Journey – Live in Manila BLU-RAY+2CD Review

Released by: Eagle Rock Ent

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Classic Rock

Links: http://www.journeymusic.com/

 

Line Up:

Arnel Pineda (lead vocals)

Neal Schon (lead guitar, vocals)

Jonathan Cain (keyboards, rhythm guitar, vocals)

Ross Valory (bass, vocals)

Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, vocals)

 

Tracklist:

1) Intro Medley: The Journey (Revelation) / Majestic
2) Never Walk Away
3) Only The Young
4) Ask The Lonely
5) Stone In Love
6) Keep On Runnin’
7) After All These Years
8) Change For The Better
9) Wheel In The Sky
10) Lights
11) Still They Ride
12) Open Arms
13) Mother, Father
14) Wildest Dream
15) When You Love A Woman
16) Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
17) What I Needed
18) Edge Of The Blade
19) Where Did I Lose Your Love
20) Escape
21) Faithfully
22) Don’t Stop Believin’
23) Any Way You Want It
24) Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
25) Turn Down The World Tonight
26) Be Good To Yourself
27) Credits: The Journey (Revelation)

 

Americana rock legends Journey, certainly found the right formula when they returned to the limelight after being on hiatus for a while. This was, of course, the revelation that was Arnel Pineda, after Neal Schon was scouting Youtube he came across Arnel’s material and soon thereafter the Philipino singer was in San Francisco auditioning for the gig, which we later found on via “Revelation” Journey ‘s 14th studio album and first with Arnel.

Hard to believe this was eight years ago, the band has 2 albums total with Pineda and has toured the world relentlessly many times over. What I find even more fascinating talking to hardcore Journey fans, is how some still to this day feel like the band needs the iconic and acclaimed singer Steve Perry, former Journey front man back in the band. But that’s a discussion for a different article.

Keep in mind that even with a new singer, someone who was a complete unknown, Journey has managed to release two solid records, still sell out concerts and yes even though Arnel is singing some of these quintessential songs that Steve and the other Journey members made famous, he does the songs justice and if you let your bias towards a legend skewed their music now, you will be missing great music that is still enduring and lives up to any of their classic material.

This particular Blu-Ray package is a not a new concert, rather this was originally released in 2009 on DVD, now it has been re-issued with never before heard 2 CD audio of this momentous occasion where the band performed live in Manila, Philippines, in Arnel’s home country to a sea of rabid Journey fans.

Filmed with 4K cameras and utilizing Red technology, the image here is truly crisp and eye-popping. Not only do you get over 2 hours of Journey classics, but you also get a chance to hear and see Arnel in top notch form as he made his homecoming a truly memorable experience for the band and their fans.

Classics such as “Ask the Lonely” and “Stone in love” are achieved admirably, and the core of the lineup sounds completely flawless. Neal Schon is just a guitar god, one of the most underrated guitar players in Rock, his tone is very refined and clear, something you expect from performing these timeless classics. But perhaps two of the most underrated band members, main songwriter Jonathan Cain and drummer Deen Castronovo are both brilliant. Deen has a truly underrated voice and a couple of the songs he does on vocals such as “Mother, Father” and “Still They Ride” he sounds scintillating. I want to wish Deen best of luck after his troubles with substance abuse and of course we all know now, he was let go from Journey, a very hard choice to make for the band.

His replacement has been another great drummer Steve Smith, former Journey himself who agreed to play their live dates, no confirmation yet if he will stick around for any new material the band may do. Rumor has it they are taking a long break after their completion from touring this year.

More classics tunes keep this greatest hits performance running with “Open Arms” where Arnel provides the best Steve Perry impersonation that I think anyone could pull off, another personal favorite “Wheel in the Sky” sounds and feels great, is just Journey with or without the nostalgic of their favorite front man according to most fans. The band plays some material from “Revelation” such as Where Did I loose Your Love” which reminds us that they still have it after all these years, the new songs get a nice reaction from the fan base, even though we know they are there to witness the timeless songs of their long career.

To be honest, this is a great package, Journey performs a long catalog of amazing songs, this moment in time was filmed just right and with a new front man they had a lot to prove to the fans, and they have shown they can live up to the hype. Is not easy replacing a legendary singer, and yes I know some fans don’t care if Arnel can sing or not, they will only compare him to Perry, which I can understand, but you have to move past that and give the guy credit for doing these songs justice and he does not only in this performance, but they have proved this with their last two albums with Pineda, and with their live performances.

The great total package, you get your bang for your buck. The Blu-Ray package is very well done and finally gives the performance more aesthetic nuisances. I would compare this to Journey: Live in Houston – The Escape Tour (1981), which of course features Perry on vocals in terms of performance alone.

 

Written By: Shadow Editor

Rating     10/10

 

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