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THE JOURNEY ZONE

http://www.journey-zone.com




2003
January 11, 2003: Escape: A Tribute to Journey
January 27, 2003: Journey: Red 13
January 31, 2003: Robert Fleischman: World in Your Eyes
March 6, 2003: Worlds Apart, The Journey Tribute
March 24, 2003: Evolution, The Journey Tribute
April 5, 2003: Steve Smith's Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat (DVD)
April 5, 2003: 27 West with special guests Worlds Apart, The Journey Tribute
April 12, 2003: Worlds Apart, The Journey Tribute
April 26, 2003: Journey and Friends at the Warfield
April 28, 2003: Journey Walk of Fame Induction/Start of Tour
May 10, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at the Aladdin
May 12, 2003: Vital Information at Ryle's Jazz Club
May 16, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at HP Pavillion
May 17, 2003: Vital Information at the Modern Drummer Festival
May 22, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Arco Arena
June 11, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Van Andel Arena
June 12, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Joe Louis Arena
June 17, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Peoria Civic Center
June 19, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Conseco Fieldhouse
June 21, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Kemper Arena
June 27, 2003: Worlds Apart, The Journey Tribute Band, at Rookie's
June 29, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at First Union Arena
July 8, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Blue Cross Arena
July 12, 2003: Worlds Apart, The Journey Tribute, at Commack, NY
July 12, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Pepsi Arena
July 2003: Ramos: Living in the Light
July 12, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Pepsi Arena
July 15, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at HSBC Arena
July 22, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at First Union Center
July 29, 2003: Journey: Classic Rock's Main Event at Meadowbrook Farm, Gilford, NH
  • by New Hampshire Union Leader
  • by JRNY02
    August 7, 2003: Gregg Rolie Band and Two Fires at Waterfest
    August 16, 2003: Skid Row, Vince Neil, and Poison at Verizon Wireless Arena
    September 2003: Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies, Very Live at Ronnie Scott's
    September 27, 2003: An Evening with the Gregg Rolie Band, Reno, NV
    September 27, 2003: Journey at the Borgata Hotel and Casino
    November 2003: The Storm - self-titled debut
    November 2003: The Storm - Live 2003
    November 2003: Steve Smith Drum Clinic


    Escape: A Tribute to Journey
    TJ Bentley's, Brooklyn, NY
    January 11, 2003
    Reviewer: Dave "JRNYDV" Golland

    On a bitter cold night, in a season and at an hour when Journey would never play, six real troopers showed up at TJ Bentley's for soundcheck: Gary Factora (lead vocals), former Back Talk moderator Frank "Strangegrey" Benenati (guitar), Tod Cagan (keyboards), Bill Stoddard (bass), Anthony Ferrara (drums), and an un-introduced manager/techie. They launched into "Send Her My Love" and I was not impressed. An hour later they began their first set, but they had failed to correct the prodigious feedback and Gary's lead vocals were drowned out by Frank's guitar and Tod's keyboards. Still, it's a good thing I stuck around, because when they finally hit their stride, they were very impressive. First impressions can sometimes be deceptive.

    Early on in the show I was noticing what was wrong with Escape, but as the evening progressed I started to see what they got right, because they really started to get it. The harmonies were poorly mixed and drowned out Gary's lead at first, but by the second set they had solved that problem. The feedback was almost unbearable when they started but the techie had finally solved that problem a few songs into the first set. What was terrific, even from the get-go, was Frank's guitar, which is not surprising as I'm sure he's been practicing those Schon solos for years with the dedication of a true fan. At the beginning of the evening he seemed to be carrying the band, but before long they started to pull their own weight. Gary's vocals were decent, and Bill's bass and Anthony's drums were good. The enthusiasm of Tod, on the keyboards, was striking. Gary Factora has Steve Perry's voice and nose--with a wig and a costume he'd do a good impression--and that's really my only lasting complaint about Escape. While they cover the songs (very well, as it turns out), visually the experience is not comparable to the real thing, what with Journey's light shows, movie screens, and most importantly their spinning and dancing extroverted frontman (whether that be Perry or Augeri). Escape, with Gary's simple moves and a lack of even the most basic lighting on anyone but Anthony, the drummer (this may have been the fault of the venue), is Journey with your eyes closed.

    There were some missed lyrics and bad timing for "Ask the Lonely," but with "Lights," the band really started to come together. Pairing that song with "Stay Awhile," like on Captured, was an excellent choice, and excellently done. Frank sang Rolie's lyrics for "Just the Same Way"--and the band hit its stride. With "Edge of the Blade," the band was fully warmed up, the mixing was right, and Gary, who had announced that he was fighting a cold, was finally in full voice. Although he said "one more time Detroit" during "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " (like Perry on Captured), and missed the beginning of the second verse of "Chain Reaction," he hit a great high note in "Do You Recall," which made me think that if this is what he sounds like with a cold, he must be truly incredible when healthy.

    The band came into the second set full of energy (and in the case of the enthusiastic Tod Cagan, full of tequila) and ready to rock, and rock they did. "Faithfully" was dead on, and for a moment it was "Journey" and their fans together (or at least "fan," because I appear to have been the only real Journey fan in this small group of nostalgic Brooklyn barflies). The songs that were on Captured were in the style of that album. Tod sang Rolie's part in "Feeling that Way," and after all the cute times I've heard fellow Brooklynite Steve Augeri change the lyrics to this one ("Journey by the light," or worse yet, "turning on the light"), it was nice to hear them done right for a change. Frank took over Rolie's part again for "Anytime", and although they only did three-part harmony, the fourth part (Ross Valory's--or in this case Bill Stoddard's) wasn't terribly missed. With "Open Arms" there was no doubt that Gary Factora, although he doesn't look a thing like Perry, can deliver.

    Two incredible additions to the typical Journey setlist were "Mother, Father" and "Somethin' to Hide." I guess the beauty of having a tribute band is that ultimately you can play whatever you want to play. And although I'll probably never hear the real band play such great tunes outside of the CDs on my stereo, I'll listen to Escape play them any day. While there's no true substitute for the real thing, Escape does a great job trying. And the attempt is, in and of itself, a worthwhile endeavor. Hearing Escape: A Tribute to Journey play is a terrific experience that I recommend to every Journey fan.

    Set List:
    Separate Ways
    Ask the Lonely
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Lights
    Stay Awhile
    Just the Same Way
    Edge of the Blade
    Only the Young
    Who's Cryin' Now
    Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'
    Chain Reaction
    Do You Recall
    Mother, Father
    Line of Fire

    Intermission

    Escape
    Where Were You?
    Send Her My Love
    Dixie Highway
    After the Fall
    Faithfully
    Wheel in the Sky
    Feelin' that Way
    Anytime
    Girl Can't Help It
    Open Arms
    Stone in Love
    Somethin' to Hide
    Any Way You Want It


    Journey: Red 13
    January 27, 2003
    Reviewer: wkmahler
    Greetings, Just bought Red 13 for $8.99 at Newbury Comics. Strawberries wanted $9.99.

    "Red 13:" It is good to know that Journey has harkened back to the days of the musical instrumental. I like it. This segues perfectly into the next song.

    "State Of Grace:" The drum beat, wow Dean has his hands full at the end. Could that be synth or midi live? I'm sorry Steve Augeri, you don't sound like you're really into this CD in full force at all. You wailed during Arrival and on the Journey 2001 DVD but here? Well this sound seems to be a mix of old, pre Infinity and circa 1982 Frontiers. The backing vocals sound too mechanical. It worked for 'We Will Meet Again' but not here on this CD. Come on guys let Steve use that octave range of his. Let him put some blues into the backing vocals. I am sure he is talented enough.

    "The Time:" Good song, reminds me of "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers, just the overall rhythm of the song.

    "Walking Away From The Edge:" Sappy piano...good lyrics though. Come on Jon, you've been doing everything you can to stay away from the Gregg Rolie sound and Steve Augeri has no problem with the Steve Perry sound. Can't ya do it just the same way?

    "I Can Breathe:" My first thought was "Live And Breathe." Okay song.

    The overall sound is unlike anything I can recall but it is too, hmmm overlayed for some reason. The guitar is too thick in some parts. I hate to say this, but I can understand why Sony and Journey said "bye bye." Go try Island or the label that Dana Glover is on. Dream Works. You guys ARE very talented and I will keep this EP but expect better in the future.




    Robert Fleischman: World in Your Eyes
    January 31, 2003
    Reviewer: Rich Meyers for Jrnydv.Com
    Many Journey fans know Robert Fleischman as the band's very first lead vocalist and that he helped develop the radio-friendly sound Journey began employing with the release of Infinity. Robert helped pen such Journey Classics as "Wheel In The Sky," "Anytime" and "Winds Of March." Since that time, Robert has recorded a solo album, Perfect Stranger, in 1979, was lead vocalist for Channel and The Vinnie Vincent Invasion during the 80s, and spent most of the 90s as staff songwriter for Almo Irving Publishing and as a composer, writing music for film and television. He just recently released his 2nd solo CD, World in your Eyes, in late 2002.

    World in your Eyes, a solid AOR/Melodic Rock release beckoning back to years when music, lyrics and melody were the most important ingredients to getting the push of Record Execs and major FM Radio airplay, features Robert on vocals, Josh Ramos (The Storm, Two Fires, Hardline, Josh Ramos Project) on guitars, Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) on keyboards and background vocals, Richie Onori (Heaven And Earth) on drums, Marvin Sparling (Heaven And Earth) on bass, and Edward Roth on keyboards. The majority of the songwriting, with the exception of "Over My Head" (Bryan Adams/Dave Pickell), was done by Robert himself, with some help from Josh Ramos on the title track and "The Crush." Kelly Hansen, of Hurricane fame, Produced the album, as well as played keyboards!

    The album starts out with the title track, an up-tempo, guitar-driven melodic Rocker and raises to a crescendo throughout, never wavering, and ending in much the same fashion, with the high octane "Walking On Fire." There are a few lighter moments, such as at the beginning of "Heaven To Me" and "Over My Head," which are in the style of the Classic 80s power ballad, starting slowly, but quickly heating up to an emotional frenzy. Robert's vocals are tremendously crisp and powerful throughout, and Josh Ramos is just as amazing on Guitars.

    There are many great moments on this album, but my favorites are "Only Room For One," an emotionally powerful, guitar-driven Love Song, "Words Aren't Enough," another powerful and emotional all-around performance, and "Look At The Dream," just a great overall feel and song, transporting you back to the days when melodic rock reigned supreme. Overall, World In Your Eyes is a first-class melodic rocker, with classic Robert Fleishman vocals, lots of screaming guitar courtesy of Neal Schon protege Josh Ramos, and a top-class supporting cast. That makes Robert's second solo effort, and his first in twenty-four years, a resounding success.

    Overall score: 3.9 out of 5.

    Rating System:
    * Poor
    ** Below Average
    *** Average
    **** Good
    ***** Excellent

    Song Ratings
    01)World In Your Eyes ****
    02)Heaven To Me ***
    03)The Crush ***
    04)Words Aren't Enough ****
    05)Over My Head ****
    06)Look At The Dream *****
    07)Only Room For One *****
    08)I Can't Sleep At Night ***
    09)Just One Kiss ***
    10)Walking On Fire *****

    Rich Meyers is owner/operator of JIFR, Journey Internet Fan Radio. Click HERE to HEAR!


    Worlds Apart: A Tribute to Journey
    Rohdes Ringwood Inn, Ringwood, NJ
    Date of Performance: February 28, 2003
    Date of Publication: March 6, 2003
    Reviewer: Diane "Dedee" Shafer

    Worlds Apart is:
    Lead vocals: Dan Gagliano
    Lead guitar: Kevin Bryan
    Keyboards: Kevin Thomas
    Bass guitar and vocals: Steve Gerraputa
    Drums: Tim Szlosek

    Click HERE to view the Picture Gallery.

    Although I had heard nothing but rave reviews from friends and a family member who had seen Worlds Apart in the past, I never expected to be surrounded by the magic of my first Journey concert, which I attended twenty years ago, when I initially walked into Rohde's Ringwood Inn in Northern New Jersey on Friday night. For three excitement-filled hours, listening to thirty-two songs (with only a short break between setlists), I received the joy of rediscovering everything I love about Journey, with friends and other committed fans in a less-than-crowded room. Every song was touched with the band members' unyielding admiration, respect, and support for the music to which they were paying a heartwarming tribute, yet making it fit as if it was custom-designed just for them. I watched and listened in amazement, as each band member precisely duplicated the talents of the musicians who comprised the late 70s to 80s' and current lineups while demonstrating the individual and combined passion that had inspired them to honor Journey's music with the formation of a tribute band. Lead vocalist Dan Gagliano's attire, vocal style, and mannerisms proved to all the fans in attendance that he had spent countless hours studying video-taped performances and CDs in order to emulate Steve Perry with sheer perfection and develop an understanding of how the music brings out the emotion that fills the soul of the man he had admired for so many years.

    From the opening rendition of "Only the Young" to the final interpretation of "Any Way You Want It", it was blatantly obvious that Neal, Jon, Ross, and Steve Smith were also spiritually present, as they coached these talented men and enabled them to share the impact that the music has on each one of them with the hungry audience. There were moments I believed that Neal's fingers were responsible for the sizzling guitar licks/solos, Jon's heart was speaking through the keyboards, Ross' power was vibrating through the bass guitar, Steve Smith's rhythmic soul was pounding the drums, and Steve Perry's voice was touching, moving, and controlling the crowd. Only we timelessly devoted fans, of the present Augeri era, were able to pick up on Dan's high regard for and the charm of Steve A., during "Separate Ways" when he touched his heart and threw in "Oh, my pain!" If I had closed my eyes and escaped from reality, I would have sworn that Gregg Rolie was singing the lead vocals on "Feeling That Way/Anytime" and "Just The Same Way." I was particularly moved by the emotion-filled and chilling renditions of "Still They Ride" and "Mother, Father." "Separate Ways", "Message of Love", "Ask The Lonely" (phenomenal harmonies!), "Chain Reaction", "Escape", "Keep On Runnin", "Dixie Highway", "Where Were You", "Line of Fire", "Be Good To Yourself", "Any Way You Want It", and "The Party's Over" rocked the house and had everyone's "Journey blood" pumping! The years seemed to melt away, as the crowd was treated to an unforgettable trip down memory lane. One of the many things that impressed me the most was the band members' outstanding ability to maintain their stamina and keep the energy, in the final song of the setlist, at a level as high as it was in the opening version of "Only The Young." If a plate of french fries with ketchup can transform Dan into Steve Perry, I'd suggest that he has one waiting for him before every future show!

    After the concert was over, all five men showed their sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and gratitude as they made the effort to spend a few minutes with each fan, graciously and personally thanking him or her for his or her greatly appreciated support. I would encourage anyone who craves the incomparable "Journey feeling" to grab the opportunity to catch Worlds Apart live, if the opportunity presents itself. Contrary to the name they have chosen for their band, I found that they rapidly crept into my heart and now occupy a special place that's very close to where Journey will always be. Worlds Apart is composed of five outstanding musicians who pour their respect and appreciation for Journey into every one of the songs they perform. What makes them the "total package" is the fact that they're also a group of genuinely decent, humble, sincere, and gracious human beings. It is my personal opinion that they're too gifted to limit themselves to playing at small clubs. With the benefit of accelerated promotion and increased exposure, I believe they can pack larger venues and capture the support of many more adoring fans.

    Set List:
    Only The Young
    Message of Love
    Ask The Lonely
    Lights/Stay Awhile
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Open Arms
    Stone In Love
    Keep on Runnin'
    I'll Be Alright Without You
    Escape
    Send Her My Love
    Mother, Father
    Chain Reaction
    Separate Ways

    (intermission)

    Majestic
    Where Were You
    Just The Same Way
    Line of Fire
    Who's Crying Now
    Faithfully
    After The Fall
    Oh Sherrie
    Still They Ride
    Wheel In The Sky
    Feeling That Way/Anytime
    The Party's Over
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
    Be Good To Yourself
    (As per request) Dixie Highway
    Any Way You Want It


    Evolution: A Tribute to Journey (Featuring Hugo)
    The Dublin Pub, New Hyde Park, NY
    Date of Performance: March 22, 2003
    Date of Publication: March 24, 2003
    Reviewer: JRNYDV

    Evolution is:
    Lead vocals: Hugo
    Lead guitar and vocals: Eddie Jelley
    Keyboards and vocals: Lance Millard
    Bass guitar and vocals: Joseph Cumia
    Drums and vocals: Mike Morales

    No smoking in bars in Nassau County! Would the turnout suffer? Not hardly. With more than two hundred in attendance, Evolution can draw them in unlike any other tribute band I've seen. And now that the new law's been put into effect, this reviewer was actually able to come home from a tribute show without reeking of cigarettes.

    The first impression the band gives its audience, long before even the soundcheck, is the Evolution album cover logo on the bass drum skin. A nice touch that adds an air of proffesionalism.

    Frankly, there's very little on the negative side that can be said about Evolution. They re-create the Journey experience with their own distinctive flair in a seamless, straightforward manner from the start. The harmonies sound and mix well. The band didn't need the first few songs to warm up or synchronize with each other--they were rocking from the get-go.

    Hugo's got a great voice and a lot of energy. He gets great eye contact with the front row. "Open Arms" and "Faithfully"--two standards for vocal excellence--were delivered clean and clear. Also, in comparison to Danny of Worlds Apart (who is himself a Hugo fan), there's less chatter between the songs, and more rock.

    Eddie Jelley, who also does a Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute, gets all the licks--even better than Escape's Frank Benenati, which is saying something. Although the lighting wasn't good for Eddie's position, it would improve whenever he'd play a Schon solo, because he'd walk right on up to center stage. With the guitar solo for "Just The Same Way," this reviewer realized that Eddie Jelley is a living testament to the fact that there are world-class guitarists out there of whom the world has never heard.

    Delivering the solid bottom line for Evolution is their in-your-face, Jack Daniels-shooting bassist Joe Cumia. How bassist Joe Cumia can sing with that gum in his mouth--as well as how the gum retains its flavor--is beyond me. But somehow he--and the gum--manages, and they do so very well. His prowess on his main axe is also beyond question.

    Keyboardist Lance Millard looks like Jon Cain with a mullet. He handles the piano and harmonies, as well as Gregg Rolie's lead vocals, with finesse and skill.

