I suprised my husband for his birthday by taking him to a Journey concert. Unlike gifts in the past that were thinly veiled presents for myself (for example, the weekend package of swing dance classes our first Valentine’s Day together), this one was completely for him. Maybe it’s our six year age difference – while he was feeling the freedom of the road cruising around with his friends and rocking out to this band, I was still lip-syncing in my room to Debbie Gibson and Cyndi Lauper on a little pink ghettoblaster – but I’ve just never been that into Journey.
Oh, but he is. “Don’t Stop Believing” is up in his Top 5 songs of all time, and he’s spent countless hours watching people on YouTube do covers, good and bad. I had already bought the tickets when we watched the season premiere of Glee and had to contain my excitement when the whole episode used Journey songs and kept his attention through a show he probably would not have watched otherwise. He even looked up glee club versions of his song afterward.
Besides the music, I think the husband is into it even more so now because of the new singer and his unbelievable story. Arnel Pineda was just a small town boy, born and raised in the Philippines, singing in a Journey cover band when he was discovered on YouTube. I think it’s the Everyman fantasy my husband is into, like children’s book writers fantasize about being the next J.K. Rowling, hitting the jackpot doing something you love. Rags to riches, that kind of thing.
Filipinos certainly came out in droves to see their national treasure sing. But I was also suprised that the demographic wasn’t just long-haired, acid wash wearing 4o year olds, but quite a lot of youngsters. The teenage girls in front of us even made their own puff-paint T-shirts to show their affection for the old-timers.
I have to admit, it is astounding how Pineda channels Steve Perry. Beyond his incredible vocal talent, he is energetic and entertaining to watch. I’m going to attempt to post a crappy video we took at the concert to demonstrate (ok, so I didn’t splurge that much on getting the best seats for this show), but you can find better ones on your own. The other guys seem to be competing for the longest solos, soaking in the limelight and trying to recapture their glory days, but overall it was a good blast from the past.
ps – Driving an hour and a half to a concert, sitting through it, then driving back when you’re 35 weeks pregnant is not an easy feat. I think my better half feels loved. He better.