CONCERT REVIEW: Heart and Journey show proves classics improve with age

By Stephanie Caltagirone

Reading Eagle Correspondent

Rock bands Heart and Journey may have played decades-old music during their concert Thursday night at the Sovereign Center, but it only proved that the classics really do improve with age.

While Journey is sporting a new lead singer, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson remain at the heart of Heart.

With Nancy’s hard-rocking guitar and Ann’s amazing, distinctive voice, Heart performed an hour of well-known hits and a couple of covers that rivaled the originals.

Seventies hits “Barracuda,” and “Crazy On You” sound just as raw and vibrant as they did 30 years ago. Ann’s rock-goddess wails in “Straight On” and “Magic Man” hit every primal vibe.

“What About Love” and “Never” lose the overproduced 1980s qualities from the albums and simply get to rock out.

Nancy’s lead vocals are lighter than her sister’s but just as evocative on “These Dreams” and “Back to Avalon.”

And because they do it so well, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” feels like it could have been written especially for Ann.

With the addition of lead singer Arnel Pineda, who was discovered by the band on YouTube, Journey has infused new life into their show.

From the soaring heights of “Only the Young” to the sharp beats of “Separate Ways” and the sleek melody of “Lights,” Pineda knocks them all out of the park. Yes, he sounds very much like former lead singer Steve Perry, but his energy and enthusiasm makes each song seem fresh.

Neal Schon’s intricate guitar work remains the backbone of the band and he displays his consummate skill on “Stone in Love” and “Wheel in the Sky.” Bassist Ross Valory continues to lay down the rhythm.

Jonathan Cain’s keyboards figure prominently in “Faithfully” and “Open Arms,” while drummer Deen Castronova displays his vocal prowess on “Stay Awhile.”

While “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” was conspicuously absent from the playlist, “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Anyway You Want It” rounded out the evening and sent the audience out into the night with new respect for the classics.

via CONCERT REVIEW: Heart and Journey show proves classics improve with age.

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