As a Postal Carrier, our schedule is one that has alternating days off. We always have Sunday off, and then another day during the week. Monday one week, Tuesday the next, Wednesday the week after, and so on. Every six weeks we have a 3 day weekend, followed by a six day work week. This past weekend has been my 3 day weekend, and it has been filled with concert experiences. Thursday was The Roots (see last post), and Friday was the biggie... CHEAP TRICK, HEART and JOURNEY.
Now, anyone that has been following this blog from the inception, will know that I am a big Cheap Trick fan. Quite frankly, it is the opening song of "IN COLOR" that I credit for my intense love of music. I have seen Cheap Trick 2 times previously, once in 1985 (on the STANDING ON THE EDGE tour), and once in early 2007, when Cheap Trick played a club show, preceding a Sundance Film Festival gig that they had been booked to play. That show, was, and will ALWAYS BE, the ultimate Cheap Trick show for me. They were not touring...they were not promoting an album... they were just playing material from their first four albums (including a couple songs off of the yet to be released (second) self titled album. They were simply playing the songs that I grew up listening to.
Fast forward to Friday, July 11th, 2008. I had never seen Journey, which was another band that I had grew up listening to. Those formative years (for me, junior high) were filled with Journey, including all the early albums featuring Steve Perry (Infinity, Evolution, Captured, Escape), some of which I still own on vinyl. I eventually lost my love for Journey, when my tastes shifted to New Wave. I liked the songs from Frontiers, but never did purchase the album. Eventually Steve Perry left, and my desire to see the band also departed.
It wasn't until hearing that Cheap Trick and Journey were going to be coming together, WITH a little Pacific Northwest band called HEART, that I really knew the time had come. I had never seen Heart, either, and considered them another band that I respected, especially their material from the 70's.
So, with tickets in hand, Tiffany and I hit the Usana Amphitheater on Friday night, with our daughter Briana in tow, with another of her friends (Jade). Jade has the most eclectic tastes of any modern day youth (in junior high) that I have EVER met. She is obsessed with David Bowie, and tries to find unknown treasures. Usually most junior high kids are either listening to the Hip-Hop (if they fall into the Pop culture), or Emo/Punk, if they are trying to express themselves that way. Now, in all honesty, today's Alternative Rock culture IS a mainstream culture. It wasn't like the Alternative or (Modern/New Wave) music when I was a kid. Regardless, and excuse me for straying from the context, Jade had NEVER been to a concert. She loves 80's music, and that includes bands like Journey.
So, the four of us took our places on the lawn. Cheap Trick opened, and as you could bet money on, Rick Nelson (guitarist) was present in a suit, with small Cheap Trick bow tie, and played a different guitar during each song of their 45 minute set, INCLUDING the guitar that has two necks... or should I say "legs", as the guitar is modeled after HIM. Head on one end, two legs down the other. His other classic guitar is the custom made, FIVE NECKED Hamer guitar. You can always plan on seeing that.
Heart hit the stage next, and as had been told to me by my Last.fm friend Kate, they ROCKED. Ann's voice, although a little huskier over the years, is still in fine form, and Nancy... well, Nancy can still work the stage like she was in her twenties. We heard all the classics that I wanted to hear (including Magic Man, Barracuda, Crazy on You, Dog and Butterfly, etc.), as well as some of their 80's and 90's hits. As one can also bet money on, we were treated to a Led Zeppelin cover (in this case, it was "Going To California"), as well as a song originally done by The Who. "Love Reign On Me", if I am not mistaken. Geez, maybe I should research the title? Naah, it's close enough, and it's almost dinner time. Okay, I lied... "Love Reign O'er Me"... I couldn't rest with a bad title. So, now I will eat my dinner in peace.
Next up, Journey. I fully knew what to expect from Journey, because I purchased the latest album. For those of you that have gotten it, you will know that it contains a CD of new material, featuring the new vocalist, as well as a CD of redone Journey classics, also with the new vocalist. (Please scroll down the page, and look at my blog post dedicated to the new Journey vocalist.) Also in the set, is a concert recorded in March of this year, only the fourth show ever, with the young new vocalist.
Three of the members of Journey from MY day still grace the stage. Neil Schon, the master guitarist, who was playing with legendary band SANTANA, when only a teen, still shows a commanding presence on stage. Ross Valory is back on bass guitar, after disappearing for several years, back in the 80's and 90's. Some of you kids may be amused to know that his replacement was the one and only RANDY JACKSON, from American Idol fame. So, for those of you who wondered exactly WHY Randy had been selected as a judge, it was apparently based on his credentials of playing bass guitar with Journey... back when nobody really cared. Oops, did that smell a tad bit sarcastic??
Either way, go get the new Journey CD if you want to see what we saw. It's great. The new album, although not great, is comfortable. It seems to be a collection that was created like this... the band took all their biggest hits over the years, dissected them, and created hybrids. There is something vaguely familiar with each song, although they sound individual. I am NOT complaining, I am just saying that the album with NOT be in my top ten albums of 2008.
So there you have it. A cloudless, summer night. Great music from three legendary bands. Money well spent, and a bob-bitchin' Cheap Trick shirt to boot...
Now playing: A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran