Take Three: Arnel Pineda is a Rock God

by Brett Lassoff

Mark and I headed over to the Journey concert featuring Heart. It was an interesting mix of people, including some incredibly hardcore folks who must have followed Journey since their inception. There were also a lot of bored looking children of sad hardcore folks, but I suppose that’s the expectation when fans are older. For the record, my munchkin was sleeping soundly in her crib. She did not ask if the concert was good this morning, which suggests she is not a big Journey fan. She was also infatuated with her milk sippy. What is with her?

Mark continually suggested that I would be converted by Heart. It sadly did not happen.
Which is not to say I didn’t like them. Barracuda is an awesome song. But how long can one listen to Ann Wilson’s amazing alto tenor and not blow an eardrum. The woman can sing, but she can also break glasses, frighten little children and serve as a pretty function mosquito repeller.
I’m just sayin.

Also, as I explained to Mark, Heart’s live performance did not veer from the music on their track, except for one unfortunate rendition of Led Zeppelin. They all sounded like studio recordings, which Mark believes is the mark of an incredibly talented musician. I tend to think a musician will up the ante at a live show, otherwise why would you bother seeing them?

Of course, it would not be a night out with Mark without almost getting into a fight. The (ehem) gentleman sitting in front of us apparently decided he was the official concert photographer. He continually raised his crappy 5mp camera high and took blurry shots of the stage. The man must have taken at least 200 blurry shots. The camera, of course, continually blocked our view.

Eventually Mark decided to be polite and ask the guy to cut it out, which he sort of did. He sulked in his seat and played with his cell phone until Heart was over. I thought it was over. The guy had a female companion with him. Mark speculated she was a  date, I was thinking wife, but I can see his point. Anyway, he wouldn’t want to be a d-bag in front of her right? Right?

Wrong. After the break, he came storming back in yelling at Mark that he could damn well do whatever the f he felt like and if he wanted to take blurry, crappy pictures of the concert, well that was his damn business.
On a sidenote, who the hell are these barely coherent pictures for? Who is all excited to see a picture that could be the band, or the Aurora Borealis, of the lights of the Vegas strip?

That’s beside the point though. I was immediately fired up and asked the guy if he was Heart’s official photographer or something. He got all pissed off at me and told me he was the f’in paparazzi, which did not help his position. He was about to challenge me when his lady companion looked at him and started laughing her behind off. She was just kind of drunkingly laughing and telling the man that he was being a jerk, which he was. He got all mad at her and told her he was going to throw her off the stage if she didn’t stop. Abusive d-bag. I almost said something when she burst out with laughter, clearly thinking his threat was hilarious. he sat down and sulked for the rest of the concert. Insisting on catching the video of it on his G1. Cause people are going to be clamoring for the video of Journey at the Chevy Theatre by way of a G1 phone.

We were on to Journey and I was all excited, jumping and waving. Mark had managed to become friends with the guy’s girlfriend/whatever, talking loudly to her and repeatedly giving her a high five. Mark had repeatedly told me that the new lead singer sounded exactly like Steve Perry. This is the new lead singer of Journey. His name is Arnel Pineda. Would you think he sounded exactly like Steve Perry? People have come close, but no one has quite hit that savory, soulful pitch. I was expecting to hear a really close cover of Steve Perry.

Journey comes on with this huge explosion of music and immediately launch into Separate Ways and the entire crowd goes nuts. I mean bug crap nuts out of their mind. This is before Arnel Pineda comes on the stage. This is just that electric, amazing synthesizer intro to Separate Ways. Then Arnel shows up and begins singing and holy crap it’s Steve Perry, why did no one tell me that Steve Perry had fathered an illegitimate Filipino child? Dear God how is this even possible?
Yep, Arnel Pineda sounds exactly like Steve Perry. Exactly. If you closed your eyes you could not tell one difference. But there is one difference and people are going to kill me for this–Arnel Pineda has a much better stage presence. There, I said it. The dude is 42 and he is running around on stage like he is 19. He is electric.

After Separate Ways they toned it down a bit and we watched until they got to Wheel in the Sky, which was amazing. But the real amazingness. The total melt your mind, convince me that this Journey is better off without Perry. Faithfully, followed by Don’t Stop Believing, capped off by Any Way You Want It, which shook the freakin rafters off the place. The place was literally shaking. Did we stay for an encore? Did we?
Nope. Mark and I decided that after that setlist, we were good.
It was an amazing night though. If Journey comes around again, I will have no issues seeing them. They are awesome. Thank you Arnel Pineda.

via Take Three: Arnel Pineda is a Rock God.


5 Responses

  1. ‘No one greater than Perry’? Don’t forget about Mercury! I grew up in the 80’s, and lisitened to every genre of music. It was only after hearing Pineda’s live version of ‘Faithfully’, and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, did Journey really enter my radar. Perry definately was great, but Pineda’s versions of the songs, just has that little extra something! The man’s got soul! REAL fans of Journey should appreciate the worldwide notoriety and exposure these great songs are getting. It is crossing all boundaries! For the die hard ‘nay’ sayers; let it go! We know, Perry is the pioneer!

    • Steve Perry was the real deal ! His performances were always flawless and effortless . Seeing the new guy huffing and puffing all over the stage trying to fill Perry’s big shoes and singing off key on high notes just makes me sad. Perry’s legacy is untouchable , thank you very much .

  2. Still loving Steve Perry!

    Yes, Good For Arnel, but he will never steal the love away from Steve Perry, Arnel needs to be his own man and earn his own love by creating “his own”! Even children who are born to Great Entertainers have to find “their very own” in order to be heard and appreciated…Otherwise he will continue to fall short in the eyes of many. Greatness comes from heartfelt originality. If you insist on trying to take what is not your own, better figure out how to make it appear to be your own… Rock God???? Hardly! Just another singer for Journey…

  3. There will be no other singer GREATER then SP. Arnel is a very good singer but Perry is the god of voice and Perry was fantastic in concert. No other singer has that emotional, powerful, grabs at the heart and puts you on cloud 9 combination then the voice himself. SP is the only singer for me who could make me bow down to him and beg for more!!! Mr Perry you are a humble,kind man who never has, a bad word to say about anybody. Since I am not, I will say it for you! Neal,Caine, you suck and your cruel, and your big liars. I think you guys are just jealous of the fact that sp to people is still journey!!!We love you steve and you have alot of fans waiting for your new cd!!!

  4. Great review of the new Journey and Arnel Pineda. Keep following there story please and continue writing about them. God Bless. Old fans of Journey must realize that Arnel Pineda own voice rocks.

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