Cheap Trick, Heart & Journey (w/new lead singer Arnel Pineda) – August 2nd Charlotte Concert Review

I went to the Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey concert last evening.  I ended up getting there a little bit late due to a perfect storm of BS happenings, least of not which was a major downpour just as I was preparing to go to my car.  Nonetheless, I was able to get to my seat just as Cheap Trick (opening band) was starting  “The Flame” – a song I was most anticipating .

Cheap Trick sounded GREAT and put on an awesome visual show to boot.  Part of the beauty of seeing a Cheap Trick concert is watching the unusual array of guitars being swapped in/out all the while – especially those of lead-guitarist Rick Nielsen.  This concert did not disappoint, as Rick broke out one of his famous “Five-neck” Hamer guitars during the song Surrender!  Just prior to that, he was playing his double-neck “man” shaped guitar.
CLICK HERE for Cheap Trick and Heart photos from the event.
Of course, Tom Petersson was also playing one of his famous 12-string bass, and Robin Zander had his share of unique guitars (mainly playing a 12-string).

This was a fantastic show by Cheap Trick, and it had the crowd plenty rowdy and on their feet throughout the entire show.
Main set:
Hello There* / Big Eyes* / Welcome to the World* / If You Want My Love / California Man / She’s Tight / I Want You to Want Me / I Can’t Take It / The Flame / Surrender / Goodnight
Encore: Dream Police

Up next was the ever-popular band Heart, with the Wilson sisters at front and center.  The sound was incredible in that you would have sworn you were listening to them years earlier – no change in sound was detectable whatsoever. One of my worries was, naturally, the lead guitarist sound.  The original lead guitarist had apparently moved on to other things as of the mid-1990s.  This new guitarist, Craig Bartock, has been with the band since 2004.  I need not have worried, as he sounded INCREDIBLE!  Nancy Wilson will naturally keep much of the guitar sound original as she has always played rhythm guitar, but Heart was always dishing out some great lead guitar solos (generally not performed by Nancy) with all of their major hard rock hits. Craig Bartock handled each and every one of those solos with style and a perfectly accurate sound!  Ann Wilson was every bit the top-shelf vocalist that I expected, even belting out a few vocally challenging Led Zeppelin and The Who cover songs as well.  Nancy Wilson was as energetic as ever, and might I add I absolutely LOVE how she genuinely enjoys performing on stage. She ALWAYS looks like she is having the time of her life, and is totally in her element.  This is why everyone must see a Heart show at least once in their life. Debbie Shair (keyboards/synthesizers) is an awesome addition to the Heart line-up, who opened the first song with a great starting keyboard arrangement. Debbie seems to also share that excitement and fun that the Wilson sisters bring to the show.  Heart was yet another FANTASTIC show in an evening that was building up to its finale.
Main set: Wild Child / Kick It Out / Straight On / Magic Man / Mistral Wind / These Dreams / Alone / Love Reign O’er Me / Barracuda
Encore: Going to California / Crazy on You

Journey took the stage with an opening song from the new CD Revelation – Never Walk Away.  As somebody who has actually purchased and listened to the entire CD, I recognized the song right away as it is one of my favorites.  Many around me, however, were somewhat complacent as they were obviously there for the old stuff (and probably not even aware there is a new CD!). Yet, you could see that they were nonetheless impressed by the great sound of the new song.  The night was then consumed mostly by the classics and the crowd was on their feet thoroughly enjoying the night.  Arnel was beyond question accepted as the new torch-bearer for Journey (despite one minor slip-up on the second song of the night – Only The Young?). Two other favorites of mine from the new album – After All These Years and Change For The Better (fitting!) – were dropped in between classics and were VERY well received.  However, one song was played that was neither on the new album or, so far as I recall, a classic.  I didn’t even get the name/title/chorus.  Strange.  I would have preferred they played “Heartland” instead. But nonetheless, a GREAT performance by the new Journey!  Ross Valory was spot-on with his bass tracks, Neal Schon was as awesome as ever on lead guitar, Jonathan Cain was in his element quickly swapping between keyboards and rhythm guitar (and even throwing down a little harmonica w/Neal on acoustic), and the top-shelf drumming skills of Deen Castronovo were everything I was hoping for.  Journey capped off one fantastic evening of live musical entertainment in Charlotte!

Main Set (as near as I can recall):
1. Never Walk Away
2. Only The Young
3. Stone In Love
4. Ask The Lonely
5. After All These Years
6. Separate Ways:
7. Change For The Better
8. Who’s Crying Now
9. *Unknown Song* (Chain Reaction?)
10. Lights
Jonathan Cain Solo
11. Open Arms
12. Don’t Stop Believing
13. Wildest Dreams
14. Wheel In The Sky
15. Be Good To Yourself
16. Any Way You Want It
1. Escape
2. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’
3. Faithfully

Some video from the event:

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1 Response to Cheap Trick, Heart & Journey (w/new lead singer Arnel Pineda) – August 2nd Charlotte Concert Review

  1. Unknown says:

    These are definitely exciting times for a rejuvenated Journey. Arnel is heck of a performer. Rock on!!! 

    "50 Signs you Have Journeyitis"

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