Arts and Entertainment

Journey, Steve Miller Band keeps on rockin' 'em baby

Journey frontman Arnel Pineda in action at the White River Amphitheatre. - Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter
Journey frontman Arnel Pineda in action at the White River Amphitheatre.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

Nearly 20,000 brave rockers toughed out brutal event traffic to be at this past Saturday's Journey and Steve Miller Band show, getting a lesson in how to rock from a band that started more than 40-years ago and a 70-year-old guitar god.

Opening act Tower of Power warmed up the sparse crowd – with most of the audience still fighting a brutal 2-hour, 8-mile commute from Auburn to the venue – with its brand of brass-tinged funk and soul.

The Steve Miller Band, led by 70-year-old guitarist and vocalist Steve Miller, occupied the middle slot at the show.

With a minimal stage show throwing the emphasis on the tunes, the band (pictured below) ripped through its impressive catalog of radio hits, including "The Joker", "Take the Money and Run", "Rock'n Me", "Jet Airliner", and "Fly Like an Eagle."

Capping the night off was multi-platinum selling Journey, which formed in San Francisco in 1973.

The band – fronted by vocalist Arnel Pineda, who replaced original singer Steve Perry after founder and guitarist Neil Schon found videos of the Philipino singer covering Journey tunes on the Internet – provided the audience with a 16-song trip through the band's 40-plus year career, heavily mining the band's heyday from 1978 to 1987, when the band released seven consecutive multi-platinum albums, including 1981's "Escape".

Pineda proved the perfect vocal replacement, matching Perry's soaring vocals and ably prodding the crowd on with his energy and enthusiasm.

The rest of the band – guitarist/keyboardist Johnathan Cain, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Deen Castronovo and Schon – provided the foundation.

Schon grabbed the spotlight often, highlighting his chops with several solos and a searing rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner."

Among the highlights were the band's opening block of "Be Good To Yourself", "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" and "Any Way You Want It".

Journey closed out the show with its 1981 mega-hit "Don't Stop Believing," which became the top-selling single of all time on iTunes in 2009 after the tune was featured in TV's "The Sopranos".

The band sent the crowd off to again fight traffic after an encore of "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'".

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