You have to let that melt in your mouth: After what feels like an eternity, JOURNEY releases a brand new firework of hits with “Freedom” and almost half a year later a new live monument and not a single new track finds its well-deserved one way on “Live In Concert At Lollapalooza”. ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’, ‘You Got The Best Of Me’ and ‘The Way We Used To Be’ deserve it, as much of the album reflects that wonderfully nostalgic spirit of the AOR gods .
I’m already aware that the JOURNEY gig on July 31st, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois at the Lollapalooza Festival was taped and the “Freedom” release was still a long way off. Nevertheless, the performance of a new sample would have been a special treat that would have offered itself both at the festival and on the corresponding live record. But enough nagging, because from now on there are only kind words about “Live In Concert At Lollapalooza”.
Why? Because the choice of songs fulfills every wish you have for JOURNEY. Not a single one of the countless classics will be forgotten, whether we’re talking about the famous ‘Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart)’ opener, the following ‘Only The Young’ and ‘Escape’, the radio evergreen ‘Wheel In The Sky’ and the almost outrageously typical catchy tunes ‘Any Way You Want It’ and the ending ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, every fan’s heart skips a beat at the sight of the bombproof set list.
How so? Because JOURNEY itself is in impressive shape and radiates joy of playing down to the smallest detail. The two drummers Deen Castronovo and Narada Michael Walden, guitarist and mastermind Neal Schon, the two keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Jason Derlatka, bassist Marco Mendoza and of course the singing god Arnel Pineda were on stage that evening and everyone enjoyed the gig to the fullest. And that was damn well received by the audience, which in turn gratefully accepted the band’s cue balls, sang along, clapped, applauded and was mesmerized by JOURNEY’s incredible charisma and shine – here a guitar interlude, there a keyboard interlude included.
Why? Because not only the gig per se, but also the round “Live in Concert at Lollapalooza” fulfills almost all wishes. The typical artwork and a crystal-clear, warm sound, which in combination with all the hits and the protagonists on stage ensures a certain sense of well-being, are the icing on the cake of this release. However, the ballad-esque moments in the form of ‘Open Arms’ and ‘Faithfully’ also ensure this.
Admittedly, live albums by JOURNEY are not uncommon and the Japanese release in particular, on which the AOR warriors performed the complete “Escape” and “Frontiers” songs, set the bar high. But far away from the past, “Live in Concert at Lollapalooza” currently creates a simply great feeling, allows positive, warm thoughts that nestle around the body like a thick winter coat, to wrap up the colder days in the coming weeks with a broad Smile on your face, numerous hits in your ears and a good feeling in your heart.
- Marcel Rapp