Journey with Toto – Rocked Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee – 4/27/22

 

Yup! I can say the term, “bucket list” for this show! I have loved Journey since I saw Caddyshack as a kid and Rodney Dangerfield says, “So what? So, let’s dance!” as he cranks the volume knob on the car stereo in his gargantuan golf bag and out comes Journey’s “Any Way You Want It”! The movie came out in 1980 and I was only twelve years old at the time and I asked my older sister what band that was and she told me it was Journey. She had just gotten the Journey Departure album with that track on it from the Columbia record and tape club. Remember that??? Memories there! That was my introduction to Journey many years ago. 

Fast forward to 4/27/22 and I finally got to see Journey live for the very first time! What an exciting night that was and a show that my wife and I truly enjoyed every minute of! Since I was also taking pictures and watching the show for the purposes of writing this review, I will say that it did have its challenges as with most large arena shows do. I didn’t know that I was going to get to even be at the show until earlier in the day. The contact I was working with ended up getting me two tickets instead of one which was really nice. That meant I could actually bring my wife to a show for once! Never happens. The idea was that I was going to be escorted in with my camera and be able to shoot from my seat. Seeing that these seats were really close to the side of the stage I was good with that (as you will see in a few images). However, that changed at the last minute before the lights went down and Toto took the stage. It turned out to be a soundboard shoot from all the way back in the arena and I didn’t really have the right gear for that. But, I made the most of it as you will see in the gallery below. I’m happy with what I got and the great lighting certainly made my job easier. 

A big shout out of “thanks” goes to my buddy, Mike Savoia who is Journey’s touring photographer. Since I could only shoot the soundboard and only for two songs each band, I had to secure my camera in between sets. He went out of his way to put it backstage with his gear to be safe. Thanks, Mike! 

I knew that Toto was leading off the evening and, just like Journey, I have been a big fan ever since my sister played some Toto albums she got through the same Columbia record and tape club when I was a kid! Both bands have guitarists that I will say are two of my favorites of all time and had a big influence on me when I started learning how to play. Neal Schon and Steve Lukather! Wow! I couldn’t believe I was photographing both of them that evening! 

Toto was amazing. It’s easy to say that since the entire band is made of some really incredible musicians both older and younger. The sound in the Bridgestone Arena was really good and you heard the playing and the vocals really clearly. Toto is a big band with a big sound. Lots of keyboards, lots of percussion and a really big guitar sound from Steve Lukather! They had a solid set of classic tunes all done to perfection. My favorite song, “Hold the Line” was the second song of the set while I was shooting images. It really got me into the groove of loving what I do! “I Won’t Hold You Back” was another that I have enjoyed and then the ten song set ended with “Rosanna” and “Africa”. Simply an awe inspiring performance of some really talented musicians! What a great band to be paired with Journey! 

 

Toto:

Steve Lukather: Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Piano

David Paich: Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals

Joseph Williams: Lead Vocals

Warren Ham: Saxophone, Harmonica, Vocals

Dominique “Xavier” Taplin: Keyboards, Backing Vocals

John Pierce: Bass

Steve Marriora: Keyboards, Vocals

Robert “Sput” Searight: Drums

 

 

 

Set List:

1. Orphan

2. Hold the Line

3. I’ll Be Over You

4. White Sister

5. Georgy Porgy

6. I Won’t Hold You Back

7. Home of the Brave

8. With a Little Help From My Friends
(The Beatles cover)

9. Rosanna

10. Africa

 

My buddy, Mike, tipped me off that some thing special was going to open the Journey set. Neal Schon performed an unbelievable rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” with the band helping him and the arena glowing in patriotic lights and crowd cheers! I learned that there was a CNN film crew there that was documenting a special to be aired later and the “Star Spangled Banner” was for the filming of that special. I’ll be looking for the CNN piece on Journey in the coming weeks for sure! The video crew broadcasting the video on the backstage wall did a great job of making it all look amazing. See the gallery for what I mean by that. Journey then broke into “Only The Young” and “Stone In Love” for the full two songs I got to photograph. It was nice to see Jonathan Cain on guitar and capture that instead of just behind the piano. Arnell Pineda is so full of life and to think that he is a year older than I am is just crazy. He jumps, runs, spins and looks like he is thirty years younger than he is! Oh, and, he sounds incredible! No idea how he does that every night! Deen Castronovo is such a great drummer but what an incredible singer as well. He took on “Mother, Father” with absolute perfection. Keyboard player, Jason Derlatka, handled not only great background vocals but also lead vocals on, “Girl Can’t Help It” and made me think about how much talent was present on-stage before me that evening. Todd Jensen was a natural on-stage with Jonathan Cain next to him on keys and piano. He fit in really well. That leaves me with the one and only, Neal Schon. All I can say is that the first time I heard the guitar riff at the beginning of “Don’t Stop Believin'” I knew I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I followed Neal through Journey, HSAS, Hardline, Bad English and I really love his solo albums especially the album Late Night. For a guitarist in a pop music band to be on the Hear ‘N’ Aid heavy metal “We’re Stars” song says a lot about how Neal has been respected by so many throughout the years. He had me mesmerized the entire show! We were fortunate enough to have seats just to the side of the stage. What was really fun to see that Neal’s wife, Michaele, was loving every moment of every song just to the right of us. She was happily throwing T-Shirts to the crowd and even came over and gave us a couple! You can see how much she just loves what Neal does and she is Journey’s biggest fan! Journey still has that arena act draw and I can’t imagine ever seeing them not filling an 18,000 seat arena! Rock on!

 

Journey:

Neal Schon: Guitars, Vocals

Jonathan Cain: Keyboards. Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Deen Castronovo: Drums; Vocals

Arnel Pineda: Lead Vocals

Todd Jensen: Bass

Jason Derlatka: Keyboards, Vocals

 

 

 

Set List:

1. The Star-Spangled Banner
(John Stafford Smith & Francis Scott Key cover)

2. Only the Young

3. Stone in Love

4. Don’t Stop Believin’

5. Lights

6. Send Her My Love

7. You Got the Best of Me
(Live Debut)

8. Dead or Alive

9. Who’s Crying Now

10. Mother, Father
(Deen Castronovo on Lead Vocals)

11. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

Jonathan Cain Piano Solo

12. Open Arms

13. Faithfully

14. Girl Can’t Help It
(Jason Derlatka on Lead Vocals)

Neal Schon Guitar Solo

15. Wheel in the Sky

16. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

17. Be Good to Yourself

18. Any Way You Want It

 

 

 

Follow Toto Online:

Follow Journey Online:

Scott Diussa is a photographer, guitarist, bassist, videographer and audio engineer based in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Scott has been photographing concerts since 1994 and has a degree in commercial photography. You can follow Scott on Instagram at @sdiussa. www.scottdiussa.com

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA