a bluesy, gutsy version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." With Sept. 11 around the corner, the crowd paid great respect.

    However, it didn't pay much attention to Journey's attempt to place some of its newer songs into the hit parade.

    "Higher Place," from the last album, Arrival, and Red 13, from the upcoming album of the same name, were all noise and no feeling when compared with the old hits.

    Fortunately, Journey won the crowd back immediately with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Wheel in the Sky," both full of the intensity that makes a Journey concert a pleasure still these days.

    Opener Peter Frampton took the stage to regal introductory music.

    Then he showed that he's still one of the kings of guitar.

    The British-born rocker showed that at age 52, he's still got all the vocal and guitar chops that made his "Frampton Comes Alive" album the biggest-selling concert record ever.

    And those songs from the mid-'70s still sound great.

    When Frampton came to the line about his friends and family in the song "Lines on My Face," somebody in the crowd wearing a "Frampton's Family of Friends" T-shirt jumped with joy.

    Frampton seems like the kind of a rascal you'd like to down a pint with in a pub.

    "I know you love new numbers. We'll do this one," he said.

    Then he rolled his eyes. And went into the huge 1976 hit "Show Me the Way."

    The acoustic "All I Want to Be (Is by Your Side)" got the crowd to sing along, and on the hit "Baby, I Love Your Way," Frampton played the Mitch Miller role, waving his arms and coaxing the crowd through the familiar lyrics.

    A 15-minute version of his epic "Do You Feel Like We Do?" showed that his guitar work and vocals have withstood the test of time.

    When he got to the part where he sings into a voice tube to synthesize his voice, Frampton sang, "Syracuse, New York...I feel frisky tonight."

    So did the crowd. Frisky enough for a headline act.

    A fiery version of the Beatles' classic "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was aged to perfection and had the crowd ready for Journey.

    (c) 2002 The Post-Standard.




    <Journey at Allentown County Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    August 28, 2002
    Reviewer: Lunchbreak

    "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink." Unless you tipped your head back and opened wide.

    I have a very, very short list of bands that I will stand in the pouring rain for hours to see. So short that up until August 28, 2002, there was only one name on that list and it was the Allman Brothers.

    Journey has now been placed on "The List of Bands that Jane Will Stand in The Rain For Hours To See."

    For a summer that in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has mainly consisted of a drought, it was ironic that the heavens opened up Wednesday night, but open up they did and since it was a rain-or-shine show, well I was going no matter what. But, typical for me, I was in denial all day. "It's not going to rain.it's going to go south of here.it will just sprinkle.it will be warm.etc., etc.," So also typical for me I was unprepared. At least I had an umbrella but it was JRNY4Me who came through for me with a rain poncho! Thanks, Mary!

    Peter Frampton opened up for Journey, which was reminiscent of the 2001 tour. Now, I like Peter, but Journey was who I was there for, know what I mean? So I hummed and sang a bit, clapped now and then and waited "Patiently." When Peter was finished, the roadies stormed the stage and began the transformation. It happened rather quickly. Next thing I know, the lights go out and people start to cheer. I heard the first sounds of "State of Grace" and instantly forgot I was dripping wet and the adrenalin rush began.

    As always, Journey did not disappoint, with the possible exception that it was a shorter set list than usual. Steve had a bit of trouble with his voice in the first half of the show. Perhaps the strain of this tour is showing a little bit. But he was ever the gentleman showman, encouraging us to ignore the raindrops and thanking us for braving them at the same time. Around midway his throat seemed to really warm up and from that point on he nailed it. A few trips to the tops of the speakers made things exciting! The guys all looked great last night, looking happy and having a good time. Ross came over in front of us a few times and made his famous faces, which was completely priceless. Neal's Star Spangled Banner had me in awe yet again.

    The set list:
    Red 13: Intro
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Star Spangled Banner
    Stone in Love
    Only The Young
    Lights
    Jon's Solo
    Open Arms
    Feeling that Way/Anytime
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Neal Solo
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore:
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

    I'm proud to be a member of an unofficial group which I affectionately call the "Hard Rock Cafe Gang," also known as "My Posse." We got together and purchased a gift for Steve--a Brooklyn Cyclones T-shirt, baseball cap and sweatshirt. Iluvjonathan (Stacey) packaged it all up nicely and she passed it to him on stage at the end of "Any Way You Want It." When he saw what was inside, he looked very pleased! In fact, he took out the T-shirt and started to walk off to the side of the stage while unbuttoning the white shirt he had on (with a sly look over his shoulder). I had quite the treat as I could see him take off the white shirt (be still my beating heart) and put on the T-shirt. He then came back on stage with his new Brooklyn Cyclones "T" on. While he was busy doing this the guys had started to play the intro to Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and I think Steve missed his singing cue because Neal said into his mic, "I don't hear anything over there!" Much laughter ensued. He looked great and we were very happy that HE was happy!

    This was my first exposure to the sing-back-the-guitar-riff game and that was a lot of fun!

    I hung with and met many great Journey fans too, which only enriched the experience!

