JOURNEY @ IRVINE MEDOWS – Irvine, CA

Tom Keifer

JOURNEY @ IRVINE MEDOWS – IRVINE CA.

MAY 12, 2016

Photos and Review by Dave Safley

It was perfect weather for an outdoor concert, and it was proven by all the fans to the near sold-out show to this wonderful outdoor venue. Nearly all the seats were filled including the lawn at the very top of the arena. Journey with The Doobie Brothers and special guest Dave Mason was a perfect combination for an amazing night of music. This review will focus on Journey, but it goes without saying that the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason put on an amazing show.
Journey is an American Rock / Progressive Rock / Pop band formed in San Francisco in 1973 – “Don’t Stop Believin'” was a top 10 Billboard hit in 1981 and surprisingly, the longevity of that track pushed it to one of the top-selling tracks on iTunes in 2009.
Fast forward to May 12th, 2016 – Journey made a stop in Irvine, California for their 6th concert in 2016 previously completing 42 concerts in 2015.
The current ensemble includes three members from the original line up; Neil Schon: Guitar, Jonathan Cain: Keyboards, and Ross Valory: Bass, along with Steve Smith: Drums, and Arnel Pineda: Vocals.
I will say that I have never seen Journey and was looking forward to seeing the new frontman Arnel Pineda.  I am pleased to say that Arnel did a fantastic job of filling the shoes of Steve Perry.  Perry is one of the most unmistakable rock voices of the last four decades. YES, Perry is a tough act to follow!  I would like to say that Perry rose to fame by way of his fantastic voice;  where Arnel brings dynamic vocals along with an amazing stage presence. As he was constantly running from one side of the stage to the other, it was sometimes hard to track him from the photo pit.
Schon discovered Pineda on YouTube performing Journey songs with a cover band and he was hired by Journey in 2007. Admittedly, Pineda could not be more different than Perry, but brings a different flare to the band.  With the on-point vocal style of Perry , he does represent, no question.
The 7th song in the set this night was “Open Arms” which was number 2 on Billboards Top 100 in 1982.  “Don’t Stop Believin'”  was the last song before the encore and fell into the 9th position of Billboards Top 100 in 1983. What is interesting about “Don’t Stop Believin” was that the track was used in 2005 by the Chicago White Sox, on The Sopranos, and even went all the way to Broadway with the Rock of Ages as well as the TV show Glee.
“Don’t Stop Believin” has become one of the more popular tracks as of late with more than 6 million downloads on iTunes.
Many of the tracks that night were old favorites and top hits where much of the lyrics were known well by the super fans in the crowd. Popular tracks off of 8 of their albums were played this night: from the albums Escape, Frontiers, Infinity, Departure, Solos, Evolution, Raised on Radio and Covers.
The demanded encore performance closing the show with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” was still performed to a near-capacity crowd all the way to the end.
I was honored to capture the images you see here from this amazingly talented band of musicians.

Set list:

Separate Ways
Be Good to Yourself
Only the Young
Stone in Love
Anyway You Want It
Lights
Open Arms
Line of Fire
Dead & Alive / Rock’n Roll
Who’s Cryin Now
Escape
La Do Da
Wheel in the Sky
Faithfully
Don’t Stop Believin’
Encore: Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

 

 

Dave Safley
Photography is a passion of mine and I am blessed to be surrounded by amazing industry photography professionals. I have had the passion for photography since I was a teen back in the film days. From shooting film, developing and printing in my own darkroom, fast forward to today; I am now 100% digital. I possess a true passion for entertainment, celebrity, event and live performance concert photography, as well as fine art, photo journalistic, and street styled captures. Capturing the moment is my passion. Just me and the viewer creating and capturing moments in time.