There are great shows, and then there are GREAT shows. This week we received word of a show that falls into the latter of the two when it was announced that Journey, Billy Idol, and Toto would team up for an epic event.
You have to be of a certain age to remember when these acts were churning out hit after hit, yet the fans that followed them could be considered polar opposites. In one corner, punk rockers that were migrating towards new wave with their pied piper, Billy Idol. In the other corner were the rebels with a cause; to be different. Their band of choice was Journey. Somewhere in between were Toto fans. Acting as referees, they encompassed a little bit of everyone outside the punk and rocker crowd.
Toto was a mainstay of radio with hits like “Africa,” which got new life recently when it was covered by Weezer. Then, Toto busted out with “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line.” Each of these songs became a part of our lives, and to this day can be heard just about everywhere on the planet.
As for Mr. Idol, his path led him to the musical Promised Land with a band called Generation X. He then spun off to a solo career that saw him blow up to a larger-than-life character. He found early success with “Dancing with Myself,” “Mony Mony,” “White Wedding,” and “Hot in the City.” Then the album “Rebel Yell” came along and the sky was the limit. That album had hits galore: “Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Blue Highway,” “Catch My Fall,” “(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows.”
With guitarist Steve Stevens at his side, Idol became a mainstay for the MTV generation, forever ingraining himself and his band to our perpetual soundtrack. Recently, Idol said, “Touring next year with Journey and Toto is going to be great fun! An epic night you won’t want to miss.”
Journey… Wow. The number of hits they pumped out in a short span of time is unreal. Their list of songs is what turns music heroes into gods. When you were a kid in high school, you always knew when a new Journey album was out. There was no internet, but we all clamored to the radio or, depending when you were a teen, MTV or VH1.
Their glory came from mega-hits “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Wheel in the Sky,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin,’” “Stone in Love,” “Separate Ways,” “Lights,” “Open Arms,” and “Faithfully.” The number of songs Journey put out that were played at high school proms was incredible. They have new music and enjoying success with new tunes like “The Way We Used To Be.”
While Journey today is fronted by Arnel Pineda, many still think of Steve Perry. What we might not grasp just yet is Pineda has been with Journey longer than Perry was in the band’s first incarnation (Pineda joined Journey in 2007). No matter which version you love, Journey remains a must see act.
Fast forward to 2021 and we got the best news possible with this epic tour. The 40-show Freedom Tour launches on February 22nd in Pittsburgh, with Idol supporting at Honda Center on April 4th and April 5th at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Toto will take over the opening slot from April 7th at Pechanga Arena.
This will be an event of a lifetime! I can’t recommend this tour enough, so go see them while you can. This will be one of those bucket list shows that we will all be talking about for years to come.