Want a great night of classic rock? You know, the music that makes you get up and sing and dance cause you know just about every word by heart of every song? Well, on Wednesday night at the Austin 360 Amphitheater these three bands brought an abundance of talent, big hits, and a lot of fun to ATX.
As the crowd slowly arrived at the venue, Dave Mason walked out on stage at 7:pm and started his set with probably the biggest hit of his career "Only You Know and I Know" followed by "Dear Mr. Fantasy". Dave (only 76 years young) sounded fantastic and to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to see his guitar play as clean, fast, and smooth as ever. I was impressed by his band I loved the song selection. Dave ended his set with his own version of the Bob Dylan hit "All Along The Watchtower". I'll be looking for more opportunities to see this legend play in the future.
By the time The Doobie Brothers entered the stage, the crowd was still making their way into the venue as nightfall began to settle in. The band greeted the cheering crowd with friendly smiles and wasted no time, started things off with the rockin' hit "Jesus Is Just Alright" followed quickly by "Rockin' Down the Highway". The energy coming from the stage made it's to the crowd and everyone was on their feet for the duration of the show. The band sounded crisp and I was impressed by the vocal performances throughout the band. The band is generally led by vocalist/guitarists Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston, but the band is full of veteran musicians, singers, and songwriters. The band has won 4 Grammy Awards, and sold over 48 million albums and I can't think of one hit they didn't play. There were many highlights, but I have to say the performance of "China Grove" at the end of the main set was probably my favorite moment of the show. They closed the encore with "Listen to the Music".
It was now time for the headliners (about 10:pm) and the crowd of almost 6000 roared as the lights came down and Journey slowly strolled out on stage. Jonathan Cain (keyboards/Guitars/vocals) and Steve "Machine Gun" Smith (drums) took their positions and Neal Schon (guitars) and Ross Valory (Bassist) were soon to follow. The band stretched into an soft melodic instrumental and as soon as Arnel Pineda (lead vocals) ran out on stage (with the energy of a 12 year old) the band launched the show with "Seperate Ways" followed by "Be Good To Yourself".
Although each band member plays a vital roll in the bands style and sound, make no mistake, Neal Schon is the bands leader and absolutely one of most talented rock n' roll guitarist of all time. Neal played his soaring, melodic solo early in this show (after the 3rd song). His unique guitar tones, equipment list, and technic have evolved along with the band over the years. He is very unique with a signature sound that can’t be duplicated. I was happy to see the return of Steve Smith at drums. One of the many highlights of the night was the performance of "La Do Da" which included a terrific drum solo by Smith.
What can I say about this fantastic singer, Arnel Pineda. Arnel brings so much energy to the stage. He sounds like Journey and in my opinion, made it possible for the band to continue performing. He obviously enjoys what he does and that's contagious.
Other highlights of the night included performances of "Stone in Love", "Line of Fire", and "Don’t Stop Believin'".
This was indeed a great night of Rock n' Roll under the stars. Satisfaction overload.
Journey Set List
- Separate Ways
- Be Good to Yourself
- Only the Young
- Guitar Solo
- Stone in Love
- Any Way You Want It
- Line of Fire
- Piano Solo
- Open Arms
- Who's Crying Now
- La Do Da (Drum Solo)
- Dead or Alive
- Wheel in the Sky
- Don't Stop Believin'
- Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'