    The Allentown Fairgrounds grandstand is fairly large - we "guesstimated" 10,000 seats. It was very nearly filled except for the seats right behind the large support posts in the upper seating. It was a little difficult in the heavy-ish rain to judge the response of the crowd, but this particular night there was a lot of standing and dancing going on in much larger sections than the other shows I have been at. There seemed to be quite a bit of vocal response at least. The crowd really seemed to love the show.

    Just another great Journey evening. And it ain't over yet.




    Journey at Allentown County Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    August 28, 2002
    Reviewer: GumOnMyShoe27

    It was a crappy night, but it most definitely WASN'T a crappy concert! It's like Kevin Elson says in Frontiers and Beyond--"If the farmers want rain, they'll have a rock show"--and boy did it pour.

    The guys ran out under the rain and enormous applause and broke into "State of Grace", which, was the best song off of Red13 they played that night. "Separate Ways" was crystalline too (took a moment during the song to call my friend at her dorm who couldn't come). "Ask The Lonely" was next and the harmonies sounded great. The second best part of the night was when Neal ripped out "The Star-Spangled Banner." Everyone stood up with their hands on their hearts (I couldn't resist singing to it) and that got a lot of applause also. They soared through "Stone in Love," "Only the Young," and "Lights." During Jon's solo, someone yelled "WE LOVE YOU JONATHAN!" from our row all the way in the back. "Open Arms" was definitely a favorite of the crowd (of course). Some lady behind us kept screaming for "Feeling that Way" and the guys must have heard her, cause they played it--with "Anytime." For "Higher Place" I had to rest my feet, but I still sang along. They played "The Time" from Red13 which rocked our socks. Then came "Don't Stop Believin," another crowd favorite. For "Faithfully" you can imagine all of those "faithful" fans in the rain singing along. Everyone got on their feet for "Escape" and stayed there for "Wheel" and "Be Good To Yourself." The band left for just a brief moment--but they couldn't leave us hanging! They came back and everyone screamed of course. During "Anyway You Want It" someone threw a bag of clothes and goodies onto the stage and Steve took out a yellow shirt, went behind stage and changed his shirt. He was climbing all over the speakers all night. I was afraid he was going to slip, because the rain had drenched the speakers.

    But the best part of my night was "Lovin Touchin Squeezin." Neal played a little solo as the intro to it and then he said "I'm gonna play some blues riffs, and you guys sing back, OK?" Of course we all screamed them back. And during one of the "soft" parts of the song, my friends, two ladies in the row in front of us, and I all screamed "We love you Neal!" and he gave us a thumbs up! That made my night. Steve helped us out with the singing back. Neal joked around and played something real complicated so we couldn't sing back. The guys ended with an acapella "Na na na na na na," and we all filed out.




    Journey at Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction, Vermont
    August 30, 2002
    Reviewer: JRNY02

    Reflections, Past, and Present:
    A summer day, sandwiched between miserable cold, rain, and wind, allowed us to see Journey perform at Essex Junction, Vermont, without taking a Woodstock walk down memory lane. The weather was sunny, and 80 degrees in this beautiful mountain region of Vermont.

    I wish I could say more favorable things about the venue, Champlain Valley Exposition (AKA Vermont State Fair).

    The venue was pathetic, at best. A rented stage, set up in front of an old, dilapidated grandstand, and a freshly graded racetrack, full of sharp stones, made for a most uncomfortable evening. The "seats", if you will, were 20-year-old beat-up pieces of plastic, set up on this loose dirt and rock, and sunk into the ground 2 inches when you first sat down. [I decided then that this would be] my first and last time seeing any band perform in a "State Fair" type of venue. Little did I know, that the worst was yet to come, and would bring me to tears before the night was over.

    This was to be my fortieth live performance of a band I've loved for the past twenty-seven years. It would alter my feelings considerably, about the way I feel this band is being managed, marketed, and handled in general. It will NOT change my feelings toward the band, however.

    Taking my seat at about 6:20 pm, in plenty of time to see Peter Frampton yet again get caught up in his own guitar wizardry, I quickly noticed some of the usual Journey "bottom-feeders" in attendance. Their camera bags all ready to go, despite their thinly veiled convictions to obey the very rules they set on their kindergarten forum, I reflected on the things I'd witnessed at Mohegan Sun, and the vicious negative campaign they concocted against a fine bunch of people in and around Gilford, New Hampshire. The customary taste of sour milk once again permeated my senses, and Journey hadn't yet hit the stage.

    There were the repeated warnings about taking pictures during Journey's performance, and signs were EVERYWHERE, proclaiming the same. I chose to obey the rules once again, while the "bottom-feeders" went about their usual blatant disregard of the rules they're supposed to be following, set forth by the so-called "moderators" on the Back Talk forum.

    So much for one set of rules. Talk about a double standard! All for one, but NONE for you!

    I say Screw them, they aren't worth a grain of salt to begin with, and furthermore, I at the very least have a life that I am proud of, and proud to go home to.

    A Fellow Street Team member only confirmed my own thoughts, as that person has just about had it with the childish ways of the people running the show, if that's what it is to be called. Why, after working day and night for the past 5 months of my own life, to promote the Gilford show tirelessly, I too, was merely cast aside, and dropped faster than a bad habit by the "moderators" on Back Talk. I know the feeling well, and won't soon forget it. Lesson learned. They deserve what they've nurtured, chaos and confusion. Enough, and on to the show.

