Sorry that my complete Journey review of their live concert at Shoreline Amphitheater on September 27, 2008 is a bit late but I was working on it on my spare time so here it goes.
My trip with my wife to see my High School heroes Journey with my fellow countryman Arnel Pineda handling the vocals at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Redwood City. I took a two day vacation (Friday and Saturday) from work and book a 2 night reserved accommodation using Orbitz.com to Pacific Inn at Redwood City close to where the venue is being held, about a 10-15 minutes drive to Shoreline Amphitheater. I also used a $35 discount coupon code I got from Google 'ing "Orbitz Coupon". If you ever happen to watch at this venue, I'd recommend this hotel, its close to cross street Woodside Ave and El Camino Real. The price is right also as I got a non-smoking suite with a full King bed with all amenities (fridge, microwave, coffee maker, aircon, electric range, iron and board, plus a Jacuzzi to boot. The breakfast is not shabby either and quite good with bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, pan cakes, french toast, muffins, breads, bagels, cereals. They got coffees, hot chocolate fountain, fresh squeezed oj, milk. All this I booked after the discount taken off for a mere $108! Its quite impressive as the place is quite nice and quiet. This is the only hotel that also serves dinner 4 times a week, Mon-Thur, and I thought is quite a smart offer considering those days are the slowest.
We arrived in the Bay Area Friday afternoon and went straight to visit my Mom and Dad who lives in Hayward and afterwards went straight to San Francisco driving around to reminiscence the places that we used to frequent there as I was a resident there when I got here in the US back in 1978. We had a late dinner at Chinatown and went straight to Mitchell's Ice Cream Parlor late that night to have some hometown flavored treat. I had Ube flavor and my wife had Langka. Then went up Twin Peaks and enjoy the beautiful San Francisco skyline. This was a typical activity for us when we used to live in the area. Then its time to head back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrows jam.
Saturday, the day of the concert, September 27,2008. After being freshened up we had breakfast at the hotel reception area. Then we headed to Daly City to visit a couple of stores at the request of my better half. At around 3:00pm, we went to Goldilock's Restaurant to have a good old' Filipino lunch dish. I ordered a 'kalderetang kambing' and bopis (I was craving for this) with halo-halo for dessert. My wife had lumpiang sariwa and pansit malabon with taho for dessert. After we had our fill its time to head to the venue.
Before going to the venue I passed by a convenience store and grabbed me two 24oz bottles of NewCastle Brown Ale beer (In Newcastle, England the beer is often called 'Dog' (or simply 'Broon'). The 'Dog' name comes from the euphemism "I'm going to walk the dog" or "I'm going to see a man about a dog" - meaning "I'm going to the pub"). We got to the venue at 5:00 pm and the stream of cars are already non-stop from all directions. I settled my truck at the parking lot and opened my 1st bottle and chugged away. Then I grabbed the alum chair, blanket for my wife, and another bottle in tow and head straight towards the venue. By the time we got to the end of the line it was about 5:30 pm, just in time as they just started letting people in.
We are about 10 minutes away from the entrance and its time to drink my 2nd bottle while waiting in line. I was taking my sweet time to finish my drink as I was thinking that its just enough time to enjoy it all before we get to the mouth of the gates when suddenly this midteen aged event staff about half my age telling me
to finish my drink now as its not allowed inside. I told him that I should have enough time to finish it before I get to the entrance and there are trash receptacles along the line path. But he insisted that I need to finish it now. To make things worst is all this guys behind us started chanting chug chug chug chug...bottoms up...now I have no choice but to comply. By the way, its been decades since I drank like that. Anyway I'm set and I mean I'm set for this gig for good.
We got to the gate, I presented our tickets and they scanned it and off we go inside towards the lawn (which is the only available seating when I looked at TicketMaster for couples of 2 which I got late August). We went in and the place is really filling up and I intend to get a good sound and to have this is to get a spot close to the front dead center which we managed to do with a little twist and turn and leap and bounds we're at the spot where I wanted us to be.
Now for the show, its 7:00 pm and Cheap Trick takes the stage. I got up on my feet and started swaying, dancing and singing to the songs. They played a couple of my favorite from my old Vinyl LP Live at Budokan, that’s The Flame, Surrender, The Dream Police and others. Jonathan Cain played keyboard on a few of the songs. Dean Castronovo joined in to sing back-up vocals. Jonathan and Rick were fooling around and throwing a handful of guitar picks at each other,. I got to hand it out to CT, To Rick, Rob, Bun, they really set the crowd into gear for the next performers. They played a short but fun 45 minutes.
Then a break...went straight to the johns, came out straight to go in line at the concessions to pick up a cup of beer. Then back to the show just in time for Heart.
Heart - One word...Amazing, Ann belting out their classics like she did back in the early 80's is just fantastic and awe inspiring,, she has such an amazing pipes, you can tell its really live and not memorex. Nancy was great with her axe and that sexy slim bods, I tell you, she is the #1 best female guitarist in my books. They played their classic hits Wild Child, Never, Alone, These Dreams, Crazy On You. I really loved when they played Barracuda as we used to play this riff with my olden garage days band "Metalloid." The sound with Heart is absolutely fantastic just like when I saw them at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. After they played their hits, they went on to play covers of The WHO Love Reign O'er Me, Led Zeppelin's Going To California.