    And then there's Mike Morales, the band's new drummer. Inspired by Steve Smith and a fan of Vital Information, Mike's short black hair and monster moves are reminiscent of Deen Castronovo. This was his second gig with the band, and he plays like he's been with them for months, if not years. Perhaps that's owing to his experience as drummer for 2112, the Rush Tribute.

    There were a couple of additional notes worth mentioning. Hugo and Joe had a delightful bit of self-effacing tribute-band humor during the intro to "Lights."
    Hugo: "Since we're a Journey tribute band, we might as well say...we wrote a song about our hometown--San Francisco--it's called Lights."
    Joe Cumia: "That's kinda funny since you're from West Islip!"

    Also, something must be said about the fact that the backing vocalists failed to sing the alternate vocal line to "Escape." Throughout the evening, as I said, their harmonies blended very well and were dead-on. So the lack of the alternate "I'm gone/I'm leaving/moving on to anywhere" was something of a disappointment in an otherwise excellent evening. The band has the talent to handle it. They ought to rehearse it in.

    Finally, there was the instrumental uber-bridge at the tail end of "La Raza del Sol." The guys transitioned from the traditional latin rhythms that Journey plays on stage into some sort of legendary, Boston/Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired theme unlike anything I'd ever heard before. If this band didn't have Hugo it would still be worth hearing if only for that sound.

    Hugo and Eddie told me before the show that the upcoming Hugo solo album, on which Eddie plays guitars, is in the editing process and should be released shortly. If Evolution is any sort of an indication, Fire in the Night should be as much a must-have as any Kevin Chalfant release!

    Set List:
    Where were You
    Separate Ways
    Stone in Love
    Send Her my Love
    Only the Young (novel and unique transitition into this one)
    Feeling that Way
    Lights
    Stay Awhile
    Girl Can't Help It
    Be Good to Yourself
    Escape
    Just the Same Way
    Who's Cryin' Now
    La Raza Del Sol
    Open Arms
    Ask the Lonely
    Wheel in the Sky
    Line of Fire
    Faithfully
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
    Don't Stop Believin'


    Steve Smith's Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat (DVD)
    Date of Release: 2003
    Date of Publication: April 5, 2003
    Reviewer: Greg "Drum1949" LaBruno

    Although this DVD is for drummers, anyone interested in the history of music can find it educational. It displays the talent of former JOURNEY drummer Steve Smith.

    Steve has become one of the Premiere drummers on the scene today. During his days with JOURNEY, from 1978 to 1996, Steve was known as the animal, for his wild drum solos.. Today he still does them but with a new found finesse with his group Vital Information.

    Steve has always been a jazz drummer at heart and feels all drumming styles evolved from jazz. To watch him is watching a legend in his own time. He has learned his craft well and has researched the history of drumming. His drum heroes, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones, to name a few, have all in some way contributed to his knowledge. To quote Freddie Gruber, he has been called “ an old soul in a young man’s body.”

    A few years back, to improve his technique, Smith began studying with drum guru Freddie Gruber, whose other famous students are Dave Weckle and Neil Pert. With this knowledge Steve plays with a relaxed style based on the Moeller technique, which of course Steve takes to his own level. The basis of this technique is that every time you strike the drum, the stick wants to bounce again and will give you two additional rebounds (hits) if you allow it to do so.

    In part 1 of the video Steve plays a fabulous drum solo. He begins by giving the viewer a breakdown of his hand technique and how he uses both feet (he takes double bass drumming to the next level). He talks about the correct way to practice: being relaxed, breathing, and starting slowly and building from there. In following these steps he talks about how you can achieve your drumming goals.

    In the second half of the video Steve breaks down all of the drumset rhythms of US music, showing how they all encompass the jazz pulse. He displays the music with just drums, piano, and standup bass. As the music evolves he adds hand clappers, guitar, and sax. The best part of the video of course is when Steve and the members of Vital Information perform, demonstrating what was discussed in the video.


    27 West with special guests Worlds Apart, a Tribute to Journey
    Date of Performance: April 5, 2003
    Location: Wantagh, NY
    Event: Concert to benefit the Firefighter Michael Cawley Scholarship Fund
    Date of Publication: April 11, 2003
    Reviewer: JRNYDV

    27 West is:
    Kevin Thomas, Keyboards, lead and backing vocals, a little guitar
    John Merjave, Guitar, lead and backing vocals
    Roger Murdock, Drums, off the wall humor
    Bruno Pezzulich, Bass, backing vocals

    Worlds Apart is:
    Dan Gagliano, Lead vocals
    Kevin Bryan, Lead guitar
    Kevin Thomas, Keyboards
    Steve Gerraputa, Bass guitar and vocals
    Tim Szlosek, Drums

    The friends and family of the late Michael Cawley, a New York City Firefighter who died in the line of duty on 9-11-01 at the World Trade Center, were treated to an evening with famed Long Island classic-rock cover band 27 West, featuring World's Apart's own Kevin Thomas, with special guests Worlds Apart. 27 West played the first and third sets, and Worlds Apart played the middle set, for the benefit of the Cawley scholarship, which sends one deserving child per year to a local Catholic day school. This is the second annual Cawley benefit, and it is also the second time this lineup has played the benefit. The bands got hooked up with the benefit committee through Kevin Thomas, whose good friend Brendan was brother of the late Michael Cawley; and as it turns out, Michael Cawley was a Journey fan as well as a hero of September Eleventh.

    27 West took the stage with fellow Long Islander Billy Joel's "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights go Out on Broadway)" to appreciative Long Island cheers. With a set list which included hits from diverse artists like Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Sublime, and The Who, the band found it very easy to show off their versatility.

    Vocals are obviously very important to 27 West, and it shows. It's no wonder Kevin Thomas was the brainchild behind Worlds Apart's emphasis on four-part harmony. The vocal lines of 27 West are clean, clear, and well-rehearsed.

    27 West played one original song in the first set, a catchy number called "Nothing Ever Lasts," featuring Kevin on lead vocals. "Nothing Ever Lasts" is a folksy tune which develops into an eighties-style melodic rock song with audible strings and decent harmonies. Their original sound could be described as "the Dave Matthews Band with better vocals." "Nothing Ever Lasts" is from the band's debut album, 27 West, available at Amazon.Com for $8.99; the album is also available through the band's website for $8.00 with PayPal.

    Worlds Apart took the stage following a short break and Kevin Bryan had to make due with the guitars and equipment of 27 West's John Merjave, and although he later confessed problems with the sustain, this reviewer thought he did just fine. Drummer Tim Szlosek was more fortunate equipment-wise; 27 West's drummer Roger Murdock prefer's Tim drumset, so Tim got to play on his own set.

    Playing to a much larger crowd than they're used to (about 300 people), the band held and kept the attention of only about 15% of the attendees at first, although by the end of the set, when lead vocalist Danny Gagliano brought his baby boy Vincent up on stage with him for the final verse of "Any Way You Want It," nearly the entire crowd was enraptured.

    This reviewer was struck by what an amazing technician Tim Szlosek is, which is not surprising in that Tim is a great fan and adherent of the Steve Smith jazz drum technique. Lead Vocalist Danny Gagliano held back his inter-song monologues to a minimum, which is a step in the right direction. Steve Gerraputa held his own during the Rolie/Perry solos, while Kevin Thomas displayed his remarkable prowess on the keyboards at the end of "Anytime."

    In short, this reviewer is excited by he continued development of Worlds Apart and he looks forward to seeing them yet again.

    Worlds Apart Setlist:
    Ask the Lonely
    Only the Young
    Lights
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Who's Cryin' Now
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Faithfully
    Wheel in the Sky
    Feelin' that Way
    Anytime
    Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'
    Any Way You Want It


    Worlds Apart, a Tribute to Journey
    Date of Performance: April 12, 2003
    Location: The Wreck Room, Wallington, NJ
    Date of Publication: April 15, 2003
    Reviewer: Cudaclan

    Worlds Apart is:
    Dan Gagliano, Lead vocals
    Kevin Bryan, Lead guitar
    Kevin Thomas, Keyboards
    Steve Gerraputa, Bass guitar and vocals
    Tim Szlosek, Drums

    The last time I had the opportunity to see a tribute band was when I was (much) younger and had more hair. We made our 260-mile road trip to The Wreck Room with time to spare. We were grateful that we were not immediately approached and constantly asked if we wanted anything to drink.

    My attention was immediately drawn to the stage. I presumed the band member (Dan Gagliano) that had a resemblance to Steve Perry was the lead vocalist. The opening set was leaving me impressed. The choice of using a Steinberger “headless” for bassist Steve Gerraputa proved to be a supporting role, as did his backup and lead vocals. The energy of the double kicks by drummer Tim Szlosek mimicked another hotfoot I cherish. The axe-man of the group (Kevin Bryan) was dead-on replicating most of the licks. Keyboardist Kevin Thomas was able to reproduce the ballads and fills synonymous to "Open Arms" & Faithfully."

    The Wreck Room provided adequate room for seating at the bar and left the floor space open for occupants. The lack of acoustic absorbing tiles did create distortions at stage level but this was understandable. The best audio quality was at the rear, bar seating. If you wanted to take part with the band members and let loose, it was front stage.

    Tribute bands are at the scrutiny of others. Some of the criticisms are trivial and this is a shame. The original band members are (at times) asked not to deviate from the LP versions that they were accustomed to. The creativity of musicians is squelched, dictated by memories rather than appreciation. This to me is the essence of tribute bands. You are promoting and expressing your gratitude to the music and to the musicians.

    Setlist:
    Only the Young
    Ask the Lonely
    Higher Place
    Lights
    Stay Awhile
    Send Her My Love
    Stone in Love
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Open Arms
    Who's Cryin' Now
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    Faithfully
    Wheel in the Sky
    Feelin' that Way
    Anytime
    Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'
    Any Way You Want It
    Be Good to Yourself


    Journey and Friends at The Warfield
    Date of Performance: April 26, 2003
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 18, 2003
    Reviewer/Source: Unknown

    It was billed as “Journey and Friends,” the 30th anniversary celebration at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco last Saturday night, but for a while it looked like Journey would have to carry the whole evening. It wasn’t until the extended encore section that a few friends made an appearance, once the regular set had wound down and the fun began nearly two hours into the show.

    It probably wouldn’t had mattered to the sold-out crowd if anyone except for the five guys who now call themselves Journey had shown, since this was a celebration of 30 years of music for a band that got its start just down the road at Bill Graham’s Winterland. It was the kind of night that Graham specialized in when he was alive, and I’m sure he was on hand in spirit somewhere in the building that night.

    This special two-day party started on Friday (4-25), when Journey’s star was put down in the Bammies Walk of Fame outside (appropriately enough) the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The concert scheduled the next night was open to all surviving Journey members, but due to lingering bad blood and vibes, only original drummer Ansley Dunbar showed up.

    It was a special show nonetheless, with a lengthy set list that was filled with rarities and the aforementioned guests. Here’s a song-by-song rundown:

    “State of Grace”

    The opening song off of the band’s latest e.p. Red 13 is now the band’s stage opener. It’s an effective rocker, and allows the band the chance to stretch out a bit before the hits start rolling out.

    “Separate Ways”

    One of my favorite Journey tunes, it’s marred only by Steve Augeri’s inability to hit those highest-of-the-high, icepick in the genitalia notes that Steve Perry does. Augeri is a fine singer and a great replacement for Perry, but he struggles at times with those high notes.

    “Wheel in the Sky”

    Dunbar makes his appearance, providing the backbeat for one of the big hits from Infinity. Good to see him back; I’m sure I’m one of the few people in the building who saw Dunbar in the original group, who played at the greatest concert I’ve ever seen-Montrose, Journey and UFO, September 24, 1975 at Winterland.

    “Stone in Love”

    One of the band’s best live songs, made even beefier live by Jonathan Cain’s guitar. Cain is one of the best keyboardist’s in the business, but also an effective axeman when the song calls for it.

    “La Do Da”
    “Dixie Highway”
    “Line of Fire”

    A medley of very rare stuff. In fact, I doubt if any of these songs, outside of “Line of Fire,” have been in the set for 15 years now. This is one of the reasons I came out tonight, to hear some rare stuff, and the band didn’t disappoint. Guitarist Neal Schon mentioned in a recent interview that the band was going dig into the catalog this year, and he wasn’t lying.

    “Lights”
    “Open Arms”

    “Lights” is always a special song in the City by the bay, one of those tunes that just sounds better when its performed at home. I've seen it down in Wisconsin, and can testify that it just isn’t the same. “Open Arms,” recently voted the number one classic rock ballad by a classic rock publication, is pretty much effective anywhere. Augeri hits all of the notes here. Special note: the highlight of “Open Arms” was two guys with 80’s mullets singing the song at the top of lungs from the walkway in the balcony.

    “Mother, Father”
    “Precious Time”
    “Rubicon”

    Here’s a group of songs that might have been played during the tours to promote the respective records (Escape, Departure, Frontiers), but have not been in the live show since. In front of me, anyway.

    “The Star Spangled Banner”

    Schon’s solo spot gets a rousing cheer, and its an effective showcase for one of rock’s greatest guitarists. Is there anything that this guy can’t play? I doubt it-just wait until you hear the Planet US stuff with his new band featuring Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Journey drummer Dean Castronovo.

    “Don’t Stop Believing”
    “Higher Place”
    “Faithfully”
    “Escape”
    “Be Good to Yourself”

    The run for home features a slew of big hits and songs that have become crowd favorites. “Escape” is one of my favorites and is drummer Castronovo’s favorite song to play onstage, and he really shines during this number. “Be Good to Yourself” is the last song of the proper set.

    “Where Were You”
    “We Will Meet Again”

    The first encore features two rarities, one old and one from the band’s last record, Arrival. Interestingly enough, the group skips a number of big tunes (“Any Way You Want It, “Who’s Crying Now,” “Lovin’, Touchin’ Squeezin’,” “Girl Can’t Help It,” “Send Her My Love” in favor of the rarities, but on this night, it hardly mattered.

    “Black Magic Woman”
    “La Raza del Sol”
    “Everybody’s Everything”

    The first big surprise of the night comes as original Santana percussionists Michael Carabello and Jose “Chepito” Areas are welcomed onstage to jam with Schon, Cain, Castronovo and bassist Ross Valory on the legendary “Black Magic Woman.” For the uneducated, Schon got his start in Santana back in 1970 when he was just 16 years old. “La Raza del Sol” is perhaps the rarest song on offer here tonight. The Latin-tinged tune was released only on the Journey boxset Time. Cain and Augeri trade vocals on the Santana hit “Everybody’s Everything that shuts down encore number two.

    “Rock and Roll”

    Everyone in the building knew Hagar was in the building, and when Castronovo rattled off the most famous drum intro in hard rock, it didn’t take a genius to figure out Sammy was coming on to sing the Led Zeppelin classic. A great way to end it, and as someone said in the lobby on the way out, “this show could only happen in San Francisco.”


    Walk of Fame Induction/Start of Tour
    Date of Performance: April 28, 2003
    Location: Bill Graham Civic Center and Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
    Date of Publication: May 2, 2003
    By Johanna Maes, Freelance Reviewer, for Jrnydv.Com

    What an amazing Journey weekend in the "City by the Bay!"

    We traveled from Colorado to see the Bammies Walk of Fame/Warfield show in San Francisco on April 24-27. We met fellow Journey fans from Alabama, California, Utah, Florida, and Texas--just to name a few. What a thrill it was to share Journey experiences with folks from across the US!

    Of course, we were first in line for the Walk of Fame presentation as we stood there in the rain. The presentation was touching as each member, old and new, talked of their own JRNY memories. Herbie Herbert was on hand to tell the crowd about JRNY history--how they started largely as an instrumental group in the 70s, were labeled "corporate rock" in the 80s, and how the group has monopolized the pop charts ever since. He gave great props to Neal Schon for his genius guitar playing and creative innovation in the music business.

    Then Willie Brown, the Mayor of San Francisco, along with other dignitaries on stage, presented the band with their long overdue plaque, which now sits in the sidewalk in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. It was great to see Aynsley Dunbar and Gregg Rolie from the old JRNY there to accept their honor. Apparently, Steve Smith was asked to be there but declined because of his current tour schedule. Yet it was interesting to hear how "it would have been nice if other band members were there to accept this honor" --when the crowd all knew WHO they were talking about-- (Steve Perry, who was obviously absent from the day's festivities).

    The highlight of the ceremony was at the end when each band member spent much time signing autographs and taking photos with their devoted fans. (fyi- my thanks to the guys for signing my photos of them from their Red Rocks and New Mexico shows). None of them left the area without signing that very last autograph. They're such troopers!

    From there, we all went to the Hard Rock Cafe at the Fisherman's Wharf and Neal, Jon, and Deen were there, eating lunch with their families and their fans. We sat near Neal and his family, who were on one side of us, and Jon and his family, who were on the other. Deen cruised around the restaurant while Neal's lovely mother did the same. I personally thanked her for having such an amazing son! Imagine, having lunch with Journey!! It was so very cool!

    As for the show, well, it was nothing but spectacular! We were thrilled to be LITERALLY at Neal Schon's feet, pushed up against the stage throughout the whole show. Their set ranged from their latest hit "State of Grace" to other Augeri hits such as "We Will Meet Again" and "Higher Place" to Perry signature songs such as "Rubicon," "Separate Ways," and "Don't Stop Believin'." It was so wonderful to hear the older JRNY tunes such as "Precious Time," "La Do Da," "Where Were You," and a hint of "Dixie Highway." Once again, Neal mesmerized us all with his solo rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Aynsley Dubar played drums for "Wheel in the Sky."

    Given that this show was billed as "Journey and Friends," near the end, the band was joined by former members of Santana- Mike Carabello and Jose Chepito Areas, who provided a stellar rhythm section for "La Raza del Sol" and Santana hits "Black Magic Woman" (Neal provided superb lead vocals), and "Everybody's Everything" (Jon on lead vocals).

    Following an oncore, a last JRNY friend, Sammy Hagar, joined the band with his rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" which left the crowd speechless.

    On a side note, many of us who stood so close to the stage noticed that Steve's voice sometimes did not match the movement of his mouth. After much speculation from other fans and then finally hearing from Rocko, a JRNY stage employee, who posted on the Journey Back Talk chatroom, who confirmed that Steve was involved in a digital stage process called "reverb" or "click track," which is aimed to enhance the singer's voice to make it sound as close to the original version of the song as possible. Apparently, this process tends to lend a hand to Steve with those "higher ranged" JRNY/Perry-esque songs. We saw it happen during "We Will Meet Again," "Mother, Father," and also during the older JRNY tunes. It also looked as if he was reading the words on a monitor in front of him. Whatever. We stood in front of the printed-out/taped-on-the-stage lyrics of "Black Magic Woman" that Neal used. This at times happens to the best of musicians.