    Peter Framptom hit the stage at precisely 7:00 pm. I actually enjoyed the first half of his set. The songs were well played, and the sound was good. That all ended quickly, just like last summer, when Pete got carried away with his own playing, and went off into his own solo land, song after song. If this author wants to see a God play guitar, he would gladly wait for Neal Schon, thank you. He left the stage to a surprising standing ovation from the crowd of about 9000. He was most appreciative of the ovation, as he left the stage, at 8:12 pm.

    Journey came on at 8:45, and went right into "State of Grace," which drew respectable applause. I still feel they are missing the boat, opening with a new song, which very few know the words to. Last year's opener, "Message of Love," was just fabulous, and is remembered very fondly by this author.

    The set list continued, in just about the same format as most shows. I must add here that Neal's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," was most impressive on this night, as was his playing throughout this whole show. I did notice quickly that there was no video during the show. I also noticed quickly that Steve was straining to hit notes, and was already singing falsetto, and I knew it would be a long night ahead for the guy whom I've grown to love so much.

    The show continued, and Steve even stumbled on words to a couple of songs, which I found most unusual. He also rambled on about Lake Champlain, asking the crowd to "forget about it for a minute," while he took them to the city by the bay. Nice, but you don't tell these people to forget about the place they all call home, and a place equally as pretty as San Francisco, though in a different way. Yes, I quickly forgave him for an obvious misstep, as we all make them. I'm just pointing this out to suggest that Steve may have been extremely tired. Jon Cain, who I also love on stage, appeared very weary, and to be merely "going through the motions" of this show, basically expressionless throughout. I'm comparing this performance to Gilford, a few weeks earlier, and also to the number of times I've had the pleasure of seeing him perform.

    Could it be the fact that some tour wizard's decision to have our band on a bus may be the reason they're showing signs of wear and tear? That's another topic I won't get involved with, but I have my own thoughts on.

    The band on this night left out the two song "acoustic set," that had become a crowd favorite, and it did not go un-noticed. Perhaps, with things being as they were, it was better that way?

    As Steve's voice became more strained, the crew amped the living Hell out of the show, (an old trick in the rock'n'roll business), and even added reverb, to "fatten" the sound. My past experience working for Lexicon, Inc. serves me well to this day, as they still make the finest sound equipment in the business.

    As Journey went into "The Time", I was about to see something I would remember, though sadly, forever. The crowd was starting to walk out on our heroes. Yes, it's true. I was pissed off. This band was trying very hard to own up to it's own code of the road, and it's fans were hitting the bricks...in droves. A shiver went up my spine, as legions of patrons left the venue. At least a third of the original patrons had left by 10:15 pm. My wife turned to me to see tears streaming down my face, and she quickly knew what I was feeling. Somebody tell me this was all just a bad dream! I had been sensing this all night, as I knew the band just didn't "have it" on this particular evening. But LEAVING? C'mon, that's just absurd at a Journey show. Nonetheless, it's true. I will never return to this venue for anything, as a bad taste is still in my mouth even today, two days later.

    The band pushed on, and the sound was amped even further, pushing even Journey's music into virtual distortion.

    I wanted, mercifully, for this show to end. I wanted it all to be all right. I wanted to make it better. But I could do none of the above.

    The show ended with the customary "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," with Steve jumping down, off stage, to shake hands with front row fans.

    It was over at 10:40 pm. A two-hour show.

    M.F.O., as Steven Tyler used to say. Medi-F***ing-Ocre, at best.

    Every band will have an off night, and Journey is no different.

    One only needs look at their schedule to wonder why they are holding up even this well. I mean, just look at the tour dates, and look at number of times they're backtracking.

    And on a bus! To even the most casual fan, this has to be alarming to see.

    Journey is a world class rock'n'roll band. Should they be forced to travel in a bus, for example, from Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 28, to Springfield Massachusetts, on Sept. 29?

    This has just got to tire out even the most road-worthy. Considering that Steve Augeri has a voice that must be managed and rested, I question seriously whether this tour is truly for the love of the fans, or just for the money. I'll leave it to you to make up your own minds. I definitely question the management tactics being deployed on this band I've loved so passionately, and for so long. It hurts me greatly to see this taking place, while the "moderators" of their forum continue to gloss over the facts, and completely ignore any constructive criticism from the remaining loyal fans. To drive fans away is not something I'd be doing right now, as this band struggles to survive and gain new fans along the way.

    My own passion for Journey allows me to be objective about them, and to be honest in what I do say about them. I don't live in a fantasy world, and I realize all is not perfect. I owe it to you, the fans of this band, to report what I see onstage, and what I feel in my heart. I won't cheat myself, and I won't cheat you. May God Bless this very special band, and grant them the success they deserve. Thank you.


