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Millcreek Journal

Legendary rock band Journey celebrates 50 years

Mar 16, 2024 11:17AM ● By Peri Kinder

Rock band Journey stopped at the Maverik Center on March 15 as part of its Freedom Tour. (City Journals) 

There was no intricate choreography, no flashy costumes, and no surprise entrance. It was just six uber-talented musicians who walked on stage, went to their guitars and drums and keyboards and microphones - and rocked the Maverik Center in West Valley. 

The legendary rock band Journey performed in Utah on Friday, March 15 as part of its 50th anniversary Freedom Tour, with special guest Toto. With decades of experience, they made it look easy, and the mostly GenX crowd responded with fervor.

Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda’s voice sounded uncannily similar to original lead vocalist, Steve Perry. Pineda radiated energy and enthusiasm as he played to the crowd, jumping and dancing and inviting everyone to join in. The Filipino singer and songwriter is celebrating 16 years as the band's lead vocalist.

Lead guitarist and founding member of Journey Neal Schon (inductee to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame) helped the band kick the show off with a resounding version of “Only the Lonely” followed by “Stone in Love.” 

As the first notes of “Don’t Stop Believin’” rolled across the arena, the crowd went bonkers. With true musicianship, Pineda, Schon, Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Jason Derlatka (keyboards, vocals), Deen Castronovo (drums, vocals) and Todd Jensen (bass) took everyone in the audience back to the early ‘80s. 

The band played several more hits including “Lights” and “Who’s Cryin’ Now” before dropping into a sequence of lesser-known songs, creating a definite lull in the crowd. But they soon bounced back with “Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'” and “Faithfully”. 

The beginning notes of “Open Arms” transported me back to my first school dances at Riverview Jr. High, with all the awkwardness and clumsy self-conscious interactions. Looking at the crowd, I realized GenXers are the old people now. But we don’t care. We all lifted our voices together and sang at the top of our lungs as Journey played the songs of our youth. 

Ending the show with “Any Way You Want It”, Journey proved once again that music crosses time and space, making old(ish) people feel young again. Many people in the crowd brought their children and grandchildren to celebrate the band members' stunning talent. 

Toto headlined the event with Steve Lukather (guitar, vocals), Joseph Williams (vocals), Greg Phillinganes (keyboards), Shannon Forrest (drums), John Pierce (bass) and Warren Ham (percussion, flute, sax, tambourine, etc.) bringing a lively energy to the show.

With hits like “Rosanna”, “Africa” and “Hold the Line”, Toto warmed up the crowd with their joyful performance. Both bands demonstrated masterful talent and skill that comes from five decades of experience. 

Lukather said, “We are thrilled to have been asked to join our dear friends Journey on the road again. We had such a blast the last couple of tours across North America together. Great success and so much fun. It is truly one big happy family, and it is a great night of music.”