On Thursday night at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, Journey played their first concert since late 2019, and the first since longtime bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith were fired early last year.
The performance was part of a series of Lollapalooza “aftershow” events that select artists also performing at the Chicago festival this weekend are playing at various venues in the Windy City. The Aragon show was a warmup for Journey’s Lollaplooza headlining set Saturday.
In addition to guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and singer Arnel Pineda, Journey’s lineup includes drummers Narada Michael Walden and Deen Castronovo, keyboardist/backing vocalist Jason Derlatka and bassist Randy Jackson, although Marco Mendoza is filling in for Jackson at the Chicago shows while Randy recovers from back surgery.
According RollingStone.com, the Aragon Ballroom show was an extra-long, two-set extravaganza that included classic hits like “Open Arms,” “Faithfully” and “Separate Ways,” along with deep cuts like “Suzanne,” “Just the Same Way” and “Feeling That Way.” You can check out fan-recorded video of the band performing the 1978 gem “Wheel in the Sky” on YouTube.
Walden, Jackson and Derlatka joined the band last year, while it was announced earlier this week that Castronovo, who previously played who Journey from 1998 to 2015, was once again a member of the group.
Meanwhile, Schon tells ABC Audio that he’s excited that popular rapper-singer Post Malone will be headlining Lollaplooza alongside Journey on Saturday.
“I think he’s a very good guitar player…and I heard he’s a fan of mine as well,” says Neal. “And he plays many different styles.”
Schon adds, “Maybe he’ll get done before we do, ’cause I think we’re playing a longer show, and I’d like to invite him to our show to come…and sit in.”
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.