    Red 13
    September 1, 2002
    Reviewer: Marc B., FoundryMusic.Com

    Well this is different Journey release than we have come to expect. For one, it's only a 4-song EP and it's only available through their website or at shows (going grassroots guys??). Well this is a good thing to tell you the truth because the overall vibe of this disc is loose, flowing and raw. The band is a highly polished live unit and if anyone has been fortunate enought to witness new singer Steve Augeri in a live setting, the guy is simply terrific. This EP captures Journey in a live raw setting, only with studio production, and a nice mix to boot. Each instrument is clear and there is not a whole lot of layering which is something of staple for these guys. Guitarist Neal Schon gets plenty of room to flex his guitar chops and to tell you the truth, this is what I was kind of hoping for with their last full studio release Arrival, which came up sounding a bit too polished. Now, onto the songs:

    "State Of Grace" - With a two-minute intro that leads into this barn burning opener, the band rips it with some serious vigor and fire under their seats. Each member knows exactly what to do and no one steps on anyones toes on this track. Augeri is in top form and starting to use more of his originality rather than trying to cop Steve Perryisms. His voice is powerful, edgy, yet has an edge that gives him a bit more punch on these types of songs.

    "The Time" - A moody number, with some pretty cool effects going on underneath the mix and once again Augeri shines on this track. Neal Schon offers up some nice fills and textures and a terrific solo break which is his trademark legendary playing and sound. The band once again really plays well off each other and this will most likely be a killer track in a live setting.

    "I Can Breathe" - Another raw rock track with a hooky chorus and a well timed mid section with Schon wailing in top form. Augeri goes for a higher vocal pitch for this track, but pulls it off effortlessly without sounding shrill or thin.

    "Walking Away From The Edge" - No Journey CD would be complete without the obligitory powerballad, but this is by far the catchiest track on the EP. It's simply terrific and ranks up there with some of their best work. The vibe is moody, dark and serious, but keeps an uplifted spirit throughout. I was pleasently surprised at the overall rawness of this track. Keyboardist Jonathan Caine is terrific on this track and doesn't overcrowd the mix with layered keyboards or effects. The chorus is pure Journey and packs a nice punch and hook.

    Overall, this is a terrific filler CD till the guys release a full length disc, which might not be out for some time because they are now without a label. If you can get your hands on this, I highly recommend you give this EP a few spins, because these tracks grow on you more and more with each repeated listen.


    Journey at "Party on the Prairie"--The Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, Kansas
    September 6, 2002
    Reviewer: Kari Ziblut

    It always seems like such an easy thing to do--go see the band you love most in the world and come home and write about it but sometimes itís harder to put into words than I think itís going to be. For the first time ever I got to actually see two Journey shows on the same tour. July 20th in Joplin, Missouri at the Route 66 Music Festival and this past Friday in Hutchinson. I fully expected a different show this time because the show in Joplin was the shortened "festival" set list. On Friday we heard nearly two hours of Journey so what could be better than that? Having been to other Journey concerts over the past few years I couldnít help but wonder what kind of crowd we would see in Hutchinson KS--not exactly a rock and roll kind of town but what surprised me most was looking around as the grandstand filled and seeing an absolute sea of Journey t-shirt wearing fans. Shirts from every tour imaginable. I commented on this after the show to a couple of other Street Team members there and they noticed the same thing. This was not just a "letís go see the Friday night show at the fair" crowd--this was a Journey crowd! And they definitely came to make some noise! Thereís a distinct advantage to owning Red 13 because I knew before those around me that the show was about to kick into high gear when I heard the intro to "State of Grace" come over the loud speakers! And then thereís Deen hitting the drums and the guys hit the stage and the show was off and running. I sang along to "State of Grace" while the crowd around me just stood and cheered. For being a song I would guess most in the crowd had never heard it really was well received. From there the show just absolutely rocked! Due to a travel schedule time crunch we didnít hear anything from Arrival and unfortunately didnít hear The Time or the acoustic set theyíve put in other shows. What we did hear was a little extra Neal Schon guitar solo because something happened to Rossís bass just before "Wheel in the Sky." Due to a support pillar of the grandstand being just to my left I never noticed them take Rossís bass away so I thought the solo was so flawless it was all part of the show! Steveís ability to connect with an audience is now becoming legendary. I realize more than ever now how important it is for the band to play these out of the way venues. Iím sure many people had never seen him in concert and to them heís still "the new guy" but trust me--he didnít disappoint a one of them. Sure, everyone has their favorite Journey song that may or may not have gotten played but for me just being there and hearing whatever they play is just the best! The highlight of the evening was actually a "non-concert" moment. About an hour and a half before the show began a couple of other Street Team folks and I slipped in a side gate of the grandstand to scope out our seats and just get a peek at the stage. Neal was already up on stage just playing around and seeming to be having a great time. He noticed us near the stage and acknowledged us with a big smile and a tip of his guitar. While he was out there, Steve popped on and off the stage, kidding around with Neal as did Ross. No one was in the grandstands during this time so it wasnít as if they were playing for an audience. They were just up there having fun and enjoying themselves. Shortly before the show began we were standing near the stage where a short wall and fence kept people back from the tour busses behind the stage. I spotted Neal again from quite a distance and yelled at the top of my lungs, "Hey Neal--the Street Team loves you!" With that he turned, gave us that great smile again and jogged over to the fence to talk to us. He could have just waved and kept going but he didnít. He came to say hello and talk to the fans. Now thatís what I call a true "class act." When it comes to caring about fans thereís no doubt in my mind that these guys truly care the most.




    Journey at Abraham Chavez Theater, El Paso, Texas
    September 18, 2002
    Reviewer: Victor R. Martinez, El Paso Times

    In a venue used to musical performances by symphonies, operas and George Jones-type acts, Journey gave the rafters something to remember.

