Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Journey Concert: Wish You Were There

All Photos by Albert Vargas PinoyWired All Rights Reserved

(Article by Ed Rame, Taliba News)

Los Angeles: The evening of Wednesday, July 16, saw hundreds trooping to Irvine and packing the Verizon Amphitheater to full capacity to watch the performance of three popular 70s bands: Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey.

Festive air filled the concert area hours before the show started as fans eagerly waited the evening’s offering. Filipinos in the audience were there for one reason and one reason alone: watch their kababayan — Journey’s new lead singer no less — Arnel Pineda.

He didn’t disappoint. A dynamo even at 40, Pineda was all over the place, and impressed the crowd with his incredible energy. He sang, he jumped, swirled, twirled, twisted and did just about everything a performer would do to impress the crowd, which responded with screaming delight. He endeared himself to the hundreds of Pinoys in attendance when he acknowledge their presence and addressed them as "kababayan."

From the first series of fast Journey tunes that opened the concert, Pineda was strutting nonstop with incredible energy. His performance and interpretation of each song sounded no different from that of longtime vocalist Steve Perry’s, but nonetheless great on its own merit.

When keyboardist Jonathan Cain played the first few notes of "Open Arms," the audience roared in excitement. Soon, they chorused along to Pineda. It was, for many of those in the audience, one of the evening’s most heartwarming moments. For those of us who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, the effect was magical as the familiar melody carried us down memory lane.

More hit songs followed until the band played "Faithfully", a song that immortalized the group in the entertainment world. Pineda, despite his diminutive size, proved that he is equally and incredibly talented as his band mates and could hold his own in the global entertainment scene.

Indeed, Pineda made every Filipino proud that night.