I was hoping for them to play their version of Led Zeps Rock and Roll that they played in the 80's but I guess they are also winding down as they are almost at their end of their tour. If they ever tour on their own at a more intimate venue, I would definitely see them and who knows, they might hear my request to play Rock and Roll that they used to play in their 80's tour. Also Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Immigrant Song, Battle of Evermore or Stairway to Heaven, yes they did cover all these which is amazing, all of which is Led Zeppelin, my #1 influence playing the guitar. I was standing, singing, shouting the whole time and I am having a great time.
Then its time for another break as they started to dismantle Hearts equipments to make room for our main headliners. By this time the venue was really packed and buzzing with all the crowds. This is my que to hit the johns again, grab me a beer and hope to get back before the J'boys hit the stage. This time, I need to be very careful to get out from where we were staged at the lawn as not to step on someone’s foot or body.
I was in line at the concession when they dimmed the lights, and I heard the intro of AC/DC's Back In Black, and the crowd just went wild! I knew then that the J'boys are about to hit the stage as I've watched this scene on YouTube before where the band members gather around the camera and kind of go in circle, hands overlapping each other, getting ready to take on the crowd! I finally got my cup of beer and I carefully and hurriedly got back to my spot. It was amazing how the place was already packed all the way to the rafters, just a sea of heads everywhere.
The Journey boys came on. The intro for Never Walk Away played and AP came flying out and started belting. Everybody got up and now nobody is sitting, otherwise you cannot enjoy the show. They had the Revelation CD cover up on the screen. They went on to play Only the Young and at this time you could see them on the big screen. The Guitar God Neil started playing the Star Spangled Banner next. They have the wavy American flag the whole time on the big screen on this one. Then Stone In Love is up, the crowd is really pumped up. After SIL, Neal introduced Arnel to the people. Then they went straight to Ask the Lonely. Arnel is more energized and started to move around the stage from one end to the other. He was giving the people high fives. Then Arnel introduce Deen who started belting Keep On Running, this is quite a surprise for me as this was not played in Vegas. Deen is absolutely amazing singing and hitting them skins at the same time flawlessly. Arnel came back on and started to sing After All This Years, the crowd is somewhat tamed on this one but I still hear some who sings along that’s including me.
Then they went on to play "When You Love A Woman." This is quite a treat and the highlight of the night for me as this is one of my old-time favorites. Change For The Better was up and I was really totally dancing and rocking on this one as it was one that I could really relate to. Separate Ways was up and everyone was really up on their feet. Then Faith In The Heartland, I really believe that Arnel put justice to this song with such passion and emotion on the way he belts it. The stage dimmed and Arnel asked the crowd to put out their cell phones and lighters for the next song which is Lights! What a fantastic sight. I can really tell that I am not in the 80's anymore but pushing through the future! When I look all around me and all the way upfront towards the stage...whoaahh...a sight to behold...as if your in a different world with all those cell phone lights and it was just an amazing out of this world sight to behold! When the song ended, Arnel said he was glad to be home in San Francisco! Next song Jon played his Piano Sedgeway intro into Open Arms.
Next is the intro into Don't Stop Believing and again the crowd went wild. I'm talking about young kids, teenagers, the Journey era types, even the old ones which I believed get tagged along by their grand sons and daughters to support Arnel (Pinoys know what I'm talking about here, the Lolo and Lolas who was at the show to see Arnel, Lol), all the while seems almost everybody was singing and dancing! At the end they showed the Journey logo on the big screen with the "r" shaped like a 45 caliber gun that was used in one of the episodes of the Sopranos. Faithfully is up and you can see everyone is hugging and swaying into the music. It was then followed by Wheel In The Sky. You can see Arnel doing his signature "round and round" twirling and circling around and around thing and it was just great.
Then they played Escape next which again drives me ecstatic as again have not heard this live for quite some time. Anyway You Want It was icing on the cake for the night. The J'boys have done it again putting on a fantastic show that is entertainingly unique and one of a kind each and every night this guys hit the stage! They momentarily left as the stage was dimmed until the deafening magnitude of the crowd humming and buzzing asking for the guys to come on back on stage for a final encore!
The guys hurtlingly came back out to re-invigorate the roaring crowds and top off the night with Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'. Jon playing the harmonica at the intro. Arnel is sounding more energized than when he started the show. He absolutely like the rest of the band gave their all 100+%. After the song Neal gave Arnel a brotherly hug. Then Jon, Val, Dean, Neal & Arnel got together and made their final bow for the crowds who overwhelming showed their appreciation for the band for giving out another unforgettable fantastic live show!
To summarize the event, It was well worth the trip to see one of my all time best bands again after nearly more than 25 years when I last saw them in Oakland Coliseum Stadium at the "Day On The Green" back in July 27, 1980. And to top it off with one of my "Kabayan" (My fellow countryman) who happens to be a Pinoy Rocker like myself is just the "cream de la cream" of a show for me! To Neal, Val, Jon, Dean and now Arnel, you guys made this squeaky guy well oiled again! Will be looking forward for more great music from all of you! Just like my motto in life, "I will be rockin' and a rollin' until I go down under!
Hats off to Journey!
Art "Metalloid" Lloid
PS. Oh before I forget. I went to this concert sounding like Robert Plant...I woke up the next morning sounding more of Wolfman Jack! Lol!