Date: June 17th 2014
Opening Band: Tower of Power
Tuesday nights co-headlining show by Journey and the Space Cowboy himself, Steve Miller attracted a large (though not sold-out) crowd to Bethel Woods, the fantastic concert venue on the hallowed grounds of the original Woodstock festival, which took place here 45 years ago this summer.
Starting off the nights entertainment as part of this “Sounds Of San Francisco” tour was Tower of Power, playing a short set to a small crowd, with a few seemingly die-hard fans in attendance singing along.
Next up was the Steve Miller band, prior to them coming on stage a huge banner covered the front of the stage, with the bands symbol on it, It was a nice feature though it seemed a tad unnecessary. When they came on stage the huge banner dropped to the floor-only to be scooped up and put back into a big cart by 5 or 6 stagehands. Steve Miller wore a cabaret-type white jacket throughout the set, showing a bit of a “cheesy” factor. Steve Millers voice was definitely showing signs of wear and tear-though at 70, it is not surprising, overall however, he sounded great. He played all the hits of course, including “Rock n Me”, “Jet Air-liner”(which had another huge stage backdrop of…you guessed it, Jet-airliners for this and a crowd favorite “Fly Like an eagle” and inevitably the song everyone came to hear, spurning a mass singalong “The Joker.”
A special mention has to go out to Sonny Charles, Steve Millers back-up singer/Dancer who certainly at times seemed like a distraction where people looked genuinely bemused and left kind of wondering “What IS he doing up there?!” I personally loved Sonny Charles and found him to be a great addition to Millers line-up. Miller played a full set giving it the proper feel of a co-headlining show- and the crowd loved every minute of it.
Journey took to the stage at 9.30pm, perhaps a little late for some of this audience, especially on a “school night” as seemed to be the case from about halfway through their set when people in the audience seemingly had enough and began to leave in their masses. Prior to the masses leaving early Journey got off to a very string start with the audience loving every moment, singing along in unison with Arnel Pineda, The new lead singer who took over vocal duties from the original Journey vocalist Steve Perry (Who, by the way, has recently come out of a self-imposed retirement). He sounds just like Steve Perry, adding his own little signature to his vocal arrangement. It was also quite cheesy at times, with Wardrobe changes galore…Was this a Cher show or a Journey show?! A well played version of the Star Spangled banner on guitar was a nice nod to Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock itself.
Journey sparked the mass singalongs for the songs you would expect them to “Lights”, “Any way you want it” , “Open Arms”, “Wheel In the Sky” and of course, “Don’t Stop Believing”. By the time we got to their signature song, the aforementioned “Don’t stop Believing” the herd had thinned considerably with a LOT of people having left which wasn’t lost on lead singer Pineda who asked the audience “Are you still awake Bethel?”
After “Don’t Stop Believing” Journey finished with a rousing “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin” which finished the nights show on a high note. Overall the crowd seemed to enjoy the show, but their energy level was very low and their attention span was off OR it was just too late a show for a lot of them….or all of the above.