Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I was reunited with my 80's band Journey with my fellow countrymen Arnel Pineda as the new frontman!

Live on July 18, 2008 at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, NV. They played lots of Classic Journey and stuff from the new Journey Revelation Cd.

An unforgettable show! One for my lifetime history books. Last time I saw Journey was at Day On The Green in Oakland Coliseum.

We traveled all the way from Santa Barbara, Ca. I took a 4 day off work. As soon as I got home 7/15 Tuesday were off to Vegas. We got there before midnight and had a late dinner at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Day of show 7/18 Friday,
Me and my wife got to Mandalay Bay an hour before the show starts. We saw the line just starting to build up. Outside the gate we were being entertained by this Go-Go Dancers dancing atop a long table and a lady is announcing on a mic that they are giving away free drink or beer who ever signs on to get the casinos players card. A few takers signs on and that made us chuckling and thought it was funny, only the wifey thinks its not funny having them girls dancing baring their you know what.

Someone announced that they will be letting people in in 15 minutes and that we should have our tickets ready on hand. This is my que to get my beer at the bar located at left of the entrance to the venue thinkin that it would be more expensive inside. I got a can of Heineken for $8 dollars (as all beer types are priced the same, I went for the one that would kick in right away).

Then finally as I was drinking my beer in line, they announced that they are letting us in, slowly we were creepin in the entrance which I recall 4-6 lines to check in. Someone wanted me to throw my beer (no cans allowed) so I quickly dranked it and tossed it in the garbage.

As soon as we got in we hit the Memento stand and grab a hold of 2 Journey Shirts 2XXL for $80. They were also selling "Limited Edition Revelation Cd signed by the band members I believed for $50 as I recall." I was tempted to grab one but this thought of I did not met the band to sign for it kept me at bay for doing it. (which wanting me to hit my head against a wall the day after! Lol, thinkin' for $50 bucks it was a steal!, I'll try to get one at Shoreline if its still available)

Anyway, after that went straight to the concession stand to grab 2 Buds in plastic bottles (cool) which I found out only cost $7.50 inside. (Oh well, at least outside I got Heineken which they don't carry inside, the bud stands out from the lite ones.

Now were on our way to our seats which is at the top of the section 112 row F seats 16&17. (Yep, we were up there which is the best available when I looked for ticks from ticketmaster.

1st up Cheap Trick with still half filled venue at 7:00 pm, I saw them last playing our local county fair in Santa Barbara county but I am familiar with the band as I lived the 80's and own a vinyl of their Budokan Live. They played their hits "I Want You To Want Me, I Can't Take It, The Flame, Surrender, Good night among others". They played for 45 minutes and hearing this classics gives me goosebumps, makes me feel I am being transported in time, really.

Before the finale Rick grab a handful of guitar picks and threw it to the crowd below him, did this 3x I recall. I really have to hand out to this guys for still having the original lineup, to Rick, Robin, Tom and Bun (did not have cigarette this time), they stand the test of time in rock. The only cons I got for the bands performance is their sound is kind of muffled? I have no idea if the sound engineers is doing it to them intentionally or its just that I've noticed that Nielsen got his stack of amp speakers occupying the left side of the stage with them open cabinets and I noticed on the right side is this stacked of amps on what appears to be inside this long stretch of cabinet that they could easily push in and pull out at a moments notice which made the sound kind of at bay. The roadies came in to fix the set for Heart which took half hour.

2nd up is Heart, (I have never seen them live but got their Dvd from Washington which they played Rock and Roll by Led Zep)Ann Wilson sounded great not as previously mentioned that her voice is harsh, (maybe she did have a sore throat moving from Utah to Tahoe that played a role from her recent previous performance). Her voice is stunning and just perfectly pitched and awesome. At start their sound is a bit too loud but got much better within the 3rd set and so on. Ann Wilson is a babe with the Acoustic on "These Dreams" (sends chills up and down me spine). Those two rectangular video screens with them rainbow colors atop them is pretty cool! I was hoping for them to play Rock and Roll by the mighty Led Zeppelin but Going to California set me back pretty cool.

