After staying away from the UK for so many years the boys from Journey have suddenly become regular visitors to these shores with a cool set at Milton Keynes a few years’ back followed by a couple of cracking headline tours.
Back home they’re still big business in and their huge US summer tour with Def Leppard was one of the highest grossing of the year. With new lead singer Arnel Pineda proving you can go from singing your favourite band’s biggest hits in a karaoke bar to fronting the genuine artical on arena stages worldwide, there is no stopping the revitalised rockers in 2009.
Just how the band’s signature grand piano will look or sound on the Download stage remains to be seen and Journey must be one of the softest rock acts the festival has hosted. But they more than justify their main stage billing on Classic Rock Sunday and could turn out to be the surprise package on a star-studded final day.
Home Town: San Francisco
Essential Track: Don’t Stop Believin’ (1981)
Essential Album: Frontiers (1983)
Secret Weapon: With 47 million albums sold worldwide confidence and cash is not a problem.
Achilles heel: Sceptics are still waiting for diminutive frontman Pineda to fail and he’s already admitted the pressure is getting to him.
Why Download: With recent tour buddies Def Leppard topping the Classic Rock Sunday bill and fellow old-timers ZZ Top making a rare UK appearance it only seemed right that Journey joined the party. Not a natural audience for the So-Cal soft rockers but should suprise a few kids.
Live Rating: 8/10 With Pineda belting out the classics like he’s always been there Journey are back to their best as one of the world’s most consummate live acts.