Journey & The Doobies A Tough Bill To Top

DSC_1958Concert Review
Journey
The Doobie Brothers

Lakeview Amphitheater
Syracuse, NY
Wednesday July 13, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

The new Lakeview Amphitheater was the place to be Wednesday night in Syracuse, NY as classic rock juggernauts Journey and The Doobie Brothers took fans on a trip down memory lane. The combination of the two bands on the same bill worked out real well as The Doobie Brothers helped set the stage with a stellar set rivaling a show of theirs I had seen last year. Journey then simply came out and blew the roof off the new Amphitheater.

This marked Journey’s first major U.S. shed tour since 2014. Oddly enough the band has not made any major alterations to their set from that time. With so many songs they could play it was a little surprising that they kept it so similar. I guess if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

Kicking off their set with “Separate Ways” then tearing into “Be Good To Yourself” put the crowd into the right frame of mind. “Only The Young” brought the mood down a little before founder and lead guitarist Neal Schon did a stirring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

One of the biggest ovations of the night came for “Stone In Love” as the band played an over the top version which led directly into the classic “Anyway You Want It”. Vocalist Arnel Pineda on board since 2007 was at his best all night as he worked the crowd from one side of the stage and back like a human dynamo.

“Lights” began the portion of the show where the ambience was slowed down for a bit. Longtime member and keyboardist Jonathan Cain did a short solo which incorporated some of the band’s lost songs. This time around you could hear parts of “Send Her My Love”, “Patiently” and “After All Those Years” among a few others.

Journey has had many drummers over the years. Perhaps none as more vital than Steve Smith who has rejoined the band for his first shows since 1998. This was my first time seeing Smith perform and I was amazed at how he sounded especially when it came time for his lengthy solo. Smith of course was in the band during their glory years.

The band then played three of their best known songs to close out the set in “Wheel In The Sky”, “Faithfully” and the ever popular “Don’t Stop Believin’ “.

As the years go by Journey remains a popular touring act. With Schon and co-founder and bassist Ross Valory leading the way, the band still continues to draw good crowds. Perhaps it may be time for some new music? The Eclipse album released in 2011 is their most recent output. With Smith back and the band really sounding in prime form, now is the time to capitalize as the fans sit back waiting so ever patiently.

Dave Mason started off the night with a brief set before turning things over to the Doobie Brothers. Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston did not disappoint as they played most of the hits. You can’t go wrong seeing this band perform such gems as “Black Water”, “China Grove” and “Listen To The Music”. A great night for music, and a great time had by all.

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Set Lists
Journey
Separate Ways
Be Good To Yourself
Only The Young
The Star Spangled Banner
Stone In Love
Any Way You Want It
Lights
Piano Solo
Open Arms
Who’s Crying Now
Escape
La Do Da
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo
Wheel In The Sky
Faithfully
Don’t Stop Believin’

Encore
Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

The Doobie Brothers
Jesus Is Just Alright
Rockin’ Down The Highway
Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)
Another Park, Another Sunday
Sweet Maxine
Eyes Of Silver
Spirit
Clear As The Driven Snow
Piano Solo
Takin’ It To The Streets
The Doctor
Long Train Runnin’
China Grove

Encore
Without You
Listen To The Music

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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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