    For the record, Steve Augeri is a great singer. He's made many great contributions to JRNY. However, many still believe that Steve Perry's voice is missed during these live shows. Indeed, it would be harder than hell to sing those "higher ranged" JRNY songs. That's all.

    In a nutshell, the weekend was truly fantastic. As always, the JRNY fans from all over the world never cease to amaze me with their grace and kindness. I met so many new friends and I'm positive that "We Will Meet Again." This is probably the 22nd time I've seen Journey live since 1981 and the "high" feeling one gets after their shows still exists with me today. What a weekend!! I can't wait to see them in Denver at the end of May!

    JRNY ON!
    Johanna in Denver


    Classic Rock's Main Event at the Aladdin
    Date of Performance: May 10, 2003
    Location: The Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
    Date of Publication: May 12, 2003
    By MNM, originally published on the Journey Digest Mailing List

    WOW! That's the first thought that comes to mind, just WOW! Last night opened the "Classic Rock's Main Event" Tour featuring REO Speedwagon, Styx, and our Journey boys. I've got to say this is probably the most impressive FIRST show of a tour I've seen. The glitches were basically non-existent, which was amazing. All three bands put on excellent shows, and I had a WONDEFRUL night.

    REO opened the night and had the most reserved response of the night -- most people sat through most of their set. (Personally, I was up and down as of the three bands REO ranks 3rd for me.) The show didn't start "right on time" as promised by Kevin Cronin in the recent Rockline interview (which I didn't expect anyway) -- they took the stage at 7:30, a full half hour past the stated start time. They had a very cool opening video sequence before they came out which features pictures from all eras of the band and was a good energizer before they it the stage with "Ridin' the Storm Out"

    As I expected, Kevin talked WAAAAY too much. Just shut up and sing dude! But that was probably my only complaint on their set. And folks, be prepared... he's got a looooooooooooooooong tale about the Playboy mansion that since the video screens behind him were showing pictures going along with the story, it will be there the whole tour. (My personal favorite was the "blah blah blah" screen! :D)

    Before the show started I noticed a red digitial clock back by the soundboard and didn't think much of it until about half way through REO's set when I was surveying the crownd and noticed the clock had was reading 45:15 and counting down. Yes folks, they've got a TIMER on all three bands! :D

    So after about 80 minutes and 4 shirt changes for Kevin, REO wound up their set. (Of course, the timer had run out and they went about 2 minutes long... once again, shut up and sing!)

    Then out rushed the stage crew and I gotta tell ya the fact that they actually were able to switch stages from REO to Styx in 20 minutes was VERY impressive. Both Styx & REO had risers behind the drum kit where various members of the band would appear through out the set. (Kevin Cronin & Neil Dougherty taking turns on a piano mostly for REO, and everyone but the drummer for Styx) Though their stages were similar, they made enough changes that the look was different.

    9:00 a giant carrot appears on the video screen (what is UP with that Cyclorama cover anyway??) and the boys from Styx all appear standing on top of the riser and take the stage. The crowd kicked in gear when they started their set -- most everyone was on their feet for "Too Much Time on My Hands". As I think everyone knows, Styx has a new CD out (which I bought last week so I'd have some clue of the new songs and reccomend -- it's quite good) so they played three tracks from "Cyclorama" which got a fairly lackluster response, though having Glenn Burtnik (sp?) out in the audience singing "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" was an inspired move and got the audience into a song they had never heard before. (And damn is that man energetic, he was running all OVER the place.) Chuck Panazzo joined in for a few songs -- coming out towards the end of the set during "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)".

    Styx actually finished their set with about a minute and half left to go on the timer, and spent that time tossing picks and "Styx" beach balls out into the audience. (I think Tommy Shaw even signed a few things.)

    Time for another 20 minute set change and Journey would hit the stage! The last time I'd seen Journey & Styx on the same stage was at Junefest in 2001 and that time Styx just blew Journey out of the water with their set, and after the high energy show Styx put on last night, I kept my fingers crossed that our boys would be up to following that set.

    Out comes the crew and the set changed yet again. Deen's drum kit looks much bigger than past years and WOW the artwork on the bass drums looks great -- good job Christopher! :) Also looks like Deen's "mascot" for this year is some kind of stuffed lobster, which I noted was sitting on one of the drums towards the back of the kit.

    10:27 -- the "Red 13" opening starts and the video screen starts showing stars and galaxies and I'm on my feet in an instant! We know by now, of course, that "State of Grace" is the opening song and in my opinion is probably the best place to stick a new/unfamiliar song. The crowd stayed pretty well on their feet through most of it (though I did notice folks sitting yet again -- ah well.) Everyone was back on their feet for "Separate Ways" and stayed that way for much of the night. Unlike Styx & REO, Journey didn't utilize the wings of the stage as much. A little disappointing for me since I was sitting right next to the wing on Jon's side. The configuration of the Alladin's theatre is VERY strange -- all the seats are in a semi-circle so that the ones off to the sides are actually facing the middle of the theatre and NOT the stage. Of course, if they were facing the stage, you wouldn't be able to SEE anything. Not a typical view.

    They played a very tight set, which was fairly similar but not exactly the same as the show they just did in San Francisco. There are some fun moments in the video projection behind the band that I won't ruin for everyone, but there are a few cool things that I wanted to mention. For one, there was a camera SOMEWHERE above Deen and periodically the screen would show shots looking down at the top of Deen's head and (of course) his kit. (I noticed at least 4 video cameras going from where I was seated, so hopefully they'll save a lot of this footage and put it together in some form of DVD.) Another personal favorite moment of mine with the video was during "Lights" -- they had some SPECTACULAR shots of San Francisco and "the sun shine on the bay". I tend to forget sometimes just how pretty my hometown is! :)

    During the "Star Spangled Banner" I happened to notice the shirt Neal was wearing (yes, you're gonna get a minor fashion report, but it *is* relevant). It was a Journey shirt with the current scarab version (the one with the Golden Gate Bridge in the body) but instead of the blue/red/yellow wings it had the stars and stripes as wings. I didn't take time to check out the swag table at all, but hopefully this is something that will be available for sale -- it looked GREAT!

    The audience overall was pretty good, though the response on some of the less familiar songs in the set ("Rubicon", "La Do Da"/"Dixie Highway"/"Line of Fire") was pretty weak -- it was apparent that a good chunk of the audience didn't know these songs. Too bad, 'cause they rocked!

    Journey finished up their set about 11:45 (yes, also about 2 minutes over the 80 minute allotment!) and I was in that "good tired" mode after a good concert -- ears ringing a little, back and feet a little weary, but bubbling with that buzz you get from a good show.

    Set lists in order of appearance:

    REO (thanks to Cheryl for helping w/ song titles)
    Riding the Storm Out
    Keep Pushing
    I Can't Fight This Feeling
    Don't Let Him Go (following the Playboy mansion story)
    Keep on Loving You
    In Your Letter
    Take It on the Run

    more talking
    acoustic: In My Dreams
    Time for Me to Fly
    Back on the Road Again
    Roll With the Changes
    Encore:
    157 Riverside Avenue

    Styx:
    Too Much Time on My Hands
    Grand Illusion
    Waiting for Our Time (new -- I love this one)
    Lady
    Blue Collar Man
    Lawrence Gowan solo
    Fields of the Brave (new)
    Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (new)
    Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man) w/ Chuck Panazzo
    Miss America
    Come Sail Away (w/ Chuck Panazzo)
    Encore:
    Renegade

    JOURNEY:
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways
    Neal Solo -- Star Spangled Banner
    Stone in Love
    Medley: La Do Da, Dixie Highway, Line of Fire
    Lights
    Jon Solo
    Open Arms
    Precious Time
    Rubicon
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Faithfully
    Escape
    Wheel in the Sky
    Be Good to Yourself
    Encore:
    Any Way You Want It
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'


    Vital Information at Ryle's Jazz Club
    Date of Performance: May 12, 2003
    Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Date of Publication: May 16, 2003
    By Cudaclan for Jrnydv.Com

    We had a brief day of relaxation following our prior Vital Information concert at The Van Dyck in Schenectady, NY. On our trip to Schenectady, the van gave out on us. A quick diagnosis told me this was going to be a long day. “We’re going nowhere, the timing belt snapped.” My bad, I should have replaced the water pump. We were fortunate that it happened 25 miles away from home. We did make the venue, but arrived late. All was not lost; there was still a second gig for the day.

    The Ryle’s Jazz Club is a premier showplace. We arrived early for this one, or so we thought. When we entered the venue, seating was at a premium. We confirmed over 200 patrons, not including guests. This was a special event with an extraordinary guest, Bill Evans on sax. It was a pleasure to see the band members. They played the set list familiar to all VI aficionados and some of Bill’s set as well. What separates this gig was Bill’s energy and attack accompanying Frank’s fluent flow of finger picking and guitar shredding. Baron is the epitome of cool. He made a rare appearance between sets and the audience capitalized on this. He has a hot thumb with funk, with his “slap bass” technique. Hey, is that Frank cranking out those solos? No, it’s Tom with his Hammond and Korg. He has surprised many new audience members with his diverse musicianship. Steve is the Bruce Lee of drumming. His grace, speed and accuracy are all executed with flamboyancy.

    This was a monumental night. Not only did we see some of the premier musicians in jazz, my wife and I had the opportunity to talk with Steve’s brother. The resemblance was striking and he was as humble as Steve. He spoke of the many groups he had met while on his travels with his brother. Yes, I was excited but I felt very comfortable with him. (We had met Steve’s niece at another venue and she spoke nonchalant about Steve.) I asked if we could take a picture together and he was so obliging. We were so excited to have met him and we feel very fortunate.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at HP Pavillion
    Date of Performance: May 16, 2003
    Location: HP (formerly Compaq) Pavillion, San Jose, California
    Date of Publication: May 18, 2003
    By MNM, originally published on the Journey Digest Mailing List

    Well the second of my 3 shows for the summer has come and gone. (Heavy sigh.) I must say after having the boys play "at home" towards the end of their tour every year for the last 5 years, I'm a little disoriented by this first week -- Home Town gig! :)

    The show started right on time with Styx in the opening slot, which is an interesting switch from having REO open. Personally, the order of REO-Styx-Journey works better just because the excitement level increases (though anyone following Styx has a tough task -- they are just so blazingly energetic.) As was the case in Vegas, the auditorium was only about half filled when Styx took the stage with people trickling in throughout. The set list was exactly the same as it was in Vegas, and once again, having Glen Burtnik out in the audience for "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" was a brilliant move. These guys know that new material isn't going to get the same response as "classic" material, so finding a way to get the audience into it is vital. After their set I nearly got hit in the head with a flying drumstick that some guy 3 seats over dived on and trotted off with. (Hey, **I'M** the one that nearly got killed....)

    Time for the 20 minute changeover (so a mad dash to find some water and visit with people -- it's getting ridiculous, every Journey show I go to feels like a high school reunion!) and we made it back to our seats with about 2 minutes to spare. (Boy, that timer sure comes in handy!)

    REO took the stage and proceeded to perform the same set list as Las Vegas (with the same stories...) I thought they were a little tighter this time through, but I was able to recite Kevin's Playboy mansion story almost word for word with him -- after having only heard it once before! ACK! :) Their set is a bit more mellow than Styx, which is due to the different styles of the bands. I realized that I am forever going to get a lump in my throat during "Keep on Loving You." The last time I saw REO (prior to this tour) was during the "Volunteers for America" show in October 2001, and they did an acoustic version of "Keep on Loving You" that they dedicated to the wife and new born child of a member of the road crew for the Backstreet Boys (I think) who was killed in one of the airplanes on 9/11. I sobbed my way through that song that night, and that is the first thing that pops into my head now every time I hear it.

    REO closed their set out (a minute early!) and on came the road crew for the next 20 minute change over. I went off to find my cousin somewhere in the crowd and spent most of the intermission chatting with her. When I figured there was about 3-4 minutes left, I headed back to my seat to have some water and sit down for a few minutes before another 80 minutes of standing. Took a look at the timer, and it read 5 minutes and counting. So I waited... and waited.... and waited... Yep, our boys were late! We noticed some members of the crew hovering on stage near The Whale and guessed there was some kind of technical problem with the keyboards.

    Journey finally took the stage about 5 minutes late (which during a 4.5 hour show that started at 7:30 can be a big deal -- it was nearly 11:00 by that point!). A couple of songs in, Steve apologized for being late though, which I thought was pretty cool. The set list was switched around a little from Las Vegas (including trading out "Rubicon" for "Ask the Lonely" -- as much as I *like* "Ask the Lonely" I wish "Rubicon" had stayed...) The crowd was definitely packed in for Journey -- seats near me that had been vacant for either Styx or REO were filled for Journey. As always "Lights" got a great response from the home town crowd -- there really is nothing like Journey singing that song in the Bay Area!

    The 80 minutes flew by and there we were singing "Oh-Oh-Oh-OH" at the end of "Faithfully" as the guys left the stage (a la the 2001 DVD) and everyone wanting more. With nearly the entire Journey Past & Present committee at the show together (we really missed ya Mary Ann!) we were able to get to visit with the guys for a little while after the show and finally have a chance to TALK to them a little about the Bammies Walk of Fame weekend. (We were all so busy that day we barely even got to say hello to them!) It was a pretty small group in the after-show, and we were about half of it so lots of time to visit, and we managed to get the ONE thing we wanted from the WOF weekend -- a picture of all us with the guys. Not totally complete since Mary Ann was missing and Jon ducked out on us [guess we'll just have to add them digitally!] but mission accomplished! :)

    A *quick* fashion report (since it's been requested): Steve -- white leather pants, chocolate colored silk shirt; Neal -- Journey hockey jersey (very nice, must save money and purchase!) with a bandana tied around his head (a little weird); Jon -- tan seude(?) jacket (that was removed early) black & white shirt, black pants; Ross -- orange shirt over a black shirt w/ shoes to match; Deen -- red hockey jersey and an interesting pair of long black shorts that appeared to have buckles all over them!

    Other notes -- The lobsters are multiplying around Deen's kit already -- including a huge one that was sitting between the bass drums. The arena was probably at about 75% capacity with only about half of the upper level being filled. Disappointing, but I would have been more surprised if it had been sold out -- an unfortunate reality I suppose.

    Set lists in order of appearance:

    Styx:
    Too Much Time on My Hands
    Grand Illusion
    Waiting for Our Time (new)
    Lady
    Blue Collar Man
    --Lawrence Gowan solo
    Fields of the Brave (new)
    Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (new)
    Fooling Yourself
    Miss America
    Come Sail Away
    Encore:
    --bluesy intro
    Renegade

    REO
    Riding the Storm Out
    Keep Pushing
    I Can't Fight This Feeling
    Don't Let Him Go
    Keep on Loving You
    In Your Letter
    Take It on the Run
    In My Dreams (Acoustic)
    Time for Me to Fly
    Back on the Road Again
    Roll With the Changes
    Encore:
    157 Riverside Avenue

    JOURNEY:
    State of Grace
    Separate Ways
    Stone in Love
    Wheel in the Sky
    The Star Spangled Banner
    La Do Da/Dixie Highway/Line of Fire Medley
    Lights
    Jonathan's Solo (sounded a little different)
    Open Arms
    Precious Time
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Ask the Lonely
    Escape
    Be Good to Yourself
    Any Way You Want It
    Encore:
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
    Faithfully


    Vital Information at the Modern Drummer Festival
    Date of Performance: May 17, 2003
    Location: Montclair, New Jersey
    Date of Publication: May 22, 2003
    By Drum1949 for Jrnydv.Com

    This past Saturday May 17 the one thousand drumming fans at the Modern Drummer Festival were treated to a special set of Steve Smith and Vital Information.

    However before the whole band took the stage, Steve armed with only a snare drum, a set of brushes, a pair of drum sticks and a drum throne took the stage. With brushes in hand, he began to give a clinic on the different sounds that you can achieve by striking a drumhead at different points on the head. He also showed the proper technique on the use of brushes before switching to sticks. Watching Steve play only a snare drum with sticks showed the speed and control he brings to drum set playing. After his brief clinic it was now time for Vital Information to take the stage.

    Right before they took the stage Steve introduced a special guest, jazz saxophone great, Bill Evans. Anyone that knows Steve Smith knows that he surrounds himself with other Great musicians. Vital Information is also Tom Coster on keyboards, Frank Gambale on guitar and Baron Browne on bass guitar. Steve called Baron he favorite bass player to play with. They started the set by featuring Bill Evans and played numerous Vital Information tunes that featured the talents of all the members.

    The purpose of the Modern Drum Festival is to showcase the best drummers in all phases of music today. Steve Smith sure fit the bill and then some. Steve is by far what all drummers should aspire to be. He has all the tools of drumming and uses them within the framework of the tunes played by Vital Information. His hand speed, foot work and complete independence is exceptional. The one main thing you notice about Steve’s playing today compared to years ago is how relaxed he now plays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he doesn’t play with intensity but it’s now controlled.

    Being a drummer myself, Steve has always been one of my ideal drummers and the more I see him play, either by himself or with a group, the more I know why. On Saturday my eyes were fixed on him. So we could get a better view of his playing, Steve had his set placed sideways to the audience, giving us the ability not only to see what his hands were doing but also what his feet were doing.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Arco Arena
    Date of Performance: May 22, 2003
    Location: Arco Arena, Sacramento, California
    Date of Publication: May 27, 2003
    By MNM, originally published on the Journey Digest Mailing List

    Okay, I lied, but can I help it when a floor ticket pops up on Ticketmaster 2 days before the concert??? Yep, a fairly last minute decision to make the 2 hour drive to Sacramento for last night's show. Unfortunately, the drive actually took THREE hours since there is no good way to get from the SF Peninsula to Sacramento with out having to go through Oakland and the traffic disaster that is the East Bay. :( So despite leaving work at 4:00 I was a *tad* late for the show. Not too late though -- I pulled into Arco's parking lot a couple of minutes before the 7:00 show time, and by the time I parked, picked up my ticket at will call, and got inside I found I had only missed one and half songs arriving in the middle of "Keep Pushin'" (Gonna have to admit here I'm glad REO hasn't changed their set list yet -- didn't have to worry about notes for their set!)