Here is their setlist as I recalled:

1. Kick it Out
2. Straight On
3. Magic Man
4. Mistral Wind
5. These Dreams
6. Alone
7. Lay It On Me (by Who? not sure with title)
8. Barracuda
9. Going To California
10. Crazy On You

They played for a good 1 hour with the encore. Then another break to prepare the stage for our main headliner the Journey boys.

3rd is our boys JOURNEY, They started playing on stage around 9:40pm.

First Neal played with his guitar solo entrance Majestic on a dim lit stage. Then the stage lit up and out came Arnel wearing his Journey signature shirt with the Sargent patch on his left shoulder ready to take command of the show, that which he did! The crowd exploded with the now filled venue and they roared and everyone was on their feet. He opened up with Never Walk Away. Shouting, screaming, clapping, dancing and swaying. Young ones, Teens, Oldies like me relieving their glory days, gramps and grannies, It was all good. The exception is those girls behind us, their yelling were deafening and was ear shattering, with them shouting and screaming at the top of their lungs next right to my ears that rivals Arnels tenor highs. Arnel acknowledged the crowd "Good Evening Las Vegas, How you doin tonight!"

They then moved on to play Only The Young, people were singing and really getting into the groove. At end of song Neal said "How you doin Las Vegas!" Next was Neal's filler Revelation solo. Then on to Stone In Love. (Time to pop my last bottle of beer as I saved this one for our boys as this song brings memories back when we used to cover this song with my band Metalloid back when I was still living in the Bay Area). On to Ask The Lonely, I can't help myself but I was singing my heart out at this time and enjoying myself even more! On to their hit favorite After All These Years, Jon acknowledged quote "We'd like to take a moment to thank these amazing bands Cheap Trick and Heart..." Next up is Separate Ways, then another song from Revelation Change For The Better.

Next song Arnel shouts "PINOYs" then onto Send Her My Love, Arnel introduces the next song about San Francisco "Lights", almost all the crowds are really participating singing on this one! Neal ends the song with the signature sound "And the wind cries Mary... ubboo ubboo ubboooo." Jon plays with the keys...intro to Open Arms, time for the lovers to be close and cherish the moment, enclosed me wifey with me open arms.

Next up Don't Stop Believing, I love the way Arnel kind of twitched that part of the song and take it to a much higher level. This songs ending is the part where they showed that Journey sign where the r is shaped like a 45 revolver gun from the Sopranos. Next song was Wildest Dreams. Then it was Neal and Jon's time to mesmerize us with their mandolin and harmonica duet. Then its on to Wheel In The Sky, Arnel again doing his signature twist and turns, round and round and that helicopter with the mic boom stand.

Be Good To Yourself is up next and quickly transition to Any Way You Want It, the crowd senses that this might be the finale as everybody was up to their feet singing along and bobbing their heads to the tune! Then at the end Neal started to introduce the names of the band members and it the place feels like its gonna blow off the roof from the noise of the crowds!!! The band members one by one left the stage for a much needed breather as the stage went dimmed.

Then at the dead of the darkened stage, Arnel shouts...Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock! The crowd responded Yeaahhh!!! then the lights came on, and they opened their encore with "Escape" followed by Faithfully, by close to the end of the song Arnel got the crowd to sing Wooo...wooo...woooo...woooooo...heads swaying...arms swaaayin. Then I believe Jon got his keyboard on delay mode to let the sound just hang in the background and then the group went to take their bow (Arnel I believed said...You want us back Vegas? Thank you...well be back.)then one by one they left, while the crowd kept signing wooo...wooo...woooo...wooooo, the lights from the roof came on and it was our que to get out of dodge city and hit the parking lot.

Amazing outside the arena the people kept eminating the wooo...wooo...woooo sound! This show is really one for my history books that I can't get enough that I have to check them out again at Shoreline in Redwood city, Ca (could not get ticks to Greek in L.A)

Ps. I also would not like to forget Ross for his funny antics all the while at the show which keeps us grinnin and entertained and of course the man at the Skins' Dean, don't you think that I am not praising and honoring you, you are the heartbeat of this band and I know being a guitarist myself, you are responsible for the direction slow or speed, you steer the ship to the right direction! Kudos to Journey and for many more great tunes.

Art Lloid
Turn Down The World Tonight

1 comment:

  1. Great review!

    I will be seeing them at the Greek Theatre on 9-30-08.

    Timothy Olson
    Ventura, Ca