Journey, Foreigner, Night Ranger – 7/21

SANDY ” Combined they have over a century of music and more than 40 top 40 hits.

Thursday night, three of classic rocks biggest names not only performed four hours of some of the most well-known songs in rock history, but delivered them with an enthusiasm and quality that it was easy to forget most of the men on stage were well into their 50s (in some cases 60s).

Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger played their greatest hits before a large and enthusiastic Rio Tinto Stadium crowd like it was 1982 all over again.

Journey hit the stage with “Separate Ways (World’s Apart) and continued with a crowd pleasing set list that included “Only The Young,” “Wheel in the Sky,” “Send Her My Love,” “Stone in Love,” “Faithfully,” “Be Good to Yourself” and “Open Arms.”

Though there are many who argue Journey can never be the same without Steve Perry, Arnel Pineda is the best singer the band has had since Perry. And his voice and energy on stage are a perfect match for the band today.

Pineda was very Perry-ish on songs off the Escape album, including “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Who’s Crying Now.” In addition to the classic Journey songs, the band mixed in songs from their heavy new album Eclipse including “City of Hope” and “Edge of the Moment,” with deeper Journey tracks like “Ask the Lonely” and the title track from “Escape.”

Guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, bassist Ross Valory and hard hitting drummer Deen Castronovo were a tight playing unit all night. The band ended with “Anyway You Want It.”

The ever changing Foreigner lineup looks a lot different today than it did in the 1970s and ’80s. The one constant, however, is 66-year-old guitarist Mick Jones.

Jones and Foreigner didn’t introduce any new material in their set, sticking to classic Foreigner staples like “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded” and “Dirty White Boy.”

The current Foreigner lineup has an 80s rock feel with former Hurricane singer Kelly Hansen on vocals and original Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson in the rhythm section. As much as some Journey fans miss Perry, Foreigner fans miss Lou Gramm (who parted ways with the group in 2003) just as much. While Hansen and Foreigner were good and displayed a lot of enthusiasm, at times they came off as just an excellent cover band.

It didn’t seem to matter to the crowd who cheered with approval for “Jukebox Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” and “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”

Night Ranger, a band that should have played the second spot, were a tight outfit that played a way too short opening set. Original members Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy and Brad Gillis opened with their new single, “Growin’ Up in California” before ripping through “Sing Me Away,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America.”

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