    REO was really on last night, though the bass was overpowering. My poor ears were REALLY ringing when they finished their set and that's the first time that's happened this tour! Perhaps it had to do with the venue or that there was a speaker suspended directly over my head, but my bones were rattling through their whole set! Kevin's mic sounded a little distorted too (though that may be a factor of "Echo Arena"), but overall it was an enjoyable set. And Kevin's talking was more amusing last night than before -- it's the same schtick, but it was livelier and I actually laughed at the Playboy mansion story!

    Styx came on second, and I've gotta tell ya, the more I see these guys the more I enjoy them. (Thank goodness they're touring with Journey or I might wind up going broke trying to travel to Styx shows too! LOL!) They switched their set list up a bit and got me all confused! JY usually spends a little time chatting with the audience before "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" to give Glen Burtnik time to get out in to the audience, so when he started talking after "Lady" I jotted down "Kiss Your Ass" in my notebook and started looking around to see where Glen would pop up. Imagine my amazement when I notice Glen was still on stage and JY launches in to "These Are Times"! (Yikes... scratch out the notebook...) This was followed up by "Blue Collar Man" and about mid-way through the song I notice someone doing the "duck run" out from back stage and I think "oh man someone's having equipment problems, here comes the roadie!" The "roadie" stands up and it's Kevin Cronin joining in on vocals. The crowd went NUTS -- people who had been sitting down (yes hard to believe) were on their feet and going wild. Got me wondering if anyone would show up later during Journey's set. (no such luck)

    Journey of course was next and they hit the stage right on time (they had me a little worried after San Jose!) and opened with the Red 13 Intro then went in to "Separate Ways". Deen was just slamming on the drums during the intro -- amazing power there! I gotta say that the opening was a little disjointed to me, though "Separate Ways" got a much better response than "State of Grace" usually does. Still, keep "State of Grace" if the Red 13 Intro is being used -- it just sounds weird otherwise! Like the show in LA, the set list has changed from the first shows of the tour. Gone are "Precious Time" (waaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!) and the medley of "La Do Da/Dixie Highway/Line of Fire" (waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!) And in their place are "Chain Reaction" and "Higher Place" (okay that's cool) The reaction of the crowd to "Chain Reaction" & "Higher Place" isn't that much different than "Precious Time" or the medley though. I was the only person in my row (or the row in front of me) standing for "Higher Place" and a some of the die hard Nor Cal crew in the same row a section over were the only ones standing in THEIR row! I think I mentioned in the San Jose report that Jonathan's solo before "Open Arms" has changed -- another beautiful piece of work.

    The show closed off in an energized fashion and when Jonathan pulled out the harmonica for "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" I was amazed. The fun part of watching him on the harmonica is the look in his eyes -- he is *really* concentrating on what he's doing! That was a very nice treat to add to an old favorite.

    During the set I was amused by the little things that ran through my mind. It's funny what you notice after so many shows -- Neal making a face and cursing during "Don't Stop Believin'", Jonathan with an "oops" look on his face at another point, Ross standing with his neck askew looking like a deer in the headlights.... It's interesting noticing these subtleties. The show ended about 11:30 (which also threw me off since the shows I've been to so far all started at 7:30 and ended around midnight!) and it was time for the 2 hour drive home [accomplished in about 90 minutes due to some violations of the local speed limits! :)] For the ride home I popped "Escape" into the CD player and it hit me that there's one song that hasn't been played in AGES that needs to be rotated into the set list -- can anyone remember the last time "Who's Crying Now" was played??? My best recollection is the 1998 tour! That is really just too long!

    Okay, this is really it for a while, though odds are there will be another show squeezed in between now and Chicago (I just can't seem to stay away....)

    Set lists in order of appearance:

    REO
    Riding the Storm Out
    Keep Pushing
    I Can't Fight This Feeling
    Don't Let Him Go
    Keep on Loving You
    In Your Letter
    Take It on the Run
    In My Dreams (Acoustic)
    Time for Me to Fly
    Back on the Road Again
    Roll With the Changes
    Encore:
    157 Riverside Avenue

    Styx:
    Too Much Time on My Hands
    Grand Illusion
    Waiting for Our Time to Come (new)
    Lady
    These are the Times (new)
    Blue Collar Man
    Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (new)
    Fooling Yourself
    Miss America
    Come Sail Away
    Encore:
    Renegade

    JOURNEY:
    Red 13 intro
    Separate Ways
    Stone in Love
    Wheel in the Sky
    The Star Spangled Banner
    Chain Reaction
    Lights
    Jonathan's Solo
    Open Arms
    Higher Place
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Ask the Lonely
    Escape
    Be Good to Yourself
    Any Way You Want It
    Encore:
    Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
    Faithfully


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Van Andel Arena
    Date of Performance: June 11, 2003
    Location: Grand Rapids, MI
    Date of Publication: June 13, 2003
    By Towanda for Jrnydv.Com

    Styx was AWESOME. I had never seen them perform before, except on television in a concert. These guys sounded as fresh as they were 20 years ago---each song was incredible, with a tremendous energy and party atmosphere. The audience went wild! They sang the following songs:

    1. Too Much Time On My Hands
    2. Grand Illusion
    3. From Cyclorama, "Waiting for Our Time"
    4. Lady
    5. Blue Collar Man
    6. From Cyclorama, "Fields of the Brave"
    7. From Cyclorama, "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye"
    8. Fooling Yourself
    9. Miss America
    10. Come Sail Away
    ENCORE: Renegade, extended version, which was awesome!

    Then it was time for REO Speedwagon. They, too, were AWESOME. The lead singer, Kevin Cronin, looked 20 years younger with his new blonde, spiked hair. He announced that he had twin boys, aged 3 1/2 and a daughter, so he told us the story of his trip the Playboy Mansion. He said "In order to be a good father to my sons, who would one day have hormones raging, I thought I owed it to them to go to the party." Then he proceeded to tell us the story of how one "Bunny" there heard he was in the building and loved his music since junior high school. She told someone to relay the message to him that she would like to meet him because one of their songs "always put her in the mood." So he walked over to her, and was surprised at the blank stare he received when he introduced himself. Apparently, she answered, "Oh. You mean you're not the lead singer of R.E.M?" OUCH!!! Everybody laughed and hooted, as an image of the REM lead singer was flashed on the video screen behind them!!
    R.E.O. Speedwagon sang the following songs:

    1. Ridin’ The Storm Out
    2. Keep Pushin’
    3. Can’t Fight This Feeling
    4. Don’t Let Him Go
    5. Keep on Lovin’ You
    6. In Your Letter
    7. Take it on the Run
    8. Acoustic version of "In My Dreams" (an incredible song, even acoustically!)
    9. Time for Me to Fly
    10. Back On The Road Again
    11. Roll With the Changes
    ENCORE: 157 Riverside Avenue.

    Now, the audience was pumped and the energy was flowing high and people were on their feet the whole time both bands were performing. But as much as I love these guys, I was quite disappointed with Journey, because they were mediocre at best. They played the following songs:

    1. Separate Ways
    2. Stone in Love
    3. Wheel In The Sky
    4. Neal’s solo, "Star Spangled Banner"
    5. Only the Young
    6. Lights
    7. Jonathan’s solo segue, (not sure of title), with images of water on the video screen behind them, his piano sounding like water dripping.
    8. Open Arms
    9. Feelin’ That Way
    10. Anytime
    11. Don’t Stop Believin’
    12. Ask The Lonely
    13. Escape
    14. Be Good To Yourself
    15. Anyway you Want It
    ENCORE: Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ and, of course, Faithfully

    Now, just the night before, I watched ARRIVAL 2001 on video. If you want to hear the same old classic Journey songs, played in the same exact order as the 2001 Arrival Tour, (without ANY Arrival or Trial By Fire songs on the playlist by the way), then that is exactly what you’ll get.

    Just as the video, they played Separate Ways first, and ended with Faithfully, like always, with every other song in the same exact order as every other concert I’ve seen in the past three years.

    Why don’t they liven things up a bit, and play a VARIETY? I mean, it was the "Classic Rock Tour," and R.E.O. announced to the audience that they would be performing all the songs from Hi Infidelity, which seemed to make everybody happy. If Journey had done this, perhaps the people in the audience would have been happier too. But as it was, many people decided to sit down and did not seem too enthused.

    Steve Augeri even announced that Journey was having a birthday, they were officially 30 years old. With 30 years of songs, COME ON, couldn’t they choose a few other tunes to liven things up a bit? Sure, everybody loves the popular Top 10 songs of the 80’s, but how about some older or newer stuff thrown in for good measure? What happened to their claim of "A New Journey" when ARRIVAL came out? Why the same old stuff in the same old way every year? That's just plain LAZY.

    With all the awesome SOLO stuff that Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have done over the years, why does Neal ALWAYS have to play the Stars-Spangled Banner guitar solo at every damned show? Do they get as bored with performing the same material as I do listening to it every time I attend a show?

    I’m just glad I didn’t spend $50 bucks on a ticket. Because, my dear friends, this performance of Journey was a colossal rip-off. I have the video from 2001 that was the same exact thing.

    Here's my Joan Rivers Fashion Police Impression: "Neal Schon wore a black tank top with a sleeveless jean jacket and jeans. He didn’t have his sunglasses on though, like he normally does. (Joan Rivers would say, "Wonder if that means he was sober this time, or just got a clue and bought some contacts?")

    Steve Augeri wore the same white shirt and ivory colored leather pants, as he wore last year. (Joan Rivers would say, "Dammit boy, you worked at the GAP, didn’t you get an employee discount to buy more clothes than that?")

    Jonathan Cain wore a red and black print shirt, it looked like roses all over it. (Joan Rivers: "Cute, but kinda girlie-girl.") He looked bored too.

    Ross Valory wore a black and white dragon shirt over a black tank top and black jeans. I think he’s worn that outfit many times before too. (Joan Rivers: "DAMN, do they pack their own bags when they go on tour or do their wives do it? Maybe they need a maid.")

    Deen Castronovo wore what looked like a hockey-style, long sleeved shirt with black and red flames on the sleeves. (Joan Rivers: "Dude, weren’t you dying of HEAT STROKE in that thing?) He wore a tank top backstage, though, after the show.

    The only different thing that occurred during this show was when Jonathan played the harmonica during "Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin." I’ve never seen Jon play the harmonica before during that song. Usually it’s during "Precious Time," but unfortunately, they have dropped that song from the playlist. I was impressed that they had to write a whole new part for the song, (unless he just ad-libbed it--in either case, it sounded very cool). SEE GUYS?! A little variety goes a long way!

    The video screen behind them also had a kaleidoscope of images playing during Faithfully including photos of family members of various roadies, letters to daddy from young children who miss them when they are on the road, tour busses and highway lights flashing and photos of various cities passing by in a blur, etc. It reminded me of the Frontiers video--same old regurgitated idea. But it was something new I had never seen before, and it was very poignant.

    Compared to STYX and REO, both of which had every band member running all over the stage up and down stairs, back and forth, dancing and presenting their songs with a tremendous energy like guys in their 20's, the Journey guys just stood there, Jon on the left, Ross next, Steve in the center, Deen in the back on drums, and Neal on the right, like always. Of course, Steve Augeri danced and walked back and forth across the stage, but mostly the other guys just stayed put the whole time. My question: Are they bored, or just getting too old to run around and be wild? Hard to say. Neal’s put on a few pounds, he’s got a double chin...his wife must be a good cook.

    The energy level of the audience also dropped considerably during the Journey concert, perhaps due to the fact that they didn’t even begin to play until 10:00 p.m. and people were getting tired.

    At one point in the show, many people were sitting down, whereas during Styx and REO, the majority of people in the whole arena were on their feet the whole time. Steve Augeri even yelled out during Escape, "Everybody who’s sitting down, GET UP! Come on!" I felt sad for them all at that point, and missed Steve Perry with all my heart. NOBODY sat down when HE sang that song, or any other song for that matter. SIGH.

    Steve Augeri is a good man. He’s a good performer. I even told him that I liked Tyketto and Tall Stories. But, I noticed that he still forgets some of the lyrics and he still can’t hit some of those Perry-esque high-notes. He even cringed himself at one point, when he missed the high note in Escape and had to go falsetto in another song. I wonder why, after nearly 5 or 6 years of doing this, he can’t get it? I know it's a tough gig, but it makes me feel rather impatient and I found myself feeling a bit annoyed by it, missing Steve Perry from that point on, which dampened my spirits during the rest of the show.

    Having been asked by Journey’s road manager, John “J.T.” Toomey, to return my camera to my car, I went backstage after the show to talk with him and say “hi” to the band. I nudged JT and said, "By the way, did you notice? All these folks backstage have cameras. Can I go get mine too?" He said, "Uh, these are all personal friends of the band." I said, "Oh, okay...." then Ross happened to pass by me at that moment, so I yelled, "Hey Ross!" He turned around and I said, "Melva June wanted me to say hello to you..." Ross stopped, turned around and said, "You mean Melva June CHALFANT?" I said, "Yeah!" He smiled and said, "Cool! Tell her I said hi right back." That’s when I turned and smiled sweetly at JT. "Personal friends," indeed.

    With that, he announced that the band had to get on the bus, and in a flash, they were gone and I was on my way to the car.


    Detroit Free Press Article on Classic Rock's Main Event at Joe Louis Arena
    Date of Performance: June 12, 2003
    Location: Detroit, MI
    Date of Publication: July 31, 2003
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: August 1, 2003
    By Jim Schaefer for The Detroit Free Press

    'I gotta get out of here or I'm going to die'

    No one saw it coming. Perfect seats at a rock concert, banter with strangers — then a blur of fists, a knife, blood


    Joe Rumbley, 20, shows scars from being stabbed during a rock concert at Joe Louis Arena on June 12. Rumbley was recovering at his mother's home in Northville on July 16. His friend Matt Kuriluk, who attended the classic rock concert too, is at right.

    She remembers seeing silver, a flash of light off something silver. Someone had bumped her chair, and she turned and saw the stage lights winking from a 3-inch blade. There was a man with a knife, and he was about to swing it.

    Tammi Heideman had been to concerts before, but never expected anything like this — especially not at this June 12 gathering of aging rockers and their graying fans.

    Before the melee, she gazed at the stage inside Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, reliving hits from the 1970s and '80s. Styx played first, then REO Speedwagon and, finally, Journey.

    Before the show would end, someone would use a knife, smuggled past the metal detectors, and a deadly serious crime would play out right in the middle of thousands of dancing, partying fans.

    Journey was well into its set when someone bumped the 10th-row seat of the 32-year-old Heideman. She turned and saw the man swing the blade toward someone behind her.

    And then, fists flew. Security pushed in. Men tackled men. Police reservists joined the fray, and at least one was punched in the face. Someone threw the knife. Even as the band played on, Heideman heard a clank as the blade hit a steel chair to her right.

    When it was over -- 10 seconds? 20 seconds? -- four men were under arrest. Heideman's shirt was soaked with a stranger's blood. And an ambulance was racing to Detroit Receiving Hospital, a young man inside with blood spraying from his chest, a stab wound in his heart.

    The emergency crew radioed ahead: Trauma Code 1.


    Odd place, wrong time

    Joe Rumbley -- 20 years old, former star wrestler at Northville High, reserve linebacker at Hope College -- seems an unlikely fan of Journey. The band's love ballads like "Open Arms" and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " were hits before Rumbley was born.

    But he is a fan of classic rock, so a friend gave him a birthday ticket to what might be considered a concert for older folks.

    They were primo seats: main floor, 13th row, near center stage.A few feet behind Heideman.

    Rumbley and three buddies his age met at his dad's house in Novi. They shared some beers and headed to the concert.

    They arrived as Styx took the stage, encountering a strange proposition from eight older men and women in front of them.

    "The second we got down to our seats, one guy leaned back and said, 'These are my girls. You can do whatever you want to them, touch them and grab them,' " said Matt Kuriluk of Northville Township.

    The younger men said they thought the request was odd, and passed. But Rumbley admits he feigned goosing one woman.

    Kuriluk said that's when another one of the men,James Locklear, turned around and stared.

    "It looked like something out of a movie," Kuriluk said. "He just had this look on his face . . . he was kind of shaking, he was so mad."

    They had just run into the Locklear brothers of Macomb County -- Julius, 42; James, 38, John, 36 -- and their friend, Anthony Hannaford, 32, of Detroit.

    Hannaford and James Locklear of Clinton Township declined to be interviewed for this story. Julius Locklear, who also lives in Clinton Township, and John of Macomb Township could not be reached.

    Lawyers for two of the men said Rumbley's group was not invited to grope the women. Steve Fishman said his client, James Locklear, only defended himself during the fight, and did not sneak in any knife.

    Joe Louis Arena officials would not comment on the breach of security, but said they have improved their safety procedures. Nothing in court records suggests anyone in Locklear's group would try to take a man's life.

    But the women in Julius Locklear's life have sought personal protection orders against him for alleged abuse, sued him for child support and accused him of drinking too much. Julius donated a kidney to his ailing mother in 2001, but she died two months later.

    James Locklear pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in 1994 and got probation. A year earlier, he was convicted of a misdemeanor for keeping a cougar in his basement.

    John Locklear has been sued twice for paternity, and in 1993, a judge warned him not to drink before visitation with his child.

    Hannaford is awaiting sentencing in Macomb County for selling 5 to 45 kilos of marijuana. In 1997 and 1998, he was convicted in Detroit on cocaine charges and got probation.


    From giddy to bloody

    It is unclear how the melee started, but all agree it was over a woman. Rumbley and his friends admit they were drinking beer. More details could emerge at a court hearing todayin 36th District Court in Detroit.

    In interviews, Rumbley and two friends gave this account: Everyone was having fun except James Locklear, who kept to himself. At least two of his companions danced, cheered and exchanged high-fives with Rumbley's group.

    One or two of Rumbley's friends flirted with the older women. At one point, one of them goosed one of the women. She pushed him back but didn't appear upset.

    During an intermission, Rumbley apologized for his friend.

    Sometime later, and seemingly with no provocation, James Locklear turned around. Police say he threw the first blow.

    Rumbley said he felt a thump on his chest -- a punch? -- and fell back against his friends, who toppled like dominoes.

    He and Kuriluk found their footing and shoved down the still-swinging James Locklear.

    "I looked back to see if he was coming after me," Rumbley said. "I saw all the blood on the floor and I thought, man, someone got screwed up."

    The older men fought all comers, police said.

    Someone punched a Joe Louis Arena official. A woman's arm was sliced. James Locklear's hand was cut. Rumbley stumbled away, noticing blood on his hands.

    "I pulled up my shirt and it was just gushing out of me," he said. "I said, 'Matt, I gotta get out of here or I'm going to die.' "

    Kuriluk grabbed his friend's arm and led him to a first-aid station. An ambulance waited.

    As workers wheeled Rumbley out on a stretcher, Kuriluk heard his friend scream: " 'Don't let me die! I don't want to die!' He had his eyes closed. I was holding his hand."

    Through it all, the band kept performing. A publicist for Journey said later the band members didn't notice the brawl.

    From her seat in front of the melee, Heideman found it impossible to ignore.

    "There was so much blood and beer," she said. "Everything was soaking wet."

    In the ambulance, an emergency worker taped a pad over Rumbley's chest and started an IV. He was still losing blood, and his breathing was shallow.


    A scramble for life

    At the hospital, Dr. Michael Whitewas in surgery when his pager went off.

    Trauma Code 1, it read. Stab wound to the chest.

    White left his patient with a resident and started scrubbing for the new case.

    Workers wheeled Rumbley into a resuscitation bay. Adozen or so medical team membersscrambled around him. Doctors ordered emergency transfusions, and inserted a chest tube, draining about 17 ounces of blood.

    His blood pressure dropped dangerously low to 80/50. His heart raced, trying to compensate for the blood loss.

    White decided to doopen-heart surgery. As director of Receiving's burn unit, White pulls trauma duty four times a month. He had done this surgery just a couple of times before.

    At 12:20 a.m., White, two residents and a team of nurses went to work.

    When White opened the chest, another quart and a half of blood spilled out.

    Surgeons cut the sternum and spread the ribs.

    After gently cutting through the sac that cradles the heart, White saw the wound, about 2 inches long, in the right ventricle.

    One doctor reached in and lifted the beating heart, holding it as still as possible for White. The first suture was a challenge, but it stopped the leakage.

    Four or five sutures later, the wound was closed. The operation was done; the bleeding stopped.

    It was 2:35 a.m.

    White took off his scrubs, threw out his red, soaked socks and took a shower. Then he met with the family.

    Rumbley went to Intensive Care and, 13 days later, home.


    Looking to the future

    The Locklears and Hannaford will learn today whether they will stand trial.

    All are charged with assaulting police officers. James Locklear also is charged with assault with intent to murder. He and Hannaford face an additional count of being habitual offenders.

    Rumbley has spent the last six weeks recuperating, going between his mother's home and his father's. A scar runs from his sternum to behind his armpit. Stab wounds to his shoulder and thigh left smaller marks.

    Just a short time ago, he was a muscular athlete, 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds. He now weighs about 200, but his doctor says his recovery is going well. He is under restrictions, and cannot exercise.

    He had hoped that this fall would be his breakout season on Hope's football team. Instead, he'll help manage from the sideline.

    Next year, who knows?

    Contact JIM SCHAEFER at 313-223-4542 or schaefer@freepress.com.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Peoria Civic Center
    Date of Performance: June 17, 2003
    Location: Peoria, IL
    Date of Publication at Jrnydv.Com: June 19, 2003
    By Pat (original location unknown)

    Billed as "The Main Event Tour", this was quite a rock & roll extravaganza featuring 3 of the biggest classic rock bands of the 70s-80s era. Tickets were $55 each plus service fees from Ticket Bastard which wasn't a bad deal for fans of all 3 bands. The practice is to rotate the band playing order on a nightly basis for the tour which has been going on since May and will continue on through the summer. I wondered how this would work and if each band would get enough time to please their fans. Styx opened and got a bit over an hour on stage with REO Speedwagon playing 2nd and getting a similar time frame. Journey played about 80 minutes. Special effects on the big screen behind the stage enhanced each group's performance.

    I would have liked Styx to play more, but they played their butts off as usual. I have seen them so many times since '99 that I have lost track, but they left me thinking that REO and Journey were going to have a tough time competing. Original bassist, Chuck Panozzo, appeared for several songs with the usual line-up of James Young, Tommy Shaw, Glen Burtnik, Lawrence Gowan, and Todd Sucherman.

    REO also worked hard to please the crowd and came off very well again to me. Highlights were the playing all of side 1 from the Hi Infidelity album including In Your Letter and an acoustic version of In Your Dreams, a personal favorite of mine.

    This was my 3rd Journey show in recent years and singer Steve Augeri seems to make it work better each time. Replacing Steve Perry in the band was a challenge, but Augeri certainly passes the test each time and to me now it's not even an issue although I never saw Journey with Perry. With our 5th row center seats, I got a great look at bassist Ross Valory who is quite the entertainer for the near seats with his funny facial expressions and comic antics such as a water squirter that was attached to his mike stand and foot activated. He does all this without missing a note or background vocal. Multi instrumentalist Jonathon Cain again impressed me with his keyboard and rhythm guitar playing and also contributed some great harmonica on one song. Neil Schon was great on lead guitar per the norm.

    All of these bands feature great harmony singing which is something that appeals to my tastes. It was a fun night and I recommend it for people that I enjoy good classic rock. Will be seeing Pearl Jam at Alpine Valley in WI on Sat....later...Pat


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Conseco Fieldhouse
    Date of Performance: June 19, 2003
    Location: Indianapolis, IN
    Date of Publication at Jrnydv.Com: June 21, 2003
    By NealsTwin? for Jrnydv.Com

    Having had nearly 2 full days to reflect on Thursday night's Classic Rock's Main Event show in Indianapolis, I came to the simple conclusion that Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journey all rocked the house.

    My day started by attending the Journey Back Talk Pre-Show Party. We had great music and food to get us pumped for what was bound to be an unforgettable evening of great music. Nearly 30 or so fans attended the party, and every one of them was shocked when none other than Steve Augeri paid a quick visit. Steve had just come from working out at the gym and wanted to stop by and say hello. He posed for pictures, signed many autographs, and gave out some autographs he had signed earlier that day on the tour bus. Steve was very kind. humble, and lacked any kind of a rock star ego. Before he signed any autographs or took any photos he made sure the two children in attendance got them first. Steve Augeri really is a class act and an amazing addition to Journey, which I will explain later on. Now on to the actual concert.

    Styx, who once again had the honor of being the opening band, played for nearly an hour and fifteen minutes. Which might I add was pour torture to me. The band put on a very energetic set for the crowd. Besides the fact that I despise Styx more than any other band in history, the only problem I had with the band was their bad language. I am only an 18 year old, and trust me, I frequently use many of the same words used on stage during Styx's set, but what was the need? There was no need for a band like Styx to use the word f**k several times at a concert like this. I noticed many families and younger children at the show. They didn't need words like that to have a good time. It just seemed totally pointless.

    Now, on to REO Speedwagon, a band that simply amazed me. After a 20 minute break for the stage crew to change the set, REO Speedwagon took to the stage. Having never seen REO in concert before, I was eager to see if they could reproduce those famous sounds and vocals of their hit songs, I wasn't let down. The band played the same length set as Styx. During REO's set the crowd sang along to nearly every word of every song and they hardly ever sat down. REO Speedwagon set quite a high standard for the next act, Journey. The only complaint I had about REO, isn't even their fault. The sound mix for REO and Styx was incredibly bassy. There was so much low end in the sound mix that you could feel it in your chest everytime the bass drum was hit. Thankfully the mix was cleared up before Journey took to the stage.

    Another short fifteen to twenty minute stage setup was needed to bring in Journey's gear. This only built up the anticipation for the real reason why I was there, and that was to see Journey. The band started the show just like their amazing 2001 DVD and went straight into Separate Ways. The rest of their setlist was upbeat and kept the crowd on their feet.

    The setlist was: Separate Ways / Stone in Lone / Wheel in the Sky / Neal's Solos (The Star Spangled Banner) / Dixie Highways / Lights / Jon's Piano Solo / Open Arms / Where Were You / Feeling that Way / Anytime / Don't Stop Believing / Ask the Lonely / Escape / Be Good to Yourself / Anyway You Want It / ENCORE / Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin / Faithfully.

    The band seemed to be in top form. Neal did have some guitar problems throughout the set, but being the top notch guitar player that he is, he just rolled with the punches and went right on. My hat goes off to Steve Augeri, he was definitely the highlight of the band for the night. He hit every single note, even ones he had trouble the other times I had seen them in concert. I think each band member had at least highlight in my books. Here goes...

    Steve Augeri: Open Arms - He did a phenomenal job with this difficult song
    Neal Schon: Star Spangled Banner - Simply WOW!
    Jonathan Cain: Harmonic playing during Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin
    Ross Valory: Funny faces and stage antics
    Dean Castronovo: Wheel in the Sky - His drumming was fantastic in that song

    Overall all three bands rocked the Home of the Pacers and the crowd loved every minute of it. Journey was my favorite act of the night followed closely by REO Speedwagon. The show was well worth the average ticket price and I recommend any person that is even remotely interested in seeing this show to go see it.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Kemper Arena
    Date of Performance: June 21, 2003
    Location: Kansas City, MO
    Date of Publication at Jrnydv.Com: June 23, 2003
    By The Dragon for Jrnydv.Com

    I arrived at the show with bated anticipation due to the fact that I had heard Journey was not really as good as REO and Styx had been. Fortunately, that was not the case. I am not going to spend a lot of time on REO and Styx because this is a Journey website, but I will give a quick summary. REO opened and really rocked the house. I had never seen REO before, but they really did a great job. I had not seen Styx since 1983 (yes…the Mr. Roboto tour...ick) so I was really looking forward to seeing them again. They absolutely kicked ass! Their harmonies were next to perfect the entire night. Everything sounded great...the old classics and the new stuff alike. I even went out this morning and bought Cyclorama. Excellent.

    Journey went on at about 10:30. A few folks left (must have been there for Styx only) but for the most part the crowd stayed intact. Journey opened with Separate Ways and really sounded good. The crowd was really into it. They followed with Stone In Love and by this point in time I knew that Steve Augeri was going to have a great night. He was NAILING the high notes. Wheel In The Sky was next, and again it sounded fantastic. Neal did his little solo/Star Spangled Banner ditty next and received a very enthusiastic response from the crowd – was really a nice touch to the concert. The last time I saw Journey Neal played this and the crowd wasn’t really into it as much. Then the first surprise of the night….Dixie Highway!!! I had heard that Journey had dropped this and a few other lesser-known songs and replaced them with “hits” which was not a good thing for us die-hards. Anyway, they pulled Dixie off just perfectly. Then came Lights, which was good, but Neal was having an off night I think. His solos for the whole night just didn’t flow like usual. I noticed it on just about every song from that point on. Jonathan Cain did his little solo piece next, followed by Open Arms. Then surprise #2 came…..Where Were You!!!! They played it JUST like they did way back on the Captured album. Steve sounded fantastic on this song!!!

    They then announced they would do some stuff off of Infinity. Just as Jon started playing, there was a major equipment glitch. He said he had a dead battery on something…must have been for his guitar’s wireless patch or something. Anyway, he got frustrated real fast and said, “Hey...GUY!!!!” to the roadie (sort of as if he didn’t know his name, just called him “guy” – kind of rude to him). Anyway, Steve took the mic and said “you wanna hear Jon sing, don’t you??” just to fill the very awkward empty space. I have never seen anything like that in concert before. I’m sure someone got his or her butt chewed for that!! After about 2 minutes, they got the problem fixed and cranked out Feelin’ That Way and Anytime – both were very good. Dean did a good job singing harmony on that one, I noticed.

    Don’t Stop Believin’ was next, but there were a couple of wrong notes by either Neal or Ross...not sure, but they were looking at each other and trying to mouth something to each other across the stage. Some sort of miscommunication, for sure. After that, they played Ask The Lonely. It was as perfect as I have ever heard it. Steve did great and the music was perfect. Escape was next and it was very very good. Steve did have to go falsetto twice, but it is the best I’ve heard since their first tour with Steve A, in which he nailed EVERY note. Steve seemed to know his vocal limits this night and didn’t push (and end up with sour notes) like I have seen him do in the past. Be Good To Yourself was next and was good as usual. They closed the show with Anyway You Want It and it was very average harmony-wise and Steve hit one awful sour make-you-cringe note at the end. Most people probably didn’t notice, but I sure did. They encored with Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeenzin’ and Faithfully, which were both great.

    I have seen this lineup of Journey 4 times and this was the second best they’ve done. The best was back in 1999 on their “Vacation’s Over” tour. At that show, Steve Augeri just absolutely nailed all of the high notes and the band was perfect. At last night's show, Neal was off and Steve had a couple of small problems, but was MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the last time I saw them, at which Steve was pretty horrible (Kansas State Fair, 9/2002). Overall, Styx probably played the best, but whole night was fantastic and worth every penny I paid. I know that John Kalodner was in the house, so maybe they put on a good show for the master. Who knows? All I know is that I saw a great rock and roll show.
    Separate Ways
    Stone In Love
    Wheel In The Sky
    Neal solo - Star Spangled Banner
    Dixie Highway
    Lights
    Jonathan Cain solo
    Open Arms
    Where Were You
    Feelin’ That Way/Anytime
    Don’t Stop Believin’
    Ask The Lonely
    Escape
    Be Good To Yourself
    Anyway You Want It
    Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeenzin’
    Faithfully


    Worlds Apart at Rookie's
    Date of Performance: June 27, 2003
    Location: Cromwell, CT
    Date of Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 01, 2003
    Date/Location of OriginalPublication: June 30, 2003, The Journey Digest Mailing List
    By Newman

    Worlds Apart Invades Connecticut With A Dead On Performance

    CROMWELL, CT – Long Island based Journey Tribute band “Worlds Apart” performed Friday, June 27, 2003 at Rookie’s Bar and Grill in Cromwell, CT marking the band’s first appearance in The Constitution State. Their three-hour show did not disappoint.

    Taking the stage promptly at 10:30 p.m., Rookie’s patrons were treated to a show they were not prepared to see. From what I could gather, the crowd was primarily made up of the bar’s Friday night regulars, numbering around 150 (a total estimate on my part). As the band kicked off their performance with Danny donned in Perry attire circa 1983, heads began to turn. By the time the band was three or four songs deep into their first set, people were taking notice. The sound was practically dead on target.

    The band appeared to be having a grand old time as they played to what became a very enthusiastic crowd. They even deviated from their normal sets to accommodate requests from the audience. Included in these sets are Journey’s greatest hits as well as songs that have long left Journey’s on stage repertoire. Have you ever thought to yourself that you will never get a chance to hear “Majestic” played live? Go see Worlds Apart. How about "Too Late?” Go see Worlds Apart.

    What I found to be really interesting was watching the guys perform “Higher Place.” You have a lead singer pulling off Steve Perry quite well with the wardrobe and everything. Then you see him belt out a tune featuring Journey’s present frontman, Steve Augeri (incidentally guys, I wouldn’t sweat the opening – I never like the first line either…..HA HA). It was a trip.

    Those who have seen these guys before know what I and many others are talking about. Worlds Apart are a terrific tribute to Journey. It’s members are interactive and pleasant to their audience. AND…if you buy them a beer, they’ll say your name over the mic. Yes, I felt very important. Though it would have been nice to wear the coattails for a while, Dan!!!

    I’ll admit towards the end of the evening I had “partied” a bit much. Steve (bass guitar) had informed me about the deviations to the set list and where they were but by the morning I barely remembered the conversation. Hey, I couldn’t help it. The music rocked and the cape codders were going down a little too smooth. Check out their website (http://www.worldsapartny.com) for their upcoming performances.

    Kevin, Dan, Kevin, Tim and Steve....I applaud you.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at First Union Arena
    Date of Performance: June 29, 2003
    Location: Wilkes Barre, PA
    Date of Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 01, 2003
    By The Wilkes Barre Citizens Voice




    Classic Rock's Main Event at Blue Cross Arena
    Date of Performance: July 08, 2003
    Location: Rochester, NY
    Date of Original Publication: July 09, 2003
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 11, 2003
    By Jeff Spevak for The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

    To quote the kid from Sixth Sense, "I see dead people."

    No wait, it's the "Classic Rock's Main Event Tour," featuring Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx.

    There was just one thing the 7,141 people who turned out Tuesday night at the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial didn't want to hear: One of the guys in these bands saying, "And now here's something from our new album'." No, when you're 45 years old and paying $56.50 for a ticket, time stopped in 1979, when Styx's "Babe" was at the top of the charts.

    All three bands, responsible for a decade's worth of cheese-laden, bombastic arena rock, had plenty of hands missing in action.

    Most notably, Journey was operating with a Steve Perry action figure, Steve Augeri, who looks and sounds pretty much like the real thing, right down to the piercing vocals that sound like a guy using a power drill to get through a tin roof.

    Styx has been hit hardest by the passage of time, missing co-lead vocalist and keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, plus rhythm section brothers Chuck, who's battling AIDS but makes occasional appearances with the band, and John Panozzo, who passed away in 1997.

    REO Speedwagon was the most intact, merely going without lead guitarist and co-songwriter Gary Richrath.

    Styx (ironically named for the river in Greek mythology that runs through the land of the dead) opened the evening with "Too Much Time on My Hands," seamlessly seguing into "The Grand Illusion." This was exactly the musical arrested development that this crowd came for. And it has to be admitted that newcomer Lawrence Gowan, at center stage rock-posturing around a fancy pivoting keyboard, not only sounds like DeYoung, but he has the '70s hair that DeYoung has long since lost.

    So they did "Lady" and "Come Sail Away," and everyone fired up their lighters and sang along, and by the end of the set the band had achieved the ultimate in rock cliches: Tommy Shaw had a woman's red bra, rather large, dangling from the end of his guitar.

    You get the idea.

    "Ridin' the Storm Out" was a great way for REO Speedwagon to open with this crowd, but that left only a handful of bullets in the gun. With no new album to shove down anyone's throat, lead singer Kevin Cronin (he'll be played by David Spade when they finally begin shooting This is REO Speedwagon) led the band in "Keep Pushin'," "In Your Letter," and the virtual-twin ballads "Can't Fight This Feeling" and "Keep on Loving You," two songs that are carrying a few tons of moss these days.

    Thanks to the lone original member, guitarist Neal Schon, and Augeri's eerie replication of Perry, Journey turned in perfect paint-by-numbers versions of "Stone in Love," "Wheel in the Sky" and "Open Arms." These are steroid rage power ballads: Surely a Michael Bolton Sings the Journey Songbook must be in the works.

    No surprises on the night, except maybe that the stage set for this show wasn't a giant mockup of a 1972 Cutlass dashboard-mounted AM radio.


