jakub | February 27, 2024

Journey Celebrates 50 Years of Rocking the World with a Stellar Show in Louisville – Onstage Magazine.com

It’s hard to believe that Journey, one of the most iconic and influential rock bands of all time, has been around for half a century. But on Feb. 24th, 2024, the band proved that they are still going strong with a spectacular concert at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, as part of their 50th Anniversary Tour.

File Photo: Journey performs at the KFC Yum! Center on February 24, 2024 to a capacity crowd. (Photo Credit: Larry Philpot/Onstage Media Group LLC)

The show was a celebration of Journey’s rich and diverse musical legacy, spanning from their early days as a progressive rock outfit to their peak as a pop-rock powerhouse, and their recent resurgence with a new lineup and a new sound. The band delivered a setlist that included their biggest hits, fan favorites, deep cuts, and some surprises, pleasing both longtime and new followers.

The current band members, who have been together since 2021, are Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Deen Castronovo (drums, vocals), Arnel Pineda (lead vocals), Jason Derlatka (keyboards, vocals), and Todd Jensen (bass). They are a tight and talented group, who have managed to capture the essence of Journey’s classic sound, while adding their own flair and energy.

Schon, the only remaining original member, was the star of the show, displaying his virtuoso guitar skills and his charismatic stage presence. He also shared lead vocals on some songs, such as “Lights” and “Stone in Love”, showing his versatility and passion. Cain, who joined the band in 1980 and co-wrote many of their hits, was the musical director, playing keyboards and guitar, and singing backup and harmony vocals. He also performed a solo piano version of “Open Arms”, one of the band’s most beloved ballads.

File Photo: Founder of Journey, the legendary Neal Schon performs in Indianapolis, Indiana in, 2014. Used with Permission. (Photo Credit: Larry Philpot)

Castronovo, who returned to the band in 2021 after a five-year hiatus, was a powerhouse behind the drums, providing the solid and dynamic foundation for the band’s sound. He also impressed with his vocal abilities, singing lead on “Mother, Father”, a song that was originally sung by Steve Perry, the band’s legendary former frontman.

Pineda, who has been the band’s lead singer since 2007, was a revelation, delivering a stunning performance that showcased his powerful and emotive voice. He sang with conviction and charisma, capturing the spirit and soul of Journey’s songs, and connecting with the audience. He was a whirlwind of energy, and even jumped into the photo pit to greet and interact with fans.

File Photo: Members of Journey, including Arnel Pineda, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon and more perform in Indianapolis, Indiana in, 2014. Used with Permission. (Photo Credit: Larry Philpot)

Derlatka and Jensen, the newest members of the band, who joined in 2019 and 2021 respectively, were also impressive, playing keyboards and bass, and singing backup vocals. They added a fresh and modern touch to the band’s sound, and blended well with the rest of the group.

The concert was a journey through Journey’s history, featuring songs from their 14 studio albums, from their 1975 self-titled debut to their 2023 release, Space Between The Lives. The band opened with “Only the Young”, a rare gem that was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the 1985 movie Vision Quest, but was later included in the band’s Greatest Hits album. The band then played “Stone in Love”, a rocking love song that featured Schon on lead vocals

The band then played “Be Good to Yourself”, a catchy and uplifting tune from their 1986 album Raised on Radio, which was the last one to feature Perry, Valory, and Smith, all of whom have left the band.

The band then moved to their most successful period, playing songs from their 1981 album Escape, which was their first and only album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 chart, and sold over 12 million copies in the US. They played “Escape” the title track of the album, which was a fast and furious rocker that showcased the band’s energy and skill,  “Who’s Crying Now”, a soulful ballad that reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and featured a memorable guitar solo by Schon. They also played “Don’t Stop Believin’”, the band’s most popular and enduring song, which reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981, and became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century in 2009. The song, which was also featured in the final scene of the TV series The Sopranos, and in the musical Rock of Ages, was a highlight of the show, as the band and the audience sang along to the iconic chorus.

The band wowed the audience with “Open Arms”, one of the band’s most beautiful and emotional ballads, which reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and became one of the band’s signature songs. Cain played a solo piano intro, before Pineda joined him with his soaring vocals, creating a goosebumps-inducing moment.

File Photo: Member of Journey, singer/songwriter Jonathan Cain, performs in Indianapolis, Indiana in, 2014. Used with Permission. (Photo Credit: Larry Philpot)

Journey played songs from their 1983 album Frontiers, which was their second most successful album, reaching number two on the Billboard 200 chart, and selling over six million copies in the US. They played “Faithfully”, a heartfelt ballad that reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and became one of the band’s most beloved songs. The song, which was written by Cain, was inspired by his relationship with his wife, and the challenges of being a touring musician. The song featured a stunning vocal performance by Pineda, who sang with emotion and sincerity, and a powerful drum solo by Castronovo, who showed his skill and stamina. They also played “Send Her My Love”, a catchy and melodic song that reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and featured a catchy chorus and a smooth guitar solo by Schon.

There were some surprises, such as “Mother, Father” from their 1981 album Escape, which was a dramatic and intense song that featured Castronovo on lead vocals, who sang with power and emotion, and impressed the audience with his vocal range and tone.

A little more than halfway into the show, they energized the crowd with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”, one of their most fun and catchy songs, which reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and featured a sing-along chorus and a bluesy guitar solo by Schon. The band and the audience sang together, creating a joyful and festive atmosphere.

The concert was a memorable and magnificent show, that demonstrated Journey’s musical excellence and relevance, and their ability to connect with their fans and deliver a satisfying and entertaining performance. The band proved that they are still one of the best rock bands in the world, and that they have a lot to offer to the music scene. Journey is a band that has been through many changes and challenges, but has always overcome them with courage and creativity, and has always stayed true to their vision and values. They are a band that has made history, and is still making history, with their music and their spirit. Journey is, after all, a band that is worth believing in.

The supporting act this leg of the tour is the band Toto. Later, Def Leppard will join the tour.

Set List:

  • Only the Young
  • Guitar solo intro to Stone in Love
  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Lights
  • Send Her My Love
  • Who’s Crying Now
  • Escape
  • Mother, Father
  • Let it Rain
  • Lovin’, Touchin’, Sqeezin’
  • Piano Solo and dedication to Service Persons
  • Open Arms
  • Faithfully
  • Girl Can’t Help It  (Jason on vocals)
  • Wheel in the Sky
  • Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
  • Be Good to Yourself
  • Any Way You Want it

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