    With its high-energy, 2-hour-and-15-minute, 23-song set Wednesday night at the Abraham Chavez Theatre, the supergroup demonstrated why it remains one of the most talked-about bands in the country.

    Journey performed its hit parade to an almost full house in the 2,500-seat theater, concentrating mostly on the classics and throwing in two new songs -- one of them "Liberty," inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The intimate setting was perfect, far from its 2001 performance at the Don Haskins Center. It allowed the fans -- which ranged from balding, gray-haired men to children under 10 years old -- to interact with the band.

    The fans were so close, one women caressed lead singer Steve Augeri's hair and wiped the sweat off his brow. The concert might as well have been in her living room.

    Watching the band -- Augeri; Neal Schon, guitar; Jonathan Cain, keyboards; Ross Valory, bass; and Deen Castronovo, drums -- was almost as good as bringing home a new Journey album, unwrapping it and playing it for the first time.

    The concert began mellow enough with "State of Grace," but Journey's fans quickly stood up, and stayed up, when Augeri jumped into "Separate Ways."

    After Schon played a Jimi Hendrix-like rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which brought a hush and tears to some audience members, Augeri asked the crowd, "El Paso, que paso?"

    "You know when you are in Texas, you just know it," he said. "But take a trip with me to the bay."

    The band immediately broke into "Lights," and the crowd again rose to its feet.

    The band was in top form in all aspects of its performance.

    Cain's keyboard solo lead into "Open Arms," followed by "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime." He also played "I'll Be Alright Without You" -- the ultimate breakup song -- perfectly.

    Augeri's vocals were amazing, winning the crowd over with "Faithfully" and "Don't Stop Believing."

    And Schon? Schon was Schon -- always the guitar virtuoso.

    It is difficult to explain Schon's command of the guitar, so, as he said in his encore solo, "I can't sing, so I'll let my guitar do the talking."

    The concert ended with another Schon solo leading into "Wheel in the Sky" and "Be Good To Yourself."

    But no Journey concert would be complete without "Anyway You Want It" and "Lovin' Touchin', Squeezin,'" which the band performed as encores.

    Together, the band played tight -- flawlessly -- and had the crowd loving every minute of it.

    The songs were crisp, the harmony was clear and the intimate theater was perfect.




    Journey at Abraham Chavez Theater, El Paso, Texas
    September 18, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    The Abraham Chavez Theatre in El Paso is a beautiful venue with great acoustics. It looks like it seats about 3000 and it was at capacity or nearly so for the Journey show. The crowd was very loud and loved the band despite some initial reluctance to stand up. The boys did their normal Evening with Journey setlist including the acoustic set.

    The mandatory fashion statement is that Steve wore black leather with the shiny brown shirt. He was back to wearing shoes again. The crowd really, really loved Steve and he seemed to love the audience. He got so close to the first few rows it was a little scary really. Some woman grabbed his leg and didnít want to let go. He let a fan touch his hair. He is so trusting of the fans. Comments I overheard included: "this guy makes you forget there ever was another singer."

    Neal was ever the rock god. The Star Spangle Banner got a thunderous reaction. Neal keeps changing up little parts of the classics, just to keep it interesting I suppose. He changed up the intro to Wheel in the Sky yet again and it is very cool and very trippy. They played the guitar game which progressed into Steve singing back to Nealís guitar. Neal plays the blues like few people can. Steve has a great blues style too; Iíd like to hear more of that.

    The acoustic set was beautiful as usual. Jonathanís piano solo seemed particularly moving that night for some reason.

    There was a little over-enthusiasm by a few audience members. Some chick snatched Nealís setlist in the middle of the show and a couple guys did not seem to get that Neal needs both his hands to play, so theyíd stick up their hand for him to touch right in the middle of some blazing solo. But these guys are such professionals that they are even gracious to people who get a little too excited or pushy.

    All in all, another great show by the greatest band on the planet. El Paso loved the boys.




    Journey at Anselmo Ampitheater, Tucson, Arizona
    September 20, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    There was a full moon over a sold-out crowd at the Anselmo Ampitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson for Journeyís show. It was not just a great show--it was a fantastic show! The sound was excellent. They put a couple speakers in front of the stage in the middle faced out toward the audience. That is the first time Iíve seen them do that and it made all the difference in the sounds in the front section. Steve sounded great and I could hear all the vocals beautifully.

    The fashion statement was Steve wore the purple snakeskin print pants with a white shirt and he was shoeless again. Neal had a very nice personalized Arizona Wildcat baseball jersey for the encore (courtesy of a couple rock god disciples) and the Arizona crowd roared when they saw that.

    The show was too awesome. They did the normal Evening with Journey setlist, except in place of Chain Reaction, they did La Raza which was very appropriate since there was a group of 40-some fans who came up from Mexico just for the show. Good thing they had Chain Reaction in reserve because for the first time this tour they did two encores! The second encore was a totally rocked-out version of Chain Reaction.