    Worlds Apart at Commack, NY
    Date of Performance: July 12, 2003
    Date of Publication: July 18, 2003
    By Journeyfer for Jrnydv.Com

    I had the privilege of seeing World's Apart last night in Commack, NY. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive in beautiful weather, had the moon roof open the whole time, munching on Doritos and Wheat thins thanks to my travelling buddy Terri. We almost missed this little hole in the wall in the middle of Long Island, but we made it just in time for the second song. To be honest, when I first saw this group last November, I was thrilled that there was actually a band doing only Journey tunes. Last night, the thrill moved up a step as I think they have improved greatly over these few months and now, I'm not only seeing a band doing Journey songs, but doing them extremely well. Dan, the lead singer, hit every note in the Perry range. He was animated and ran around the place like, well, like Steve Perry!

    Despite the fact that Kevin the keyboard player was set up on top of a pool table with a board over it, he had the notes and harmonies going beautifully. The other Kevin was really hot on lead guitar and backing vocals, he makes it look almost effortless, something that is truly tough especially when you are trying to emulate a guitar God like Neal Schon.

    Steve plays Bass with the wit and charm of Ross Valory and sings "Greg Rollie style" vocals. He was also spot on last night. Tim's drumming made it sound like you were listening to the record, a great tribute.

    The songs ran the gamut from "Sweet and Simple" which was flawless, (even the harmonies and high notes), to Escape (rock on!) and Oh Sherrie at the request of the audience. Over all, a small but enthusiastic crowd experienced a real tribute. Thanks for making it worth the trip!

    Visit Worlds Apart at: www.worldsapartny.com, catch their next show, you won't regret it.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Pepsi Arena
    Date of Performance: July 12, 2003
    Location: Albany, NY
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 18, 2003
    By Michael Eck for The Albany Times Union




    Ramos: Living in the Light
    Date of Release: July 17, 2003
    Label: Frontiers Records
    Date of Publication: July 21, 2003
    By Scarab49 for The Jrnydv.Com
    RAMOS is the new rock band purely built around AOR guitarist Josh Ramos. The band releases their new debut album titled Living in the Light on Frontiers Records. If you liked Josh in The Storm, Two Fires, or Hardline, then this album is definitely for you without a doubt. From the very first track Living in the Light all the way to the end of the album, this music will just take you to a whole new plateau. Every track is filled with some type of AOR hooks and melodic choruses. It touches every base of the AOR spectrum in some way, shape or form.

    RAMOS features vocalist Mark Weitz (Malice, Eyes, Odin), Josh Ramos (The Storm, Two Fires, Hardline) on guitars, drummer Atma Anur (Two Fires, Richie Kotzen), Keyboardist Michael T.Ross (Hardline, Accomplice), bassist Scott Snyder (Accomplice), and keyboardist Russ Greene. Bass player Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, GHS) also appears as a guest on two tracks entitled Tell Me Why & Winds of Change.

    Living in the Light features 12 great tracks on it. Certainly their all worth noting simply because they’re all great tracks!

    Living in the Light: The track begins with some funky keyboards and a few bass notes then the piano kicks with Josh’s opening riff. Mark Weitz vocals actually have a resemblance to that of one Steve Augeri on this track. This could have been an Arrival lost track if you ask me. Great opening song!!

    Don’t Go: When I first heard this song I totally was thinking Survivor or Warrant. This is a great ballad with a great guitar solo that Josh just rips out. The song simply addresses the issue of a girl and how one doesn’t want here to ever leave.

    Winds of Change: This song would sound great being blasted through a PA system at a stadium. The chorus is outstanding and it totally hooks you in. Josh Ramos stated on melodicrock.com that he wrote this song with Steve Perry in mind and I’ll tell you something, Winds of Change totally has that Perry feel to it. Great song!! Probably would be one of my favorites!

    Seize the Day: Great song with a great message!! This song just rocks…nothing else!

    The Dream is Alive: This song is a ballad and is carried pretty much by the vocals and keyboard till the chorus kicks in when Josh hits his power chords. Once again….this is pure AOR rock!!

    Tell Me Why: Right off the bat Stu Hamm’s bass is being played over some light keyboards and spoken vocals. Josh Ramos follows with a Neal Schon type blistering solo…and this is all in the beginning. The rest just soars like a jet and rocks!!

    Come Back to Me: This track starts of with a kind of jazzy beginning with some drum fills and some taps on the high hat cymbal and some funky keyboards. It almost reminded me of Smitty starting off one of his Vital Info songs. This song is definitely an up tempo rock song and strongly resembles to that of a song by The Storm. The chorus and the breakdown will definitely pull you in.

    Night Has Fallen: Ramos kicks it into high gear with his guitar in the beginning and wastes no time showing off his chops. The song then immediately takes a kind of funky tempo which then leads into a pure melodic chorus. Once again, another great song that rocks! I could totally picture this being played live and it just getting all us RAMOS fans into frenzy.

    Love is the Magic: Some deep piano chords start this ballad out. This is a pretty mellow song to give us a rest after hearing some rocking AOR tracks from the previous ones. Worth noting is the unbelievable solo in the middle. Josh rips right through it!! Once again, another great track!

    Take It or Leave It: Guitar rips…..drums go wild…..and guitar rips again. This is another rocker people with another great chorus. Just sit back and soar when you listen to this one. It rocks!!! The solo is gonna make your jaw hit the floor. Parts of this song you can hear Satriani, Vai, and Schon all rolled into one. Way freakin cool!!!

    You’re So Far Away: Synthesizer playing with some vocals saying You’re So Far Away begins this followed by some heavy drumming and Josh ripping on his guitar. Listen for the bass in this track to as it stands out pretty well. There is also some of Josh’s great guitar work in this too in particular the solo of course. I love the chorus in this too and it hooked me right into it like a Journey song. This would definitely be one of my favorite RAMOS tracks.

    Willie (Instrumental): This song was written and composed for Josh Ramos late brother who past away two years ago. Just a great mellow guitar track that Josh just simply nails it!!

    So, in all I would have to say that for all those STORM, TWO FIRES, JOURNEY, HARLINE fans out there……pick this album up. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. After listening to this album, you’ll simply know why Josh Ramos is such a great and dynamic AOR guitarist! This album was produced, engineered and mixed by Kelly Hansen (Hurricane.) Executive producer is Michael S. Robinson.

    RAMOS: Living In The Light is definitely one of this year's all time melodic releases without a doubt. I can stress enough how great of an album it is. I guess you’ll just have to hear it for yourselves if you don’t believe me. This SCARAB49 signing off for now.…JOURNEY ON!!


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Pepsi Arena
    Date of Performance: July 12, 2003
    Location: Albany, NY
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: July 21, 2003
    by Richard & Laura Lynch for Kweevak.Com
    Originally published HERE

    How do three veteran rock bands, all best known for their hit songs from the 70's and 80's and each dealt serious blows to their original line-ups, still live the dream and reality of performing for packed arenas teeming with fans? If you're Styx, Journey & REO Speedwagon you form a tour de force, with partnership marketing from VH1. The Classic Rock's Main Event Spring and Summer Tour of 2003 features many of the greatest hits by these three bands who have collectively had over 140 million in total album sales.

    This concert tour is aptly named the Main Event because the show has the feel of a circus, carnival, rock concert and professional boxing match all in one. The similarly matched bands, who all pioneered part of the AOR radio sound, each delivered energetic and powerful performances with enough hits to last a night of heavy-weight prize fights.

    Overall, the evening had a structured organization and the performances were tied together with a cohesive video presentation containing clips, graphics and textual enhancements from each of the bands. Ticking away like the minutes of a round in a boxing match was a large L.E.D. clock behind the soundstage. This device alerted the bands as to how much time was remaining in their respective sets, which allowed for fast-paced, urgent performances from each of them.

    Kicking off the evening promptly at 7:30 p.m. were heartland rockers, REO Speedwgaon, whose 'Riding the Storm Out' and 'Keep Pushin'' set the tone and pace for the entire evening. Leader-singer Kevin Cronin and the rest of the band came out ablazin’ in jazzy attire with plenty of showmanship, abounding with exuberance and enthusiasm.

    Around mid-set Cronin relayed a story about a recent invitation to the infamous Playboy Mansion and he said it was necessary to visit it to see the type of temptations his children may face someday. The band then launched into the complete side-one of their record-smashing Hi-Infidelity LP from 1981 enhanced by a giant video image of the album's cover serving as a backdrop. 'Time For Me to Fly' was next but the band had time for a few more.

    Bassist Bruce Hall took over on lead vocals for 'Back on The Road Again' which was preceded by a Cronin rap about being sick of celebrities and professional athletes complaining about their jobs during which he ran through a list of everyday people who really do "damn hard work". He dedicated the song to the band’s roadies and crews as well as doctors, nurses and America’s ubiquitous post-911 patriotic super-heroes, police officers and firemen. This was followed by the classic AOR jam anthem, 'Roll With The Changes'. The band then left the stage and returned for the crowd pleasing set closer, '157 Riverside Avenue'.

    REO's lead-guitarist Dave Amato and drummer Bryan Hitt were the new guys in the band taking over for original members Gary Richrath and Alan Gratzer in the late 80's and early 90's. The line-up this evening had the band sounding as proficient as ever.

    Up next was Styx another band from the nation’s heartland, who managed to exceed REO Speedwagon's energy through cool musical props and their bass-player's mad-dashes through the arena. Opening up with a solid one-two punch, the band stormed through 'Too Much Time on My Hands', 'Grand Illusion' and a new power-rocker from the recent Cyclorama CD, 'Waiting For Our Time'.

    At one point during the performance Tommy Shaw asked how many fans were at their first Styx concert and it seemed as though more the half the arena called back in a youthful sounding roar. This underscored the fact that a lot of new fans were being introduced to classic rock on this night.

    All three of these bands have a similar style and demographic and it is a wonder that it took so long to bring them together on a bill of this caliber. Many parents in their 30's and 40's had their children with them – introducing them to their generation of rock heroes. It is likely that this billing, already anticipating adding more dates to their initial run of 45 cities, will continue for a long time.

    James Young then introduced the "wild-man" from New Jersey, Glen Burtnik, who took the arena by surprise when the spotlight found him way in the back. He then embarked on a raucous jaunt throughout the audience while singing and playing his bass at the same time. His antics really helped the crowd get into another new song off of Cyclorama, 'Kiss Your A** Goodbye' which also included a few verses of Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away'.

    Styx continued the circus atmosphere by returning to the stage after their last song to kick, throw and bat giant inflatable Styx beach balls into the audience.

    Styx has successfully endured the loss of key members over time. Glen Burtnik, who was a guitar player in an earlier incarnation of the band, is back on bass, and he along with drummer Todd Sucherman replaces the departed Panozzo brother rhythm section. Another newcomer, Lawrence Gowan, was lively and entertaining, spinning and dancing all night on his revolving keyboard. He also looks and sounds a lot like Dennis DeYoung, whose spot he takes in the band.

    Closing out the evening was Journey from San Francisco, California. This is a band that has recovered from a near-devastating blow to their classic line-up, the loss of front-man and songwriter, Steve Perry. Amazingly, the band has found an energetic and capable replacement in the form of Steve Augeri whose voice is extremely similar to Perry's high-octane octaves.

    Like any boxing match this show lost only a little steam in the final rounds. Journey, the technical headliners on this tour, came out strong by throwing out forceful versions of 'Separate Ways' and 'Wheel in the Sky'.



    Adding another patriotic flair to the evening was Neal Schon's solo version of 'The Star Spangled Banner' performed with fluid ease by the guitarist who started at 17-years old in Carlos Santana's band. But, when they tried to start 'Feeling That Way/Anytime' Jonathan Cain's equipment failure had the band scrambling to pull an audible of 'Where Were You', a concert rarity only recently re-added to the band's live repertoire.

    Still, Journey did not disappoint and their songs 'Stone In Love', 'Be Good to Yourself' and 'Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' were crowd pleasers. The band also introduced the new song 'State of Grace' from their recent Red 13 [EP].

    Like any well-trained fighter this concert was prepared and backed by a good corner. The integrated work of the roadies and stage hands led to efficient and seamless stage turnovers with only short intervals between performances resulting in a four hour event that was a virtual "best-of" AOR rock showcase. The collective energy, tight performances and team support helped all three of the bands score a classic-rock knock-out in only three rounds.


    Buffalo News Review of Classic Rock's Main Event at HSBC Arena
    Date of Performance: July 15, 2003
    Location: Buffalo, NY
    Date of Publication: July 31, 2003>
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: August 2, 2003
    By Jeff Miers




    Classic Rock's Main Event at First Union Center
    Date of Performance: July 22, 2003
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    Date of Publication: August 5, 2003
    By JRNYDV

    In a living, breathing tribute to their fans and their age, the legends of classic rock strutted about the stage like it was, well, 1983. It was Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon at the First Union Center the other night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and though their median age might be over fifty, the sixteen musicians comprising "Classic Rock's Main Event" proved that the music of the seventies and early eighties has arisen, like a phoenix from the ashes, as a result not only of their aging fans' deepening pockets but of each band's uncanny ability to replace integral band members and yet remain true to the original sound, the hits that the crowd wants to hear. REO Speedwagon plowed forward without their legendary guitar impressario, Gary Richrath; Styx survived the loss of the Panozzo brothers (one to an untimely death and the other to retirement) as well as--and perhaps more importantly--their operatic tenor of "Mr. Roboto" fame, Dennis DeYoung; and of course Journey has endured a number of personnel changes over the years, including, most famously, the replacement of singer Steve Perry with Brooklyn-born Steve Augeri, dubbed jokingly by another new band member "Steve Perry with a perm." But despite the major changes all three of these bands have endured, Tuesday at First Union was a night that their fans won't soon forget.

    REO Speedwagon opened the evening with Kevin Cronin, as ever, at the helm; his laugh-getting raps, combined with looks only Rod Stewart could envy, made him the comic relief of the evening. A complaint on the sound: during the bridge on "In Your Letter," the engineers inserted a pre-recorded organ riff. The keyboardist was at the piano and Kevin was at the front mike. No one was at the organ. Perhaps another musician was helping out from under the stage? Hardly noticable, of course, and on balance it contributed to the experience. The band played all of side one of their 1980 blockbuster High Infidelity, in order, which was a nice touch.

    Styx stormed onto the stage with James "JY" Young's head held high, artistically giving the audience the craned profile for which he has become famous. Indeed, the entire set, from the art deco scenery to Lawrence Gowan's rotating keyboard to Tommy Shaw's stellar axe work gave the impression of a highly stylized, finely tuned experience. As much as REO's Kevin Cronin had rehearsed his jokes, so too had Styx obviously put together a carefully crafted floor show. To integrate their new material, motivate their audience, and (perhaps just a little bit) to sell records, bassist Glen Burtnik spent an entire number singing "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" off their new album Cyclorama in the risers among the audience, trailed only by a security guard and a cameraman. And of course the screen scenes were highly stylized as well; scenes from the European front in WWII accompanied a new song, and the Space shuttle accompanied "Come Sail Away." The biggest (and most welcome) surprise of the evening came when original bass player Chuck Panozzo joined the band for "Angry Young Man," "Come Sail Away," and "Renegade."

    I wouldn't go so far as to say that Styx was better than Journey, that they deserved to headline the tour--such sacrilege will not issue from this keyboard--but they performed equally well, and the crowd was equally entertained. They should have traded off nightly with Journey for the lead spot, rather than with REO for the opener.

    Journey's Scenery was more natural than Styx's, like a rock face. Indeed, one of the more amazing aspects of the show was the ability of the three stage crews to switch the stage for each new act in only twenty minutes. With a timer by the sound booth carefully monitoring not only their time but that of the musicians (only REO went overtime), all involved had to stay on their toes to bring the evening off. Fittingly, Journey concluded their set, during "Faithfully," with a slide show about the band and the roadies, and the family they leave behind each summer to put on these shows for us.

    The highlight of Journey's set was definitely keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who whipped out a harmonica and showed his stuff on "Precious Time" and "LTS." While it was a disappointment that they didn't perform any of their newer material, the addition of the rarity was welcome, if unexpected.

    An unfortunate fact about Steve Augeri is his tendency to take liberties with tried and true lyrics. This time it was "Turning on the Light" instead of "Standing by the light" during "Feeling That Way," and "Long, long distance/And Journey, too" instead of "Long, long distance/In love with you" during "Chain Reaction." Is it because he has forgotten the words, or is he just trying to make them his own, like any artist? Still, these are forgivable flaws given his ability to mimic his predecessor almost to the note.


    Classic Rock's Main Event at Meadowbrook Farm
    Date of Performance: July 29, 2003
    Location: Gilford, NH
    Date of Publication: July 31, 2003>
    Date of Re-Publication at Jrnydv.Com: August 12, 2003
    By Julia Ann Weekes for the New Hampshire Union Leader




    Classic Rock's Main Event at Meadowbrook Farm
    Date of Performance: July 29, 2003
    Location: Gilford, NH
    Date of Publication: August 26, 2003>
    By JRNY02 for Jrnydv.Com

    I returned to the venue this summer, once again, to see Journey, Styx, and REO. It is the same venue that last summer brought so much wide eyed anticipation to so many Journey fans, from all over the Eastern Seaboard. My good friends, "Waboritas", and "Blujeangirl" had spent the previous 5 months, working tirelessly with me on a pre-show fan club party, that was to become one that no-one who attended would ever forget. It was also an experience that brought me personally to great sadness, that took a year to get over. I needed to go to this show, and to feel good again, about the band, the music, and a lot of very nice people, who attended the gathering.

    This year would be different, however, as I was going this time as John Q. Fan, with no party stress to worry about, nor the political "posturing", and chaos that last year brought to a great many of us. I felt relieved that I could "sneak" in, and have a great time, and leave, before anyone noticed. I was successful. The day was your typical late July, here in the Lake's Region of New Hampshire. It was hot, and sunny, and the setting was perfect for a nice rock show. Meadowbrook Farm is the perfect venue for any band to play, but I was excited to see Journey again, them having had ( arguably ) the best show of their summer tour last year here.

    I went into the venue knowing this would be so much different, having read many of the reviews from the tour in progress. I must admit, I really was looking forward to seeing REO again, as I have admired this band since I last saw them in 1980. That show was life altering for me, a national radio broadcast from the Boston Garden, a show I will never forget, and still listen to this day, on tape.

