Journey rocked Shea’s in 1979 - VIDEO
Here's the thing: I do not like Journey. Never did. They've always seemed a little too bubble gum-y for my taste. In my formative years in the late 1980s, when I was learning about hard rock from bands like Guns 'n' Roses, White Lion and Motley Crue, I thought real musicians wore leather pants and healthy amounts of mascara -- not candy-striped sailor shirts and white, scandalously short shorts like Journey lead singer Steve Perry. Clearly, I was not getting the best lessons, but still.
Fast-forward to 2012 and Journey (sans Perry and his hot pants) are as culturally relevant as ever. Director Ramona S. Diaz's new documentary about the band, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on Thursday night. The band's 2011 tour was one of the most successful of the year. Shows like Glee, The Sopranos and Family Guy introduced Journey's music (or at least "Don't Stop Believin'") to new audiences. Washington, D.C. socialite Michaele Salahi allegedly had a wild affair with Journey guitarist Neil Schoen last fall. It doesn't stop!
None of which changed my mind about the band -- until this morning. I stumbled across some bootleg audio clips on YouTube of a Journey concert at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo from 1979. While Perry still looked as though he just stumbled off the Trans Am lot, the band sounds...well, incredible. The guitars buzz and crackle. Journey actually sounds raw. Raw! This from one of the most slickly-produced bands of the early 1980s.
So here's to you, Journey. I'm not going to go out and buy a bunch of your albums (even on Record Store Day). But I will probably listen to these clips a few more times. Maybe you guys aren't so bad after all. Here's some more from Buffalo:
Journey will perform at the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, N.Y. on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Photo from YouTube.