    The crowd was into the show from the beginning and on their feet. It was so cool to look back into a sea of people standing and singing and clapping for the boys. There were lighters for Nealís Star Spangled Banner and the rock god outdid himself on that one--absolutely unbelievable. Neal was the absolute master during the show. He was amazing, blazing and nothing less than a rock god. The acoustic solo in Liberty brought tears to my eyes once again, even though Iíve heard it many times.

    Jonathan was really in top form. I think that is what makes the difference between a good show and an absolutely great one--all the guys were in top form and the audience was so into the show. You could feel the energy. Jonathanís piano solo was longer than usual and so, so moving and emotional. He was very into the vocals on Feeliní That Way/Anytime.

    Deen was the consistent monster on those drums. I got to see one of his drumsticks up close for the first time. He is beating the crap out of those drums because the sticks are all splintered and broken when he is done. But, he also does this beautiful, delicate cymbal work during the acoustic set. He shows such versatility--the sign of a true master.

    Ross was entertaining the crowd as he always does, but if you notice he is always jamming down at the same time. He was totally into La Raza and gave a great performance--as did the whole band on that number.

    The Tucson show was just a superb show. It is right up there with Konocti in terms of fabulous shows this tour (although the Santana set at Konocti makes that the best show this tour, in my opinion). Just when I think they canít get any better, they do.




    Journey at Stargazer Pavilion--Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde, Arizona
    September 21, 2002
    Reviewer: LAWoman

    The Stargazer Pavilion at the Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde was a general admission show and, unfortunately, rather unorganized in terms of security. They had a sad little procedure to allow people in the venue so that people who had been in line for hours somehow managed to get worse seats than people who showed up much later. For some reason they put out plastic chairs instead of just letting people stand. Once the show started there was a lot of pushing, the chairs were really just in the way and security was powerless to do anything. Iím surprised no one got hurt in that mess.

    The show itself was another great one. It was a little shorter since it did not include the acoustic set. La Raza was in place of Chain Reaction. The audience was very loud and into the show.

    The fashion statement is that Steve was wearing the blue pool pants and a white shirt. No shoes again. He was very brave, particularly with that audience, and he got very, very close. I was a little worried someone would snatch him since the audience was being a little more radical than normal and some chick did end up on the stage at the end. Steve got everyone whipped up and into the show and made a few peopleís night by singing to them as usual.

    I couldnít hear Steve very well. They did have speakers in the middle of the stage turned out toward the audience as they did in Tucson, but Iím sure the crowd wedges up against them blocked the sound. Since we were right in front of Neal, we got to hear his vocals better than ever and he was sounding great.

    Neal was Mr. rock god as usual. You can always count on Neal--thatís one thing Iíve learned this summer. No matter what else is going on, Neal will always give you an amazing performance. The crowd can be crazy, the audio can be funky, it can be so hot, or pouring rain or at such an altitude that no one can breathe--there can be any number of problems, but Neal is always right on. I am totally fascinated by his intro to Wheel in the Sky lately. He is some kind of a magician. That is the same feeling I got when I watched Steve Smith doing a solo with Vital Information. These guys are magicians.

    Deen was unbelievable and flawless. I canít wait to see what he comes up with for Planet Us and I hope he gets to sing more. Once in awhile you can catch his audio really clearly and he has a really great voice.

    Jonathanís piano solos seem to be getting more emotional and beautiful the last few shows. He is such a creative force. That piano solo always adds such a touch of class to the show. I hope they never think of replacing the whale with a smaller keyboard--nothing sounds like an actual grand piano.

    Ross was entertaining as usual and provided that same steady bassline that we have all grown to love in the Journey sound. Plus he was totally unfazed when a chick jumped up on stage to sing along with him. I guess theyíve seen it all.

    Another great show by the boys. The venue was not the greatest, but Iíve never seen Journey put on a bad show.




    Journey at Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    September 26, 2002
    Reviewer: Lunchbreak

    Remember my list? The List of Bands That Jane Will Stand in the Pouring Rain To See? Well on 9/26/02 at Bloomsburg, Journey firmly cemented their place on my list; in fact even moving to #1!

    Again, at the end of a drought-filled summer, Journey brought the soothing rains to Pennsylvania. The day started with light rain which just became heavier and heavier as the day wore on, until during the show it was really pouring hard. Mud was ankle-deep. This time, however, I was ready with boots and rain gear!

    This concert is one I shall never forget. Through some good luck and good timing, myself and two other Back Talkers were able to spend a full 30 minutes with the band before the show. It was the chance of a lifetime. If I tell you every detail, you will be here reading for 30 minutes, so I will condense. Steve, Ross, Neal and Deen are just amazing men. They are personable, funny, humble and sweet. I think I had it in the back of my mind that they might have a bit of an attitude, being who they are, but nothing could be further from the truth. (Unfortunately Jon seemed to be busy so we only spent a few seconds with him.) Steve treated us to a look at his wardrobe. I had the red leathers in my hands!! He was more than willing to answer our questions. After a bit we heard him warming up...what pipes! Deen gave us autographed drumsticks, Sponge Bob wrist bands, and even offered us a pair of sneakers, but we declined! Neal serenaded us with State of Grace as he warmed up (I still think I'm going to wake up...). Ross also did a little warm up but his guitar was not plugged into an amp so we didn't get the full effect of that. We talked with Ross a bit about the upcoming Hawaii dates. Steve asked our opinion about what jacket to wear and we were in on their little jokes between the guys about their wardrobe. Deen was so hospitable: "Would you like something to drink? How about a soda?" (so sweet!) Of course there were autographs and pictures all around. I'm so lucky! I'll never forget it!

