By JIM GREEN
It was a night of sing-along hits as Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason appeared at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC on Sunday, June 5, 2016.
Threatening weather in the area around 7 p.m. forced Dave Mason off, as he was not able to perform in his allotted time slot.
Instead, as people on the lawn and in uncovered seats made their way back into the venue, The Doobie Brothers started the evening off at 8 p.m. with some high-octane rock and roll, performing many of their well-known hits during a 65-minute set. Mason joined them on stage for the final number.
About three minutes after the final song from the Doobies, another thunderstorm arrived, but it didn’t postpone Journey’s set. The Bay Area band opened with “Separate Ways” at 9:30 p.m. and played one hit after another in their 90 minutes, including “Only the Young,” “Stone in Love” (preceded by guitarist Neal Schon’s stirring version of the National Anthem), “Be Good to Yourself” and “Any Way You Want It,” the ballads “Open Arms” and “Faithfully,” “Wheel in the Sky” and “Don’t Stop Believin,’” and “Lights,” among many others.
Arnel Pineda, who has been Journey’s singer since late 2007, was all over the stage, interacting with fans and performing several jumps. Many people will never accept another singer other than Steve Perry – the voice of most of the band’s hits. It’s too bad those naysayers will never give Arnel a chance, because he is amazing live. He is one of the best rock frontmen today.
Schon, keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Cain and bassist Ross Valory were in the pocket as always, and the pleasant return of noted drummer Steve Smith completes the latest incarnation of the band.
Journey has and will always be one of my favorite bands. I was singing all the way home – like many others.