I am of the unshakable belief that there is one thing with the power to bring all Americans together--no matter their race, age, sexuality, economic situation, geographic location or ability. That thing is long-haired, tight-trousered, 80s stadium rock band Journey. No, hear me out...
Have you ever known a person who couldn't (sheepishly) belt out the chorus to "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Open Arms?" I've got die-hard, soul music-loving friends who would sooner die than have their radio dial rest on a classic rock station, and I know if I snoop around their cars a little, I'll find a Journey Greatest Hits CD. Bet money. It's happened before.
There is something just so damned infectious and enjoyable about a Journey song--something that makes you want to squint your eyes, hold one hand to the sky and sing cheesetastic lyrics at the top of your lungs:
Just a small town girl,
living in a lonely world
She took a midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy,
born and raised in South Detroit
He took a midnight train going anywhere
Thanks to Glee, I think today's music fans associate Journey most closely with "Don't Stop Believin," but it's not my favorite of the band's songs. "Lights," however, is one of them:
Steve Perry has a phenomenal voice--a real melodic, powerful voice that I think is unique within the genre. I thought there could be no Journey without Perry, and he is missed, but I was dumbstruck when I first heard his replacement Arnel Pineda sing. Pineda has had a long musical career in the Philippines. You Tube videos of him covering Journey songs grabbed the attention of band member Neal Schon and earned him a spot of Journey's new front man. Through the power of crafty editing, here he is singing my all-time Journey favorite--"Faithfully"--with Steve Perry.