Journey At Long Beach
Early in Journey's show Friday at the Long Beach Arena, singer Steve Perry shouted, "If this is Long Beach, this must be a Journey concert"--a non sequitur worthy of Groucho Marx. The end of the evening brought a kind of musical non sequitur: After stringing together several Journey faves, the quintet segued from its concert favorite "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' "into Elvis Presley's 1957 hit "Jailhouse Rock."
Aside from that uncharacteristic dip into roots-rock, the Bay Area group didn't do anything unpredictable. The idea seems to be to present bland, palatable pop that will keep the current customers happy while winning new ones.
Once you understand that Journey has more to do with marketing than rock 'n' roll, you have to acknowledge that it's shrewd at pushing all the crowd-pleasing buttons: The sound and lighting were first-rate, there were video screens, the songs were clean and catchy, the harmonies sparkling. It was all safe, shiny and empty, like a gorgeously wrapped present with nothing inside.
Journey continues to reflect its bland-leading-the-bland approach in its ch oice of opening acts. This tour it's Glass Tiger, a Canadian commercial-pop quintet that projected even less personality on stage than on its debut LP--no small feat. Like Journey, Glass Tiger plays soulless fluff well, particularly on snappier pieces.
The band's local journey continues Tuesday at the San Diego Sports Arena before returning Wednesday to the Long Beach Arena.
Copyright Times Mirror Company 1986