Newly inducted 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Journey, came through Baltimore and put on a classic hits extravaganza for the packed house; but, not before the new Asia took the stage for the world to see.
If you have been living under a rock and missed it, longtime bassist and vocalist John Wetton passed away in January, so I wasn’t even sure this band would continue performing, but they are and going strong. Billy Sherwood has replaced Wetton, and this Asia has an exciting new beginning and sound. Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer, both original members, still front the band. I was very impressed with the way they sounded. “Wildest Dreams” started the evening off followed by “Sole Survivor,” “Time Again,” and “Don’t Cry.” Palmer and Downes each got to perform a solo and deservingly so. Palmer was meticulous and it was great seeing him playing again. “Heat of the Moment,” and “Only Time Will Tell” ended their evening.
“Separate Ways” started the evening off with no introduction necessary for the band. The well known Jonathan Cain keyboard beginning was all the crowd needed. Immediately they went into a frenzy screaming and clapping. Arnel Pineda then emerged singing and the night really began.
“Be Good To Yourself” was up next, followed by “Only The Young,” “Stone In Love,” “Anyway You Want It,” and “Lights.” It was like listening and watching a through a time capsule. There is not a negative thing you can say about Journey. Like the Dallas Cowboys, they are “America’s Band,” and hit after hit kept coming. “Open Arms,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Wheel In The Sky,” and “Faithfully.”
Guitarist Neal Schon performed not one, or two, but three guitar solos throughout the evening; which, were all spectacular. Drummer Steve Smith, who returned to play in 2015, showcased his amazing drumming with his own solo as well.
Two surprises of the night were “Rubicon,” off of 1983’s Frontiers, and “Escape,” off of 1981’s Escape, were brought out from the Journey vault for the fans. Now, I am a sucker for the non-hits. It was nostalgic hearing these two songs performed live. “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Lovin’,Touchin’,Squeezin’,” ended the night and sent the happy crowd wanting more, as fifteen songs wasn’t nearly enough. I do hope they continue to play for the people in the near future and a return here in Baltimore.