“You can hear the thunder of their cry.” – Journey
“Ahead of their time. They wonder why.”
The “thunder of their cry,” and “they wonder why.” Oh, the agonizing yearning of restless youth! Do you remember it? Was that you in the 80’s? Steve Perry, Neil Schon, and Jonathan Cain sure had a pulse on it as they were on point penning an anthem of the anxiousness and apprehensiveness of a generation growing up without cell phones or computers. How did we ever survive!?
“Another night in any town” ended up being Oklahoma City for my wife and I, which doesn’t really make a lot sense because it’s a city, not a town, but I digress. We were in OKC on March 17th amongst the many green-laden, pub-crawling groups of people milling about as well as hundreds lining an entrance across the street from our hotel hoping to try out for the long-running “Price is Right” game show. An odd sight I’ll admit.
As we checked into our hotel, we also noticed that the Indiana University softball team was staying there. They were one of six teams in the city for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Classic tournament hosted by the perennial powerhouse and #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners team located some 20 minutes down I-35 in Norman. March 17th, 2022 was not just another night in any town.
None of this is why we were there. Instead, it was for the concert featuring the guys in the picture above. Well, two of those five I guess. The top two on the left to be exact – keyboardist Jonathan Cain and original member and arguably one of the most underrated guitar players of our generation – Neil Schon continue to anchor the legendary band Journey. Not only did we get to see and hear Journey, but their opening act was a little band named Toto. Originally I had been really excited because Billy Idol had been tabbed as the tour opener, but surgery needed for his chronic sinus infection forced him to pull out of the tour. So, Toto is was, and they were very solid. I will say lead singer Joseph Williams hit some nice notes and still has a nice tone to his voice even at the age of 61.
“Shadows of a golden age. A generation waits for dawn. Brave carry on. Bold and the strong”
My wife and I had floor seats to the concert and we were reminded of a golden age because when you’re at a concert featuring popular acts from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s there is a certain portion of the audience that may not feel like standing during a concert. I can relate and I don’t fault them, but I think you have to go in with an expectation that you may have to stand even when you don’t feel like it. It’s a rock concert, people. I don’t care how old the band may be.
There was a couple probably in their late 20’s or early 30’s standing a few rows in front of us during a portion of the Toto concert, and a row or two behind us there were a few people yelling at them to sit down at one point during Toto’s set. Not sure, but I think there’s an unwritten rule that if you’ve paid your money for a concert and you want to stand the whole time, you should be able to without fear of being scolded in public. It’s kind of like trying to get a base hit with a bunt in the ninth inning against a guy pitching a no-hitter. Yes, it’s within the rules of the game, but don’t be surprised if a 95 mile an hour fastball comes hurling at your body the next time the batter and hitter square off.
There was a lot more standing in the Journey portion of the concert as you would expect with their catalog of hits, and it proceeded without any further incidents involving the young couple and the people sitting behind us.
Today, I completed another trip around the sun. It’s been 51 trips now, so to speak, and the more trips I make, the more and more I realize how much faster the trips are. But don’t worry young couples, it won’t be me yelling at you to sit down. I’m going to rock until I can’t rock anymore and then I’ll actually rock in a chair on porch somewhere thinking about what a journey it has been and thinking about what only the young can say. So technically even then, I’ll still be rocking.
“They’re seein’ through the promises. And all the lies they dare to tell. Ahead of their time. They wonder why.”
At 15 years and counting, lead singer Arnel Pineda has now been with the band longer than any of their previous lead singers including Perry. If you get a chance, and haven’t already, the documentary about Pineda’s journey (pun intended) to become the lead singer of one of the most popular bands of all-time is worth a watch.
“Only the young can say. They’re free to fly away
Sharing the same desire Burnin’ like wildfire”
If you’re like me, this song invokes the memories of an 80’s movie starring Matthew Modine – “Vision Quest.” Modine plays high school senior Louden Swain, who goes on a quest to drop two weight classes on his wrestling team to challenge the area’s toughest opponent, Brian Shute. Shute, played by an unknown athletic trainer at Eastern Washington University named Frank Jasper, plays an intimidating three-time 168 pound state champion from nearby rival Hoover High School, who has never been defeated in his high school career. If you’ve ever seen the movie then you know Jasper was not 168 pounds. He was actually closer to 189 pounds while filming the movie. Mix in a love story between Modine and actress Linda Fiorentino, a good soundtrack, and a brief song and cameo by Madonna, and you have yourself a very solid 80’s movie.
A lyrical theme most of us could relate to upon its release in 1985 as part of the “Vision Quest Soundtrack,” the song would peak at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. An official video was never shot for this song, but here is one that was put together with footage from the movie. Of course, the famous ladder climb that Modine completes was done with John Waite’s “Change” playing in the back ground. Still, you get the picture with this song, which was originally written for the band Scandal. Here is Journey with Steve Perry on lead vocals and “Only the Young”…
Now, here is 2022 Journey with Pineda on lead vocals opening their set in OKC singing the song that no one can cleanly decipher the lyrics without the help of the internet.
Thanks for reading.