    The show began promptly, at 6:30, with REO hitting the stage, with the sun in their eyes, and the work day crowd still filing in. Those who partied in the parking lot missed the best set of the night, as REO came out, and just "smoked" the place, with a blistering set of hits, that most of us know and love. The sound was great, and Kevin Cronin has not lost his ability to stir the emotions of us who were around for "High In Fidelity"'s release, years ago. Dave Amato re-created Gary's solo's perfectly, and Neil Doughty celebrated his birthday on this night. By the time REO finished their set, I was soaked to the bone, from head to foot, and exhausted, 2 hours before Journey would hit the stage. REO did not give an encore this night, obviously dissapointed with a late arriving crowd, already tired from the workday, and the hot summer sun. To compare this crowd, to last year's Journey crowd, would be like night to day, or black to white. This crowd was most happy to sit, relax, and listen to the music, without exerting any energy. Very dissapointing, to say the least.

    After a quick change over, Styx hit the stage, offering a futuristic looking stage, and a very inconsistent set. I was not impressed. Their age old methods of firing up a crowd have grown very tired, and old. I felt their set was very inconsistent, and I could see the band was tired from a long summer tour. They seemed to be going through the motions, though they would get the most applause of the night. I was happy when they were done, and eagerly awaited Journey's set.

    Another changeover, and Journey was ready to go, and hit the stage rolling into Separate Ways. The setlist was the same as most places. The band looked good, especially Deen Castronovo, who can playon par with anyone. The man is an animal behind the kit, and proved the same tonight. Ross and Jon were their usual steady selves, but neither offered much more than they had to, as one could see, that this tour was winding down, by the lack of "fire" in their eyes. Neil Schon was the night's highlight, ( as usual), offering up a Star Spangled Banner, that blew away last year's version, here at this same venue. He looked sharp all in black, and played like the guitar God that he is. I could watch this man play forever. Steve Augeri's voice was quite good, for the most part, though the high notes are still backed out of. He also forgot the words on "Open Arms", which the crowd quickly picked up on. The tour being long, and summer hot, obviously had worn down 2 of the three bands on this gig. The set would be short, and hour and 15 minutes, barely, ending with a gorgeous "Faithfully", and they would be gone into the night.

    I was happy to have seen the show, especially REO, who blew everyone off the stage on this night. Journey was "good", though certainly not "great", as they were here last summer with their blistering 2 1/2 hour show, that stole my heart, and stirred my soul forever.

    I found the "clock" on the soundboard very distracting to both fans, and bands. I thought it was very "tacky" at best, and noticed several times, band members looking at it, counting down their time onstage. There simply HAS to be a better way to manage a show than this. Very distracting. I cannot wait to see REO again, hopefully solo, where they can play to their dedicated fans, the way Journey did last year. This band can still kick ass with anyone out there, and they did themselves proud on this night.

    Ratings, Journey: B+, Styx: C, REO Speedwagon: A+. Thanks to Dave for being so patient with me, waiting for this review.


    Gregg Rolie Band and Two Fires at Waterfest
    Date of Performance: August 07, 2003
    Location: Oshkosh, WI
    Date of Publication: August 13, 2003
    By Towanda for Jrnydv.Com

    The concert started at 6:00 p.m., with a beautiful setting of a local park near a river. On the right was a drawbridge, and several boats were docked near the festival. Oshkosh is a rather small city, full of hard working people who enjoy great music. Grills were set up nearby, with tables for refreshments and food, and we noticed that some of the proceeds from the concerts were going to a Cerebral Palsy fund. The weather was rainy earlier in the day but turned out to be gorgeous and warm, with a cool breeze from the water behind us. Benches were set up near the stage for people to sit, and we noticed many people in wheelchairs arriving as well.

    Approximately 2,000 people crowded into the small park, sitting on benches around the stage, in a casual outdoor setting. Two Fires, featuring Kevin Chalfant and Josh Ramos, was the first to perform, with a set list that includes music from the Storm, Kevin and Josh's solo work (including Josh's latest album, Living in the Light reviewed in the July page of this section), Two Fires, and even Survivor. Much of Gregg Rolie's band watched that set in the press area with us, and we spent much of that time rapping with Ron Wikso, Gregg's drummer (formerly of The Storm and Foreigner).

    The crowd seemed to be eager to hear some Storm tunes, and many were standing near the stage dancing as Kevin performed. The energy was building throughout the set, and the merchandise tables were crowded with people buying CDs and t-shirts, told that both bands would have a meet and greet with the audience afterwards, and autograph their purchases. It was a casual, informal setting with an air of calmness and peace. Two Fires guitarist Mike Higgins, married with three kids, later noted that his priorities have changed over the years, and "this is the straightest shootin' group of guys I've ever gigged with." He said that while they all drink beer from time to time, none of them smoke or do drugs; the wild parties have been left by the wayside to make more quality time with their families. They perform because they love it, not because they need the money, he said. All the members of Two Fires (except Kevin and Josh of course) still have day jobs. That laid back attitude was obvious during both bands performances. They absolutely love what they do, and the energy they projected was contagious.

    Gregg Rolie Band was incredible. They played several Santana songs, music from Gregg's latest solo CD Roots, and Kevin joined them on stage to sing lead for "Just the Same Way," "Anytime," and "Anyway You Want It," which made the crowd go absolutely wild. Following the "Journey set," Ron yelled over at Journey-Dave "It's Better than Journey!" Talent aside, it's pretty well known at this point that Kevin Chalfant stood in for Steve Perry at a 1993 Journey reunion in honor of Herbie Herbert, and he was later considered as a permanent replacement, although that job ultimately went to Steve Augeri. Kevin would speak about this with us when he gave us an interview later on in his dressing room.

    All in all, it was an incredible, energized night full of fun, awesome music, and wonderful musicians who welcomed us with open arms. They were open, honest, and thoughtful, considerate and kind the entire time we were there. A better group of musicians would be difficult to find. They were awesome, and our interviews were great! It was well worth the long drive to be there. Look for the interviews soon to follow!


    Skid Row, Vince Neil, and Poison at Verizon Wireless Arena
    Date of Performance: August 16, 2003
    Location: Manchester, NH
    Date of Publication: August 17, 2003
    By JRNY02 for Jrnydv.Com

    Last night, I had the pleasure of taking in this "balls to the wall", high octane, monster of a show. Skid Row opened, at exactly 7:30 pm., and did not dissapoint a sparse crowd, of about 5000 headbangers. I will point out though, this crowd was fired up from the get go, and made more noise, than some crowds of 15,000 that I've seen. Though former lead singer, Sebastian Bach is no longer with the band, original members Dave Sabo, and bassist Rachel Bolan have held the band together quite nicely. Their performance was stellar, and the crowd lapped it up, including hits, "18", and "I'll Remember You", which left the audience primed and ready for Vince Neil, soon to follow.

    Vince Neil's band came out about 8:40 pm., and upped the ante substancially. Basically put, they kicked ass, and took no prisoners during a sizzling, blistering set, which took us all down a nostalgic Motley Crue pathway. Though Vince should start taking better care of himself, ( in my opinion only ), his stage presence is not to be questioned. The man is like a panther on the prowl, and was all over the stage last night. His voice remains strong, despite this author's hearing much to the contrary, in several articles recently read. His band is cracker jack sharp, and one merely had to close their eyes, and easily place themselves in the middle of the Girls, Girls, Girls Tour.I was amazed how accurately Mick Mars solo's were reproduced, and the backbeat of Vince's new drummer kept the beat pounding all night long. Home Sweet Home was done passionately, and sincerely, as a sea of lighters showed the crowds appreciation of a song beautifully done. Kickstart My Heart took the audience to another level twoard the end of the set, and Vince sensed the crowds appetite, and fed off it nicely. Vince was very animated last night, and appreciated the crowd's enthusiasm. The band gave everything it had on this night, and set the stage for the show's highlight, soon to follow.

    While watching the road crew set up Poison's stage, I noticed it was the same stage I'd seen in the previous 2 summer's tours. I didn't mind, however, as I knew Poison could play on a cardboard box, and I'd love it. I was not to be dissapointed on this night. Poison hit the stage at 10:10, and flat out "destroyed" the place. C.C. DeVille dispalyed an array of Gibson "Flying V's", and whipped the crowd in to a frenzy, from the first chord. C.C. was laying it down, and "kicking it out" like I hadn't seen in any other shows I'd seen this year. The man is a wizard with a guitar, and was at his best last night. Rikki Rockett was just stellar on the drum kit last night, displaying his usual array of "goodies" to keep the crowd into it, and bassist Bobby Dahl was monster, keeping the backbeat during the show. The band looked well rested from having 5 days prior off to Friday night's performance in Philadelphia, and it showed. This band can rock a crowd to the core, and did exactly that last night.

    Though we all found out, with C.C.'s announcement before the encore that Bret Michaels had contrated the "flu" two days prior, and had a temperature of 103 degrees at showtime, it did not show. Bret is the consummate professional, and His "on with the show" attitude was most appreciated by everyone in attendence last night. His voice was superb, and his interaction with the crowd was sincere. Manchester, New Hampshire is one of Poison's favorite places to play, and despite a weak Saturday night crowd, Poison gave us a first rate show, with all the hits, and a couple of new gems, to keep us coming back next year.

    Those of you who haven't seen Poison before, are encouraged by this author, to see them next summer when they come to your town. Bret announced last night that they would indeed be back next summer, and I am looking forward to the show. Overall, I rate this entire show an A+, and much, much better than the triple bill of Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon whom I saw in Gilford, New Hampshire a couple weeks ago. There were no glitches in this show, sound and acoustics were just fine, and Poison took full advantage of it, in the friendly confines of Verizon Wireless Arena. I left the show soaking wet, from head to foot, astounded that Poison can still "get the lead out ", and perform at this level consistently.

    Catch this show, it's a "Can't Miss" for all you hard core rockers out there.


    Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies, Very Live at Ronnie Scott's
    Date of Re-Publication at The Journey Zone: September 11, 2003
    By Dave Binder for JazzReview.com

    Steve Smith first delivered an exciting homage to Buddy Rich’s small group work with 1999’s Steve Smith and Buddy’s Buddies. Mining Rich’s songbook, with arrangements that make a quintet sound like a larger group, Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set One continues the tribute in the first of two releases culled from a 2002 gig at that institution of London jazz clubs.

    The idea for the group originally formed when long-time friend of Rich, Stanley Kay, along with Rich’s daughter Cathy and her husband Steve Arnold contacted tenor/soprano saxophonist Steve Marcus and alto player Andy Fusco, both long-time alumni of Rich’s big bands. They immediately thought of Smith, for whom the project seemed like the ideal way to close the circle, as his first tours were with a big band led by Rich cohort Lin Biviano. Smith suggested bassist Anthony Jackson and pianist/arranger Lee Musiker, who recorded the first album. Steve Smith and Buddy’s Buddies was well-received, and there was much hope that the project would continue.

    Fast-forward to 2002. When the possibility of a week’s residence at Ronnie Scott’s came up Smith jumped at the chance. With Jackson and Musiker unavailable, Smith recruited Steps Ahead/Vital Information bassist Baron Browne and pianist/arranger Mark Soskin, who has played with everyone from Billy Cobham to Sonny Rollins, to fill out the group. The decision was made to record the week, and present two CDs, representing first and second sets from the week, so we could all feel as if we were there for a night.

    What many people don’t know is that the small group was a format that Rich used in addition to his more well-known big bands, and in fact a small group recorded Very Live at Buddy’s Place in 1974. What makes Rich’s small groups, and Buddy’s Buddies, unique, is the harmonic spread of the arrangements, which make a small group sound much bigger by having the instruments imply what is not there. Kudos to Lee Musiker and Mark Soskin for getting to the essence of Rich's concept, and making it live with this group.

    Listen to the horns in the set opener, “Love for Sale”; by playing unison lines an octave apart, as well as more widely spread harmony lines, it sounds more like a horn section than just two horns. The same goes for the uptempo Horace Silver chestnut, “Nutville”. Originals like Soskin’s “Bopformation” fit right in with the overall concept of the group.

    Like a big band, the arrangements are tight. While there is plenty of solo space for everyone, solo lengths are predetermined.

    And like Rich himself, this is extremely extroverted music. Most of the tunes are taken at a clip, and even the one ballad, the lyrical “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”, grooves along with an assertive sound that belies a larger ensemble.

    Unlike other Rich tributes that sound like the one-time, all-star affairs that they usually are, this project sounds like a band. The chemistry between Smith and Brown is obvious, coming from years of playing together. Soskin is a sympathetic accompanist and an engaging soloist. Marcus continues to demonstrate why he is one of the most under-rated reedmen around. Fusco is another talent deserving wider recognition.

    And what about drums solos? Smith has clearly done his homework. Clever ideas and brash bravado abound, showing that he is a far broader musician than fans of his fusion efforts should think.

    Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set One is a high energy set of live music from an intensely swinging group. Personally, I can’t wait to hear set two, which will be available in September, 2003.

    Tracks: Love For Sale, Nutville, Big Man Blues, Bopformation, How Do You Keep the Music Playing?, The Pies of A.Z., Manfredo's Fest, Ya Gotta Try, Moment's Notice, Airegin

    Hot on the heels of Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set One, Steve Smith and Buddy’s Buddies give us Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set Two. This is a very good thing, as I was definitely left wanting more. Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set Two delivers more of the same high octane playing that made Set One so much fun.

    Recorded the same week as Set One, drummer Smith, Buddy Rich alumni tenor/soprano saxophonist Steve Marcus and alto sax man Andy Fusco are joined by Vital Information/Steps Ahead bassist Baron Browne and pianist/arranger Mark Soskin, who has played with artists including Bill Cobham to Sonny Rollins.

    Once again the set features crisp arrangements of material from the Rich book, as well as some new tunes. The horn lines twist and weave in ways that imply a larger horn section and the overall feeling is bright and outgoing.

    While there have been a number of Buddy Rich tributes in the past, none come so close to capturing the spirit of Rich and his sense of drama, while at the same time paying homage to his lesser-known but equally vibrant small group recordings, as this quintet.

    The chemistry between the players is what makes this tribute so good. This doesn’t sound like a one-time thing; this sounds like a band. One is not always sure who is driving, but it is always clear that everyone is going in the same direction.

    Check out Andy Fusco’s solo on Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin”. Burning over the rhythm section, it soon breaks down into a frenzied duet between Fusco and Smith, who then trades fours, tearing things up with solos that would have made Buddy proud.

    The group’s reading of Lennon/McCartney’s classic “Norwegian Wood” leaves other interpretations of this often-covered tune in the dust. With a modal feel that somehow brings to mind John Coltrane and “My Favourite Things”, Marcus delivers a soprano solo that is at the same time incendiary and melodic.

    Soskin, featured on the West Side Story classic “Cool”, shows why he is in such high demand. This trio piece allows him plenty of room to stretch out and his solo manages to merge McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock with something elusive that makes it all his own.

    Baron Browne gets to lay down the funk on “No Jive”, a fusion-like piece that Yellowjackets saxophonist Bob Mintzer wrote at Rich’s request. This is the most contemporary track of the set.

    Both Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set One and Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set Two are terrific, impeccably recorded examples of contemporary mainstream jazz that pay homage to Rich yet have something fresh to say. Probably the question on most readers’ minds is which set to buy? The answer is: buy both. Neither set is better than the other, but both sets together put you in the front row at Ronnie Scott’s, witness to arguably the best Buddy Rich tribute band ever.

    Very Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Set Two is released in September, 2003.

    Tracks: Moment's Notice, Norwegian Wood, New Blues, Airegin, Embraceable You, Cool, No Jive, Love For Sale, Big Man Blues, Bopformation


    An Evening with the Gregg Rolie Band
    Date of Performance: September 27, 2003
    Location of Performance: Reno, NV
    Date of Publication: October 3, 2003
    By Fred Mulgrew for the Journey Zone

    This weekend in Reno, Nevada, ruthless efficiency juxtaposed with youthful enthusiasm well describes the full-on rock and roll show administered by the Gregg Rolie Band at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino. From the opening number, the band didn’t take long in identifying itself as a Latin rock “juggernaut” to be reckoned with by any current performers of the genre.

    The show opened with a looped Latin/Tropical intro, giving band members time to take their places. Appearing first was Ron “Metronome” (metaphorically speaking) Wikso. The man is precision balanced with thundering explosiveness while manning the wheelhouse of this band. Looking fit and pleasantly intense, he took his place on the drummer’s platform and settled in as the evening’s timekeeper. Other band members appeared one by one under the semi-lit stage until Gregg materialized, greeting the audience and his band mates with a salute and smile of approval. By far the youngest looking elder statesman in rock music today, Gregg wasted no time in swirling into the opening keyboard notes of “Going Home.” Vocally, Gregg seems to have stopped the clock, delivering his parts with power to spare, on key and in tune.

    What unexpectedly captured the attention of listeners was the incredible supporting cast. Gregg’s Hammond B-3 skills notwithstanding, the band is comprised of incredible talent from every corner of the world of rock.

    Bass player Alphonso Johnson kept the audience grooving all night by flawlessly filling in the bottom end. Michael Carabello, the only Conga player in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, kept the early Santana-like percussion sound alive throughout. Keyboardist Wally Minko spent the evening rounding out the rhythms, spinning cascading trumpet-like sounds from a Korg, at times mimicking a ten-piece horn section. Adrian Areas put on what many viewed as a timbales “clinic.” It was easy to see he had served an apprenticeship under the tutelage of the very best. Lightning speed coupled with rhythmic rolls and fills served only to showcase what he brings to the table melodically. Last but not least, with the superb contribution on guitar by Kurt Griffey, not only were older, more familiar songs played with note for note accuracy, but the newer material clearly allowed for his gifted virtuosity. Whether it was Latin-influenced rock or blues, audience members were seeing and hearing a fabulous display of musicianship along with a great stage presence.

    Sadly enough, all too soon it was over. Apparently, the casino pulled the plug in an effort to get patrons back out to the gaming rooms. Despite a rousing and lengthy applause, it was to no avail; there wasn’t an encore. However, the band did come out to a signing table and spent the rest of the evening meeting fans and taking time out for photos. They stayed until each and every fan who wanted to say hello or purchase a souvenir was satisfied. These guys put the ‘Class’ in Classic. Go see ‘em soon!