    On to the show. I ended up sitting in the 10th row, Neal's side. I must say that this crowd was, just, well, terrible. I kept looking around at a sea of people who just sat...stared forward...with arms crossed...was it the rain? Maybe; this venue was nearly filled even in this terrible weather (it holds 8000) and I really expected a much more enthusiastic crowd. Security hassled everyone who even dared to stand for a few minutes, until nearly the end of the show. What really freaked me out is that the people behind me were still yelling at me to sit down when Neal played our country's National Anthem. I still don't get that one...!

    Meanwhile, the guys played their hearts out. The set list (which is from memory, so I apologize for any omissions...it was raining too hard to write it down!):

    Red 13: Intro
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Ask the Lonely
    Star Spangled Banner
    Stone in Love
    Only The Young
    Lights
    Jon's Solo (especially nice this night)
    Open Arms
    Feeling that Way/Anytime (during Anytime, off came Steve's boots and socks!)
    I'll Be Alright Without You (love this live with Steve A.!)
    Higher Place
    The Time
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Chain Reaction
    Faithfully
    Escape (after this Deen did a KILLER solo)
    Neal Solo (he had a neat techno-type thing going on here!)
    Wheel in the Sky (the crowd FINALLY came alive...after Steve made everyone stand)
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore:
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' (for how dead the crowd was, the sing-back-the-riff game went very well)

    Steve had explained to me that they could not do the acoustic set because it would be damaging to the acoustic guitars to play them in such damp weather.

    All too soon two and a half hours were gone. I could have easily stood there another two and a half even in the rain. I think...I think I gotta go to Nevada!






    Journey at Neil Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
    October 10, 2002
    Reviewer: Tim Ryan, Honolulu Star Bulletin

    It's been 16 years since Journey performed in Honolulu, but the band returned to the Blaisdell Center Arena last night with no luster lost, diminished energy or relying on history.

    "The journey continues," declared new lead singer Steve Augeri, and it was no overstatement.

    Opening with "State of Grace" from their about-to-be-released album "Red 13" -- Journey's 13th -- Augeri and original Journey guitarist Neil Schon slid fluidly into the classic "Separate Ways," which had the more than 6,000 people attending, from post 50-year-olds to preteens, on their feet and clapping.

    Augeri led the charge throughout the night, sending into the memory pile any doubts that he can't replace former Journey lead singer Steve Perry.

    The high-energy, two-hour, 20-minute, 22-song set last night was made up mostly of classic Journey hits -- "Only the Young," "Don't Stop Believing," "Stone in Love," "I'll Be Alright" and the two encore tunes, "Anyway You Want It" and Journey's signature song, "Lovin', Touchin'."

    A third song was Schon's rendition of Jimi Hendrix's heavy-metal guitar playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," which brought the audience to its feet .

    "Only the Young" seemed an anthem to old and young audience members who stood and danced and sang in sync to a smiling Augeri and Schon. Augeri handled "I'll Be Alright," one of Journey's biggest hits, perfectly with its plaintive plea of self-convincing by a lover who has been left.

    "I'll be all right," Augeri pleads in the song, "I keep telling myself."

    The concert at times seemed more a reunion of old friends, though some band members like Augeri are new. The band also includes Jonathan Cain, keyboards; Ross Valory, bass; and Deen Castronovo, drums.

    Journey has always been fan-friendly, and last night's concert wasn't any different. Fans were allowed to gather at the stage to touch Augeri or Schon's hands or rub their shoes, as a few did. Stage security was even taking pictures of fans in front of the performers.

    At one point, Schon knelt down so he could be in the same picture with a couple posing stage front.

    Journey did three songs from the new album, including "Liberty," inspired by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Transitions between songs were flawless, as was the transition from "Only the Young" to "Lights" when Augeri asked the audience to "take a trip with me to the bay."

    Cain's keyboard solo lead into "Open Arms," followed by "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime." He also played "I'll Be Alright Without You" -- a sort of ultimate breakup song -- perfectly.

    Augeri, to his credit, thanked the audience for their aloha in attending but also "for accepting a couple of us new guys in such a great band with such incredible music."

    Attending last night's concert were singers Nancy Sinatra and Tiffany and the Tubes' bass player, Kakuno.


    Journey: Red 13
    October, 2002
    Reviewer: Classic Rock Revisited (E-mail HERE)

    Journey has released a four song EP of new songs via their website for fans in the USA and on Frontier Records for Europe and Asia.

    The band split from their major label record company when they felt that the record company didnít stand behind and promote their last full-length release Arrival. They took the next four songs they wrote and decided to go out and do it themselves.

    The result is a very interesting CD. The strongest track on the CD is ďState Of Grace.Ē This is Infinity era Journey. Neal Schon finally gets to play some lead guitar on this sucker! ďThe TimeĒ shows some of his fastest fretwork in recent years. Surprisingly, Jonathan Cain seems at home in the older style Journey songs. His keyboard work and vocal work are very impressive. Steve Augeri is convincing in his role as Steve Perry as well. In fact, sometimes he is so good you forget that it is not Perry. This is Journey gearing up for a new record and if these four songs are any hint as to what is to come then we are in for the hardest rockiní Journey CD since the 70ís!

