DVD review: JOURNEY – Live In Manila

JOURNEY - Live In Manila

Eagle Vision [Release date 09.09.16]

Back in 2009, when this gig was filmed, vocalist Arnel Pineda was still very much the new boy.  Recorded in Pinel’s hometown of Manila in the Phillipines the sound and visual quality is excellent and it’s difficult to dispute the strength of the band’s setlist.

It’s another opportunity to crank out the Journey Jukebox, interspersed with tracks from then current album ‘Revelation’.  Highlights? The extended playout of ‘Stone In Love’ is a great vehicle for Neal Schon  and ‘Wheel In The Sky’, when he is joined by Jonathan Cain on rhythm guitar.  And Pineda truly nails the wonderful ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)’.

When we saw Journey on tour in the UK in 2013, with the exception of Pineda, they were like a bunch of stiffs looking for a churchyard.  Four years earlier there was an almost unseemly energy.  Pinel was no doubt spurred on by the familiar territory, and the sheer novelty,  but the rest of the band also rise to the occasion – even Ross Valory who looks unusually purposeful.

Although ‘Revelation’ is a good album true aficionados will express cynicism at the setlist predictability but in truth it was ever thus with  ‘Escape’ and ‘Frontiers’ providing the core repertoire.

Pinel’s vocal performance is top notch throughout (ably aided by drummer Deen Castronovo on ‘Mother, Father’ and ‘Still They Ride’) and although this has been released (as a double DVD) in 2010 it is now available for the first time in the UK on Bluray (and was shot with 4K cameras) and there’s also a 2CD/DVD set.  For completists, an earlier Pineda gig was included as a bonus DVD on the ‘Revelation’ package originally sold through Walmart stores. ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

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