    The set list looked like this:
    Going Home
    Jingo
    Love Is Everything
    No One To Depend On
    As The Years Go Passing By
    Waiting
    Give It To Me
    Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
    Oye Como Va


    Journey at the Borgata Hotel and Casino
    Date of Performance: September 27, 2003
    Location of Performance: Atlantic City, NJ
    Date of Publication: October 7, 2003
    By Journeyfer for the Journey Zone

    Lately I have mixed feelings as I shell out the cash to go to a Journey concert. I have unceremoniously dubbed the current line-up “Journey Light,” merely for the absence of a key player in this band--I know I don’t have to mention who that is. So I go for the nostalgia and the knowledge that the guys who are there will do their best for me. They did not disappoint me last night.

    As a new venue, the Borgata has some lessons to learn. Two scrawny guys at the front of the stage passed for “security,” but later in the show, as the drunken women decided to stand in front of me, I did a better job of asking them to step aside than the “security” did. Of course by the encore it was a free-for-all, so I just went up to the stage, stood next to the security guy and said, “I’ll just stand here where you are,” which met with a shrug of the shoulders. Good thing I did because soon, that’s where everyone was. I also know of at least one person who got in, sat in the second row and he did not even have a ticket! Now for a Journey show, this is not really a big deal as we are generally one big, happy Journey “family.” However, I noticed that Nickelback was coming to this venue soon; the Borgata might want to review some of its policies.

    Now, on to the show...The phrase “more talent in his little finger than…” really came to mind as I sat in the front row with a great view of Jonathan Cain for most of the night. His mastery of his instruments truly appears effortless. Breezing from keyboards, “The Whale,” (that beautiful, red piano) to the guitar, to the mouth organ and of course, vocals, he kept up the pace of a marathon runner. All the while he continued to charm us with his enthusiasm and warm smile. He is the consummate performer and sounded just as good this night as he did back in 1981 when I saw the band for the first time.

    While it was perfectly easy for me to see Jonathan, I was not happy that my seat completely obscured any view of Deen except for his feet. This being the case, when Steve A. turned the lead vocals over to Deen on both “After the Fall” and “Mother, Father,” it wasn’t a stretch to picture you-know-who up there in my mind’s eye. Mr. Castronovo is a truly gifted singer; he nailed every note and nuance. Already knowing he could sing from just hearing him doing back up harmonies, I think Journey made the right decision in letting him share the spotlight.

    Ross Valory was his usual self. I always get a kick out of the facial expressions and humor he conveys. It takes a sharp eye on him to catch all of it. He even had something squirting water out into the audience from his mike stand. And through it all, he played bass--No, not just played, as the audience member’s sign next to me read: “ROSS KICKS (B)ASS!”

    Neal Schon always impresses. He is a rock guitar god and always will be. He played mostly to his side of the stage so it was hard to see him, but his guitar did the talking. His version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” rivals any other out there.

    Now this brings me to Steve Augeri. I have to say the man has improved greatly since the first time I saw him. His stage presence has elevated to “rock icon” status, at least with many of the ladies who weaseled their way in front of me to shake his hand when he came to my side of the stage. He has a wonderful smile, his hair is to die for and he is most certainly eye-candy. Therefore, I hate to be critical. As this is a review rather than a critique, I will merely suggest that there are some notes which maybe should be turned over to the aforementioned drummer. Not surprisingly, his vocals were especially good in “To be Alive Again.” Overall, his performance brought the audience in on the fun. He worked the stage better than I have seen him do before and he generally rocked!

    For the encore, they brought out percussionist Gibby Ross (who at one time toured with Santana) who jammed with them through the Santana songs “Black Magic Woman” and “Everybody’s Everything,” as well as Journey’s own “La Raza Del Sol.” The Santana songs tended to drag on, with each instrument getting a 10-minute solo. While this music is certainly the roots of Journey, it is not “Journey-proper” and that’s what I prefer, the beautiful vocal and instrumental harmonies that blend into just the right amount of song. So, while there is no doubt the encore was expertly performed, I would not have minded if they threw in some more Journey tunes instead.

    Journey has been my favorite band for a long time and they probably will always be so. They rocked last night at the Borgata, even impressing my parents (not an easy task). Journey played the gamut from “Precious Time” to “To be Alive Again” with everything in between. However, I have to say, if they tackled “Precious Time” why not try my favorite, “Daydream”? Oh well, a gal can daydream, can’t she?


    The Storm - self-titled debut
    Released - 1991
    Label - Interscope Records
    Produced & Mixed by - Beau Hill

    Gregg Rolie - Lead vocals/keyboards
    Ross Valory - Bass guitar/vocals
    Steve Smith - Drums
    Kevin Chalfant - Lead vocals
    Josh Ramos - Lead & rhythm guitars/vocals

    Most of the people reading reviews on this site are already familiar with Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, and Steve Smith from their outstanding contributions to Journey. For those of you unfamiliar with Kevin Chalfant and Josh Ramos, I would like to make sure I am very clear on one point of my review, if nothing else: Chalfant and Ramos are excellent artists - but they are most fully appreciated at a live performance. The first time I heard or saw them, ever, was at a live show on their own (no Storm comrades), with no idea or preconceived idea of what to expect. I have followed their careers ever since. CD's of their performances are the best way to keep you going until you can make it to their next show.

    -----------------

    ”You Keep Me Waiting” (Rolie, Chalfant, Marlette) opens with the sounds of a thunderstorm, guitar noodling, and harmonization of the song title. The song is a powerful, upbeat AOR lead in, showing the promise of a great blending of each of the artists in this group. Drums keep you moving. Listen for some great guitar work as well.

    ”I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love” (Chalfant, Rolie, Marlette) Probably the most remembered/recognized song off the CD. When the general public heard this song, this is most likely where the Steve Perry comparisons cropped up for Kevin Chalfant. Those who listen closely can hear both the similarities in the styles, but also hear the distinct difference in the vocals. The strength of Kevin's vocals is notable here, along with a great beat and the sing-along quality that hooks an audience.

    ”In the Raw” (Rolie, Marlette, Chalfant) Tongue-in-cheek innuendo, the third cut is a fun song. Mysterious percussion and keyboard intro belies the song's story line, and the remainder of the song has a strong baseline drive. Kevin and Gregg's vocal blendings here are strong. The humor of this piece really kicks with the must-listen, spoken-word bridge, given in news broadcast style. You'll get a laugh from this song.

    ”You're Gonna Miss Me” (Rolie, Ramos, Chalfant) Simple, upbeat AOR rocker. This is an excellent "live" song.

    ”Call Me” (Rolie, Pessis) Gregg takes over the lead on this slower tempo song. This one is slightly reminiscent of his lead on [Journey’s] “Feeling That Way.”

    ”Show Me the Way” (Rolie, Chalfant) Strong ballad showcasing the strength and nuances of Kevin's voice with just a hint of Josh's talent with a guitar.

    ”I Want You Back” (Rolie, Chalfant, Marlette) In this catchy tune, Gregg and Kevin trade vocals, with all singers contributing on the chorus. This is a “single-worthy” effort.

    ”Still Loving You” (Rolie, Pessis) Slower tempo ballad with Gregg on lead vocals. The chorus is layered with full vocals.

    ”Touch & Go” (Marlette, Chalfant, Rolie, Ramos, Valory, Smith) This track has the most driving beat on the CD. If the pop-metal scene had still been going full force in '91, this one could've been a contender. You can't sit still during this song. It should have been a single. It's my second favorite song, and would have been my choice as the second official single release, after “I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love.”

    ”Gimme Love” (Rolie, Marlette) Another one of my choices for a single release. This one has a “down and dirty” kind of danceable beat. Josh's guitar work is highlighted in this song.

    ”Take Me Away” (Rolie, Marlette) Mellow tempo song. If I had to rank the cuts in order of best to worst, this one would have to be last.

    ”Can't Live Without Love” (Rolie, Chalfant) A ballad with power, without being a "power ballad" in the common definition of the term. It contains a notable guitar solo by Josh.

    ------------------

    These five musicians have pooled their considerable talents well to create this debut CD. It is a shame that the musical climate and fickle consumers were changing so rapidly that this release seemed to languish by the wayside. You can find full, rich harmonies, ballads, and pop-metal styles here. This release is a must for a fan of any of these artists. Now out of print, this CD is not easy to find, but definitely worth the search.

    -Jan Weir, associate editor, The Journey Zone


    The Storm - Live 2003
    Jan Weir, associate editor, The Journey Zone

    On the south side of Chicago sits a little town called Merrionette Park. This is where you will find a place called 115 Bourbon Street, easily found off I-294 at the end of a strip mall. Don't let the location fool you: 115 Bourbon Street only looks small on the outside, and has the potential to become "the" place to play west of the Indiana border.

    The main entrance opens on the pool room, and continues to the first of two main rooms. The sports bar houses approximately six wide-screen televisions hanging from the ceiling, on which at least 4 different sports events played as we walked in. The far end of the sports room holds the secondary stage in a corner. Continue down the hallway, hang a right, and you will find a quieter bar area, separate from the rest of the facility. Keep going straight and you will find the main concert room which I'm told can hold close to one thousand people, but is more likely several hundred. We did not see the local act playing in that room, but did wander in later on when the disco DJ was playing. This cavernous room seems ideal for concerts and full-blown weekend events. In addition, if you wander all the way to the stage area in the back of this room, to the right you will find yet another party room under construction. Complete with separate entrance, a totally independent event could take place and barely disturb any of the other activities. The only potential problem is that management needs to make more and larger bathroom facilities available! Prices for drinks are reasonable for the area. The entire venue is clean (possibly too many garbage cans are strewn about the building - in front of a stage is *not* a recommended location), bathroom attendants are on duty, and the staff is friendly. Local bands' flyers are as much a part of the décor as the sports displays. If you are band working in the area south of Chicago near the Indiana border, 115 Bourbon Street is worth checking out.

    Booked under the name The Storm, Kevin Chalfant and band played the sports room stage on Friday, November 7, 2003. He recently acquired permission to use the name from his former bandmates (Gregg Rolie, Ross Vallory, Steve Smith, & Josh Ramos), and later joked on stage that they book under The Storm or Two Fires, "whichever way the money flows." The venue did not seem prepared that night for two separate shows, so The Storm show was delayed.

    This stage seemed a bit small for the six musicians up there, so they were all a bit cramped for "room to groove", but they made the best of the small area. As always, Chalfant's voice fills a room, which more than makes up for lack of space. When you are there for the show, it is quite distracting to have a varied stream of people walking by the table. A small shift in the set-up of the sports room could make the flow of traffic pass along the back of the sports bar stage audience, and create a better environment. The advantage to having the traffic flow in this room is that people using the main entrance coming and going get to see and hear the sports room band. I did notice that several people who had come for the other entertainment frequently came back to the sports room to check out The Storm.

    "You Keep Me Waiting" is a powerful way to open the show and capture the attention of the audience. The song grabbed the crowd and pulled them in, and also stopped those passing through the sports bar on their way out for the night, or on their way in to the other event room. Fans were treated to a varied set list, from older ballads (Show Me the Way) to new (The Man I Want to Be), old rockers to 2002's "I See Red". Mixing it up were a couple tunes from Journey and one written by former Survivor member, Jim Peterik (Can't Hold Back). The band is versatile enough jam with the best of them and still bring the audience back down smoothly to the ballads.

    I spoke to different bar patrons to see what they noticed as highlights of the show. One man commented that the bassline combo of Timmy Higgins and Randy Hatzer was outstanding, and he had hoped Hatzer would move forward so his playing could be seen better. Another man was impressed with Chalfant's vocals, and really wanted to hear him belt out "Wheel in the Sky". Yet another woman just liked to watch Chalfant sing because you could "see he puts his heart and soul" into the song.

    Journey fans get a treat when seeing The Storm play: at some point during the set at least one Journey song pops up. If you enjoyed the Perry/Rolie era vocals, then you will enjoy Chalfant and Mike Higgins harmonizing to familiar Journey tunes. Chalfant has often been compared to Perry. Though their styles are similar and each has enough vocal power to run their own amps solely by singing, I find the similarities end there. Chalfant's voice is more "street", with more grit than Perry; Mike Higgins fills Rolie's part with a smooth and mellow ease, making for a winning combination. The debate over sound will forever be not only subjective, but personal. The only way to find out whether or not you agree is to get out to a performance. Judge for yourself. I'm quite confident that you will agree that this band has pooled considerable talent for an entertaining evening of rockin' music at each show.

    Band Members:
    Kevin Chalfant
    Mike "Ralph" Gardner
    Chuck Giacinto
    Randy Hatzer
    Mike Higgins
    Timmy Higgins

    Set One:
    You Keep Me Waiting
    Running with the Wind
    Save Me Tonite
    Can't Live Without Love
    Fight for the Right
    Show Me the Way
    Bringin' Me Down
    My Love will be There
    Feeling that Way/Anytime
    Just the Same Way
    Summer of Love

    Set Two:
    Wild Thang
    Piece of my Heart
    I Can't Hold Back
    I See Red
    The Man I Want to Be
    Rivers of Destiny
    Anyway You Want It
    Don't Give Up
    I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love
    Megaforce
    (impromptu) The Immigrant Song

    For more information on Kevin Chalfant, Two Fires, or The Storm, and upcoming performances click on www.cliquerecords.com.


    Steve Smith Drum Clinic
    Jan Weir, associate editor, The Journey Zone

    Drums & Moore in Madison, Wisconsin, hosted the largest in-store clinic they've had on November 18, 2003. Approximately 87 people showed up to hear Steve Smith play and get some tips on how to improve their own playing.

    Smith began with brushes on a single snare. He suggested using a click during practice, and sitting in front of a mirror to check your form and to be sure you keep your posture and arms relaxed. Players should practice by alternating between legato and staccato rhythms. Smith demonstrated how he practiced by creating different sounds, achieved by striking or stroking different spots on the skin. He then switched to sticks, showing how using different parts of the sticks and different parts of the drum, including the rim, to make a variety of sounds. The center of the snare gives a dark, deep sound; off- center will give a higher, thinner tone; and the outer edge makes an even higher, thinner sound. Smith showed that even rim shots can vary: the tip of the stick creates a big sounds and moving a quarter length down the stick to hit gets a bigger sound. The middle of a drumstick, and hitting one stick while the other sits on the rim will give wooden tones.

    Smith believes working on just the snare is a good way to work on your hand technique before moving on to the drum set. Good hand technique is important to prevent injury. If you are breaking sticks or cracking cymbals, it is a sign that your grip is too tight on the stick, or you are playing with too much tension. Keep your arms relaxed and your grip loose to allow the stick to naturally rebound.

    Smith moved from the single snare to the store's vintage Radio King drum set, where he gave a bit of history on the instrument. The patent of the bass drum pedal in the 1880's began the origin of the drum set. One of the best pedals was mass produced in the early 1900's by Ludwig. A bass and a snare made up the first set.

    Drum playing grew out of the African-American style of playing music, especially the New Orleans style. Drums were first used in the swing-style of jazz music. There was no high hat, but cow bells and wood blocks were used. The next addition to the set was the lowboy cymbals, played by the left foot. This cymbal was then moved higher so it could be played with sticks, creating the high hat. Next, the ride cymbal evolved for keeping time sometime in the 1940's, followed by crash cymbals. Drummers moved to playing syncopated figures with the right and left foot. Until the 1950's, drummers were used only for jazz style music.

    A younger drummer asked Smith if there was a reason why he played with the snare titled away from his body. The tilt does serve a purpose: to help maintain a natural posture and feel (no reaching) and to help maintain the traditional grip. He had used a snare tilted toward himself when he was sitting lower. Smith feels that when the snare was aimed toward him and he moved his grip on the sticks back (as when he played in Journey), he gained volume, but lost finesse. He changed his grip and snare position back. The snare tilted away also encourages natural rebound. He discussed drumstick use next. When the drumstick is held loosely, the stick bounces naturally. Smith says he plays accents, with the other (fill) notes play themselves. He demonstrated how playing one accent note should equal getting two rebound notes when you allow he stick to bounce. Next, he played each single note, having the audience observe how the hand and arm automatically tighten, so the advantage of playing accents and allowing rebound keeps the position relaxed.

    Another musician asked if fingers play a part in how Smith used drumsticks. Smith said no, it was all wrist and rebound work. He showed this by holding the drumsticks in the web between his thumb and pointer finger and having no problem playing a beat without using the rest of his fingers. To the delight of some Journey fans in the audience, someone asked Smith how he "got the gig in Journey." He had moved to LA from Boston and went on several auditions. He got a gig playing with Montrose, and toured on a triple bill of Van Halen, Montrose, and Journey, which was Journey's first headlining tour. After a three-month tour, and though he hadn't played rock yet, he was asked to take over for Ansley Dunbar. At that time, Journey was looking to change their style from fusion oriented to a more R&B outlook. Smith feels his background was "jazzy enough for Neal Schon and groovy enough for Steve Perry."

    Smith then moved to the other drum kit set up by Drums & Moore, a Sonor S class. He explained each piece, then proceeded to demonstrate the sounds that could be created by each and in combination with others. It was an amazing wall of sounds, and fascinating to watch. The biggest advantage to being at the clinic was that with Smith being the only musician on the he stage, it was possible to see exactly what he was doing. On tour, most drummers set up toward the back of the stage, so the view of a drummer's technique is obstructed at best. Even when Smith drove the beat at the highest of speeds, you could see he practiced what he preached: his posture was always relaxed. He even involved the audience by getting us to mimic his playing by clapping. Twice we were unable to do it, causing laughter. Smith's feet were pumping and his arms were flying throughout the solo, and he made it all seem so effortless. He wowed the audience by moving from one drum set to the other without stopping playing, and without missing a single beat.

    Smith ended the nearly two-hour session with a tribute to Max Roach and all the others who contributed to the development of the high hat cymbals. He calls this jaw-dropping solo, "Mr. High Hat." The best advice for anyone who has yet to see this is to watch closely. Smith shows countless sounds that can be achieved solely with a high hat, juggling the sticks while playing, using props, and even using his foot!! This three-minute demo garnered a standing ovation from the awestruck audience.

    Along with musical CD's for sale, Smith also has a two-disk DVD set. The first demonstrates in detail his drum set technique, with his approach, ideas, and various concepts. The second is the History of the U.S. Beat, in which he traces the beginning of the instrument in the early 1900's through the 1970's.

    Smith hopes his fellow musicians in the audience see each band they play in as a different musical concept for them to learn and develop their skills. But most importantly, he says, drummers should develop the fundamental skills to allow them to play in many different bands.

    After the clinic, Smith spent another hour meeting and greeting those who attended the clinic and signing autographs. He will be touring selected cities in the U.S. in 2004, see the Journey-Zone's tour page for the latest updates to his schedule.



    Last Updated 13 July, 2009 (DHG)