On Wednesday July 30, 2014 the Harrah's/Harveys Summer Concert Series continues at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena with rock legends Journey, Steve Miller Band and up and coming rocker, (18 year old) Matthew Curry.
This show was very close to being sold out if it was not, this examiner only saw a few open seats in the entire venue not being used. Rock fans of all ages watched three brilliant sets from three great bands. The place was rockin' all night.
Journey is one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, creating some of the best-known songs in modern music. They have continued to tour and record into the 21st century, and have never stopped creating vital music. Since the group's formation in 1973, the band has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums. The band's Greatest Hits album is certified 15 times Platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified album holders.
In 2011, Journey released an album of brand new material, Eclipse, featuring the line-up of Neal Schon (guitars, backing vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals), Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Arnel Pineda (lead vocals).
As this examiner has said before, the addition of singer Pineda to the mix has brought new life to this band over the last several years and it really shows.
Journey rocked the stage a bit over 90 minutes, the set list goes something like this,
"Be Good To Yourself", "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)", "Any Way You Want It", "Only The Young", "The Star-Spangled Banner" (John Stafford Smith cover), "Stone In Love", "Mother, Father" (vocals by Castronovo), "Lights", "She's a Mystery", (Cain Piano Solo), "Open Arms", "Escape", "Ritual", "La Do Da", "Anytime", (Schon Guitar Solo), "Wheel In The Sky", "Faithfully", "Don't Stop Believin' " and one encore song, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " (Schon's son Miles joined the band onstage for this one).
Journey has proven time and again how good they are live and this show was no exception. The band put on an exceptional and very powerful performance with a stage set-up like no other this examiner has ever seen. Pineda's vocals were spot on, (Steven who). His stage presence was off-the-hook good as he was all over the place, he had everyone eating out of his hands the whole time. As for mega shredder Schon, well, what else can you say but "awesome". He is very good at what he does and you can see it in every song. The whole band rocked, so far this was the show of the Summer in this examiners opinion. Schon's son Miles who was headlining the after show party at the Cabo Wabo Catina inside Harveys joined the band onstage during the encore. Like his dad, he can shred on guitar.
Supporting act, (if you can call him that) was Steve "Guitar" Miller and his band.
Call him the Gangster of Love. Call him Maurice. You can even call him the The Joker (which turned 40 this year by the way) or Space Cowboy. Everybody knows that Steve Miller speaks the pompatus of love. Whatever you call him, Steve Miller is making the best music of his life and he is making lots of it. Steve Miller Band has been touring with Journey this Summer for the first time ever. The announcement of the 2014 touring season by the Steve Miller Band follows four of the most busy, productive years in the long, illustrious career of Steve Miller, an artist at the peak of his powers, in demand around the world.
Current members include, Steve Miller (lead guitar, lead vocals), Jacob Petersen (guitar, backing vocals), Kenny Lee Lewis (bass, backing vocals), Sonny Charles (backing vocals), Joseph Wooten (keyboard, backing vocals) and Gordy Knudtson (drums, backing vocals).
Millers set lasted around an hour and 10 minutes and went like this, (from the set list on the sound board)
"Jungle Love", "Take The Money And Run", "Abracadabra", "Sugar Baby", "Space Cowboy", "Serenade", "The Stake", "Oh Poo Pah Do", "Stranger Blues" (Matthew Curry joined the band on stage), "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Wild Mountain Honey/Wintertime", "The Joker", "Swingtown", "Rockn' Me", "Jet Airliner" and two encore songs, "Space Intro" and "Fly Like An Eagle".
The only problem this examiner has with the Steve Miller Band is the photo restrictions they give the photographers. We can only shoot the last three songs of the set, which is the norm, but it's usually the first three songs. The problem lies from where we can shoot, we had to shoot from the soundboard which is 33 rows back plus a ten foot wide isle from the stage. Unless you have a $10,000+ 500mm or bigger lens (which the house photographer had) you're really limited as what you can do. Mr. Miller please change your photo policy, you still look great on stage. Well at least we got to shoot, I guess that's a good thing.
With that said, Miller put on a spectacular show. The band had the entire venue on their feet for most of their set singing and dancing in the isles. Miller still has what it takes to rock the house, which he did. During his set he invited Matthew Curry (the show opener) out on stage to jam on "Stranger Blues" where he played lead with Miller. The kid can really play. Miller really likes talking with the audience during his set, which always makes for a good show in my opinion.
The show started off with up and coming guitarist Matthew Curry, unfortunately this examiner missed most of his set getting all my credentials in order. According to Steve Miller, he "killed it".
Current members are, Matthew Curry (lead guitar, vocals), Tim Kramp (drums), Tim Brickner (bass, backing vocals) and Mike Nellas (keyboard, backing vocals).
This was a great show, if you have the chance to see any of the remaining shows that are scheduled of this tour, do it, you won't be disappointed.
A good time was had by all.
With the Summer Concert Series in full swing at Harrah's/Harveys, there are still plenty of great shows to come, to see what's next (click here). The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena is one of the premier venues for the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area, there's really not a bad seat in the house and all the people that work there are very friendly and helpful with everything.
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.
All photos by JOHN TUCKNESS
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