This month, Journey had a nine-show residency in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s The Joint.
The famed rock band is comprised of co-founders Neal Schon (lead guitarist) and Ross Valory (bass), longtime members Jonathan Cain (keyboardist) and Arnel Pineda (lead singer), and virtuoso drummer Steve Smith.
This series of performances is the first time Journey played its seventh studio album, “Escape,” and the eighth album, “Frontiers,” in their entirety, featuring hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Girl Can’t Help It.”
Through persistence and raw talent, the band has reached rare heights by selling more than 15 million copies of its Greatest Hits album, earning a total of 19 Top 40 singles, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, producing 25 Gold and Platinum albums and headlining its first- and now second-ever residencies at The Joint.
The remaining shows are Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.
In an interview with the Asian Journal, the members of Journey share what the band has in store for their residency in Vegas, while Filipino frontman Arnel Pineda talks about how his journey as part of a legendary rock band has changed his life.
Asian Journal: How is it integrating new songs with the classic songs?
Jonathan Cain: It’s kinda tricky. We’ve been sort of late to new stuff and we’ve been taking back to the old. We have to make tough choices every night. And we know that people want to hear the hits. And we want to play the hits but we also want to play some deep cuts, some different materials. We always have to make those tough choices. We always have to discuss before each show and we come to a consensus that feels right for each particular evening.
Steve Smith: We have unlimited time… and it’s hardly new songs in there…just couple of them, 10 minutes or so.
AJ: When will people get a taste of newer songs?
SS: On Wednesday nights, we are going to play “Escape” and “Frontiers” in their entirety. So we’re digging deep back into those most popular albums exactly as they appear. We’ll start with those stuff.
JC: Fridays and Saturdays are basically greatest hits nights.
AJ: How was the reception to the band during your tour in Asia?
JC: Amazing. They were like imprints. Like the Beatles came. We were astounded like in Korea and Seoul…Korea and Taipei… Really amazing audiences treated you just like where have you been? We always do well in Japan…We added a few dates, including Kuala Lumpur for the first time, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
AJ: Did you guys go back to the Philippines?
JC: We did in the Philippines as well, Mall of Asia.
AJ: How has this journey been for you, Arnel, in the past few years?
Arnel Pineda: It definitely changed my life. It changed my kid’s life, my family. It will never be the same.
AJ: Is your family based here in the U.S. now?
AP: Six months here, six months in the Philippines—that’s what I do. But they’re still pretty much rooted in the Philippines.
AJ: How do you guys choose what was played during the Wednesday night shows?
AP: We always think about fans. What would they want to listen to, what would they want to see.
AJ: Has it really sank in yet, the reality that you’re in one of the greatest bands ever?
AP: No, it will never sink in. To be a part of this legacy, for a Filipino like me, to be part of that, is just amazing. The gratitude I feel is you cannot measure. It will be with me forever.
AJ: What was it like performing during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony?
A: It was great. But then, ___ invite me over and represent their song and get to perform there is just very very generous of them. I cannot think of any other way to thank them but you know, this way, to serve the legacy the best way I can.
AJ: Any messages to our readers?
AP: I just want to thank everybody for helping us keeping the music alive, for following us, for listening to the songs every time they had a chance of listening to it.