Journey rocks young and old – The Saratogian Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The fact that a 9-year-old and a 30-something can sing along at the top of their lungs at a rock concert proves it: the music of Heart and Journey — both spawned in the 1970s — spans the generations.

Judging from the 9- to 69-year-old crowd who came out for Wednesday’s show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, these two bands known for their power ballad hits from decades past clearly have a broad fan base. My kid wasn’t the only one there. We spotted plenty of tweens alongside their 30- and 40-something parents.

Heart, which took the stage first, delivered about an hour’s worth of their classics. They belted all our faves, including “Alone,” “What About Love” and “Magic Man” (of which my son could quickly produce the name after a few bars).

Journey opened with “Separate Ways,” and new lead vocalist Arnel Pineda (a bit younger than his bandmates as he turns 42 on Saturday) immediately breathed life into the crowd. It’s hard to believe they found this guy by scoping out YouTube a couple years ago. His energy and ability to draw audience participation —not to mention mad vocals — sucked me in. You’ve got to love a performer who pays special attention to the folks in the balcony. He bounced from one side of the stage to other, all the while belting out Journey’s mega-hits like “Ask the Lonely,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and, of course, “Don’t Stop Believin.” Yes, he did sound a lot like Steve Perry, but he added his own riffs in spots.

Pineda seemed humbled by the audience’s praise, too, paying deference to his bandmates, as he acknowledged Schon, drummer and vocalist Deen Castronovo, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and bass player Ross Valory.

These guys seemed to be having a good time along with us. Yeah, Neal Schon’s solos might be considered bordering on self-indulgence, but Journey was formed around his guitar skills, so he deserves some front time. And you’ve gotta love his tremendous “guitar face” as he jams.

During the set, a difference between the young and old emerged. When the band pulled out “Change for the Better” from its new album “Revelation,” I was lost. But my son was bopping away and nodded when I asked, “You know this one?”

Those of us who can connect songs like “Open Arms” and “These Dreams” to some weird night in our parents’ basement with our teenage friends are filled with warm, fuzzy (awkward) nostalgia at concerts like this.

Something struck me as I was waving my arms to “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ ” during the band’s encore with my young son. I watched his wide-eyed reactions to his first concert, and thought these new fans are just making those memories now.

I asked on our way home, “Do you think it will be OK when you get older, that your first rock concert was with your mom?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I think it’ll be cool.”

via Review: Journey rocks young and old – The Saratogian Entertainment: Serving the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. region (Saratogian.com).

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