Journey is one of those amazing bands that everyone seems to love regardless of musical tastes and genres. The reason for that is the feel good accessibility the Northern, California based band infuses into its music. Saturday night, August 4, Journey brought that upbeat vibe back to Boise for a packed outdoor show at the Idaho Center Ampitheater in Nampa.
With the heat still hovering at 90 degrees, Journey took the stage and set the tone right out the gate with “Any Way You Want It”. For most fans this was their chance to see new vocalist Arnel Pineda for the first time. With his hair cut down to a boyish bob, Pineda jumped into the fray getting the crowd whipped into a blissful frenzy.
Backing Pineda’s play were band founders Ross Valory (bass) and Neal Schon (guitar), along with longtime members Jonathan Cain (keyboards, guitar) and Deen Castronovo (drums). Journey cruised through an 18-song set which included more hits than a Rihanna-Chris Brown reunion.
From newer songs like “Never Walk Away” and “City of Hope” to infrequently played cuts like “Escape” and “Chain Reaction”, to the monster hits; “Open Arms,” “Faithfully”, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights”, Journey covered all the bases.
Schon did his trademark “Star-Spangled Banner” solo which turned into the summertime classic, “Stone In Love”. Soundtrack hits “Ask The Lonely” and “Only The Young” both made appearances, as did songs like the emotive “Send Her My Love”, and the power-of-self anthem, “Be Good To Yourself”.
Pineda ran, spun, jumped, and cajoled, but most of all he sang his heart out. Midway into the set he changed into a Boise State Broncos t-shirt, showing some love for the home team. The once reticent newcomer to the band has grown into a true showman.
Journey rained confetti down on the crowd with a burst of cannons for the a capella ending of “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Closing the whole show out, the band brought every fan in the venue to its feet for “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”.
Canadian rockers Loverboy teed the crowd up and Journey knocked it out of the park. Sure the band could have played another 18 songs and not run out of hits, but most everyone went home happy.
Offered Michelle R. from the East Bench:
“It was awesome that [Arnel] came out in a BSU shirt. It was a very energetic show. The solos weren’t too long and boring, and they just bombed through one hit after another, which was nice.”
Betti O. of Boise stated:
“I felt it was engaging and crowd pleasing. The sound was decent for the Ampitheater venue.”
Derrek F. of Nampa said:
“I wish they’d have played all night. 90 minutes is not enough to cover all their best stuff. It’s hard to feel cheated, but I’d have loved to have heard more early stuff from the Rolie era, like ‘Just The Same Way’ and ‘Feelin’ That Way’. Or ‘Higher Place’ from the Augeri era. They never play those anymore, but it was still a terrific show.”
Indeed it was. Let’s hope they Journey back to Boise sooner rather than later! “Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na!”