Night Ranger, Foreigner & Journey in Concert

Friday, October 7 was a trip down memory lane.  A triple bill featuring classic rock from Night Ranger, Foreigner and Journey hit San Diego music fans at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater.  This was our first visit to this outdoor venue in Chula Vista and I was pleasantly surprised.  Good acoustics, great seats and hard rock made for an awesome night.  The air was laced with sweet leaf from the minute Night Ranger took the stage to entertain the throngs of baby boomers, gen x’ers and their kids (newly discovering the sounds their parents grew up listening to).  Some pics credit: NewTimes.

Night Ranger’s opening set consisted of their best stuff including:

Sing me away
High enough
When you close your eyes
Don’t tell me you love me
Sister Christian
Rock in America

Drummer Kelly Keagy sang lead vocals on crowd pleaser and sing along  Sister Christian.  Good stuff!  The band closed with a couple of large American flags on the drum riser and a rousing finale of “Rock In America.”

Foreigner’s line up featured no members from the original line up.  Guitar player Mick Jones was also a no show (due to illness).  His replacement was Bruce Watson who is actually a brilliant guitar player!  He used to play with pop band Big Country.  Remember them? Some of the artists he has played for live or in studio include: Christina Aguilera, Adam Lambert, Jewel, BB King, Sugarland, Sara Bareilles, Anna Nalick, David Archuleta, Five for Fighting, Lisa Marie Presley, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, and Leonard Cohen.

Foreigner also played their string of hits:

Double vision
Head Games
Cold as ice
Ive been waiting for a girl
Dirty white boy
Feels like the first time
I want to know what love is
Hot Blooded
Juke box hero

In Foreigner, Thomas Gimbel plays rhythm guitar, saxophone, and flute and sings background vocals.  His sax solo on Urgent was mind blowing!

Bass duties were handled by Jeff Pilson from Dokken.  I have always loved Dokken and it was great to see Jeff on stage.

Foreigner’s set was well received with Kelly Hansen on lead vocals. He’s no Lou Gramm but does a great job with his material!

Headliners Journey with a few more of their original members (Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory) stormed the stage with Filipino sensation Arnel Pineda who is a bundle of energy!  Unless you dwell in a cave, you know Arnel’s sensational story and discovery through YouTube.  Steve Perry is a legend and for Arnel to fill his spot is a tough gig.  So how did he do?  Very admirably for most part.  He is a great singer in his own right.  I wish Steve Perry was singing “Faithfully” but heck, other than that?  Arnel was great.  Perry was a unique singer and so is Pineda.  Sheer comparisons are just not fair in my humble opinion.

Journey setlist:

Separate ways
Ask the lonely
Send her my love
City of hope from eclipse
Only the young
Neal Schon solo
Stone in love
Another Schon solo
Wheels in the sky
Cain piano solo
Open arms
La Do Da
Be good to yourself
Loving touching squeezing
Any you want
Don’t stop believing

Neal Schon was his brilliant self.  Noticeable parts on the set … The blues twinged Lovin, Touchin Squeezin had the audience swaying with arms up in the air humming “na na nana na na”.  Jonathan Cain’s  piano brings on “Faithfully,” which had fake Zippos (mostly cell phones) held up high.

Overall, if you were  a forty something, it took you back to your youth.  For me it was a sweet, sweet memory!

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