    Everything seems to be coming together for the band. We can only hope that Schon can lead Journey into new and exciting areas culminating the pop smart ballads with an edge not seen in recent years. Perhaps, with the band playing for the love of music again, true Journey fans can look forward to the most honest music this band has made in some time. Arrival came close and was the starting point for the band but with Red 13 Journey seems to be poised to do something great again. ďWalking Away From The EdgeĒ melds Cainís heartfelt songwriting with Schonís guitar prowess. Give this album your support as what the band is trying to accomplish is in the best interest of classic rock music fans across the world.


    Journey: Red 13
    November 26, 2002
    Reviewer: Steve/Rocknut, RevampScripts.Com

    Journey is a band at a crossroads or a period of transition. With Steve Perry consigned to memory and the disappointing commercial sales of the otherwise excellent Arrival album it seems that the core of the band (Neal Schon, Jonathon Cain and Ross Valory) have made a conscious decision to regroup and consolidate. The recording line up from Arrival remains constant with Neal's long term drumming partner Deen Castronovo and the immensely talented Steve Augeri joining the 3 originals...and with this amount of talent you would have expected Arrival to have shifted major units. However, depending on what theory you choose to believe--lack of Perry and/or lack of label support from Sony--the sales never materialised, ultimately culminating in the band and Sony parting company.

    In the fallout of these events the band chose to keep it together when the chorus of baying disapproval must have been deafening. With their collective integrity intact (not a whiff of any kind of sellout here kids) the band let loose their new 4 song E.P Red 13 and, in the process, have taken 2 steps backwards to take one huge leap forward.

    Red 13 is, in one word, retro and in this case it is a very good thing. The striking thing about this release is the production...or, to be more accurate, the lack thereof. Gone are the huge, lush, production layers of yesteryear and in their place is a very loose and organic feel which brings to mind the kind of sound and atmosphere the band achieved in days of yore with Roy Thomas Baker at the helm. Well produced for sure but still loose enough to sound raw in much the same way as Queen's Sheer Heart Attack album did under the same guidance. The credit for this goes to Neal and Jonathon who share the production responsibilities here.

    For those fans that still mourn the loss of Mr. Perry this will not be good news but the band HAS moved on and memory lane would appear to be the path less travelled but this new approach may garner as many new fans as it alienates and seems to be a risk the band are prepared to take.

    The songs here all appear to have the live environment in the back of their minds with the exception of the Miami Vice cum Top Gun soundtrack sounding instrumental, Red 13, which opens this release. It has a very Jan Hammer sound to it and is a little out of place here but, if used as an intro to taking the stage, I'm sure even this could be utilised.

    As the last strains of the intro fade out the band fairly launch into the first real 'song'...State Of Grace. The band sound hungry. This is a rock band stripped back and rediscovering the word 'rock' and they are hungry. The riff is reminiscent of the Journey of the mid to late 70's...the band are having fun and it shows.

    This is a Journey free of expectations and able to be who they are with no clamouring for thick, sugary ballads that, at once, became the band's vehicle to the big time and their albatross.

    No...this song is borne of jamming and not one put together in the studio like some digital audio jigsaw. 'State Of Grace' has a very Eastern vibe and the Asian drums used on the fade out add to that overall feel. Much the same can be said for 'The Time'...track 2 on the album. The Eastern tinges are gone but the 70's feel remains along with the understated backing vocals which lay just low enough in the mix as to be heard but never take over.

    The organic feel of the production is still there (was this recorded in analogue?) and the song has a Wheel In The Sky feel to it. Song 3, 'Walking Away From The Edge', is both the ballad and jewel in this sparkling crown. There is a rumour that this was co - written by, and recorded with, none other than Geoff Tate. If that demo does exist it would be great to hear but it has to be said that even the great man himsef would have his work cut out to better, or even match, Steve Augeri on this one.

    The acoustic intro is delicate and sounds not unlike Don Henley's 'New York Minute' when the bass joins the party but that is where any similarity ends. WAFTE has a very Tall Stories vibe to it and is markedly less Journey 'sounding' than their other famous ballads. The lyrics seem intensely personal and will reach the soft underbelly of every listener...taking them to that place where their own regret resides.....bringing back memories that maybe you'd like to forget but also reminding you that everything you experience helps you to evolve into the person you become.

    Steve Augeri has rarely sounded better and this is the kind of song he thrives on and Neal's solo on the fade out is just amazing.

    The band follow this gem with the slightly more typical AOR sound of I Can Breathe....which sounds a little similar to Bad English. Steve again excels and would seem to be settled and happy with his new role within the band. Steve is also a great writer and the songs he has co written within Journey are all top class material.

    This is no exception and the brass section that slides in the back door almost without you noticing is a nice touch that adds to the big sound on this song.

    This E.P is Journey inviting their long term fan base to spread their wings and join the band on the next leg of their almost 30 year evolution. This is a familiar Journey that you may not recognise initially. Get to know them once again...you will not be disappointed.


    Last Updated 16 July, 2009 (DHG)