RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Journey – Live in Manila (Blu-Ray+2CD) 
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rating: B+

I’m not sure what ‘4K resolution’ is but I can tell you this: that’s how this Blu-Ray was filmed and it looks damn good!  The entire concert sounds spectacular as well.  Apparently, the resolution utilized RED technology and RED techno really makes concert films pop!  The sight, let alone the sound of this concert is reason enough to click over to Amazon and hit the ‘buy’ button!

Now, there is another reason that this concert is very special.  Filmed on March 14, 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila, Philippines, it was the home coming for the ‘then’ new vocalist of Journey, Arnel Pineda.  The emotions on stage were high for Arnel and he delivered big, showing that dreams can come true.  He gave an inspired performance that made him -not the rest of the classic band- the star of the show on this day.  Joining Pineda for the set were founding member Neal Schon (lead guitar, vocals); Jonathan Cain (keyboards, rhythm guitar, vocals); Ross Valory (bass, vocals); and Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, vocals). They were soaking up the vibe as they bashed out hit after classic hit, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Be Good To Yourself,” “Stone In Love,” “Open Arms,” “Faithfully,” “Still They Ride,” “When You Love A Woman,” “Any Way You Want It,” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.”

The concert clocks in at a little over two hours and features songs from all of the most popular eras of the band.  They even threw in a few tracks from the newly released album at the time, Revelation

Arnel is not Steve Perry, but man does he sound like him.  From the opening note of “Majestic” to the final note of “Be Good to Yourself” there is no doubt that this 26 song set featured a band full of exuberance and energy.  Neal Schon shows he has earned the title ‘Guitar-god’ throughout, as the best moments are the rocking ones.  “Stone in Love,” “Keep On Runnin’,” “Wheel in the Sky,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” are delivered like a rock ‘n’ roll freight train.  Slower tunes, and mega hits “Lights,” “Still They Ride” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” are some of the most well received by the audience.

This one is a tad heavy on pop and light on heavy rockers for this writer, but as a concert film it does the job and does it well .

For a true Journey fanatic this is a must-own. 

1) Intro Medley: The Journey (Revelation) / Majestic
2) Never Walk Away
3) Only The Young
4) Ask The Lonely
5) Stone In Love
6) Keep On Runnin’
7) After All These Years
8) Change For The Better
9) Wheel In The Sky
10) Lights
11) Still They Ride
12) Open Arms
13) Mother, Father
14) Wildest Dream
15) When You Love A Woman
16) Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
17) What I Needed
18) Edge Of The Blade
19) Where Did I Lose Your Love
20) Escape
21) Faithfully
22) Don’t Stop Believin’
23) Any Way You Want It
24) Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
25) Turn Down The World Tonight
26) Be Good To Yourself

By Jeb “Anytime... really, I mean ANYTIME” Wright