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Heart and Journey July 26 at Taco Bell Arena


Last night was another Journey into the Heart of nostalgia--I saw Pat Benatar and Sonic Youth this month as well (and I swear that's the last Heart/Journey pun) and, once again, I'm glad I took the trip.

Ann and Nancy Wilson pulled out classics "Magic Man," "Barracuda," "These Dreams" and more. I'll admit, I never loved Heart in their heyday, but I always appreciated their skill. However, seeing them live, hearing Ann's voice and Nancy's ripping guitar playing turned me into a total convert. As did Ann's fashion sense; I think she was wearing a pair of black Converse tennis shoes.

Journey also put on a helluva show. The audience tolerated tracks from the band's new release, Revelations, but lost their damn collective mind from the first chords of "Open Arms," "Separate Ways," "Faithfully" and, of course, "Don't Stop Believin'," which is, I believe, the most downloaded single track in iTunes history.

The one glitch in the night was that guitar player Neal Schon still believes that every song must have a guitar solo. He's an incredible player, but watching him was like peeking through a keyhole; he was so engrossed in his own self-pleasure that, at times, the audience seemed incidental.

New frontman Arnel Pineda, on the other hand, was so into the crowd, that at one point he joined them in the front row. His high-energy antics were as much a visual pleasure as his clear, strong voice was aural. Not that they've asked me, but I think Journey made a good choice in the young singer.

Jonathan Cain is still a fine keyboard/piano player (mullet and all) and bassist Ross Valory is still bassist Ross Valory. The standout of the night was drummer Deen Castronovo whose version of "Mother, Father" was stunning. Here's where I may lose you, but on that song, Castronovo's vocals could rival Pineda's or Perry's. Sorry purists, but it's true.

The videos I took aren't great, but are meant to serve as souvenirs of another remarkable stroll down memory lane.