Neal Schon’s Latest LP Is A “Universal” Success

Courtesy: Neal Schon Music, Inc.

It goes without saying that guitarist Neal Schon is one of the most well-known and respected figures in the music industry today.  A founding member of legendary rock band Journey, Schon has also worked with fellow rock legend Carlos Santana, and is also a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee.  The band he helped found has sold millions of records the world over, too, thanks in part to his own performances on said records.  Schon added yet another proverbial notch in his belt this month when he released his new solo album Universe.  The 15-song record is a surprisingly enjoyable presentation that will appeal equally to fans of Journey, Schon and to real rock musicianship in general.  This is proven in no small part to the musical arrangements that make up the body of the 70-minute record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements’ sequencing builds on the foundation built by the songs themselves and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be examined later.  All three elements noted here are important in their own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Universe more proof of why Neal Schon is in fact one of the most respected and well-known figures in the entire musical universe.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Neal Schon’s new solo album Universe is a strong new musical statement from a musician who has already so many laurels over the course of his career.  It is a presentation that will appeal widely not only to his fans, but to those of Journey and of real pure guitar rock, too.  That is proven continuously throughout the course of the album’s hour-plus run time in large part because of its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are wide spread in terms of their influences and comparison.  The record opens with a decidedly Joe Satriani style composition in ‘Something in the Heart.’  The song finds Schon playing so subtly against an orchestral backing and slow, steady drum beat to open the song.  The picture that it paints is like something that belongs in the end credits of some blockbuster drama on the big screen (E.g. the sun setting on the lead characters, their silhouettes the only part of them visible following the events of the story).  The subtlety in Schon’s performance alongside that of the song’s orchestral element is such a powerful presentation.  On a distinctly different note, Schon takes listeners in a completely different direction in ‘She’s For Real.’  The use of the strings in this song’s arrangement pairs with the piano arrangement to create something of a vintage disco type of style approach.  The aforementioned Joe Satriani-esque guitar work and the solid time keeping that accompany the strings and piano come into play here to enhance the arrangement even more, and make it that much more engaging and entertaining.   Not only that, but it also adds to the discussion on the diversity of the album’s musical arrangements.  It strengthens that discussion and in turn the importance of that element.  Showing even more, the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements is the frantic ‘Be Happy,’ which comes late in the album’s run.  The high-energy composition clocks in at just under three-and-a-half minutes, and makes full use of that time, too.  Schon’s fingers run their way all over his guitar’s fret board while the bass line and time keeping add an extra layer to the work.  The ghost notes and cymbal crashes from the percussion give just the right accent along with the bass drum.  The repetition of the almost walking bass line makes for a solid counterpoint to Schon’s fiery guitar work.  The addition of the strings to the mix adds its own unique touch to the whole, too.  By the time the song ends, listeners themselves will be left feeling breathless just from hearing the whole of the noted elements.  The composition is that intense, but in the best way possible.  It is just one more way in which the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements come through so clearly.  Between this work, the others addressed here, the likes of others, such as the slow jam style ‘Silent Voyage,’ the powerhouse cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain,’ and the bluesy, almost Pink Floyd-esque ‘Caruso,’ that diversity becomes even clearer.  When all of this is considered along with the rest of the album’s works, that diversity shines through even more, leaving zero doubt as to its importance.  It is of course just one of the key elements that makes Universe such a surprisingly successful album.  The sequencing of the album’s featured musical arrangements adds even more impact to the album’s presentation.

The sequencing of Universe is important to examine because it plays directly into listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  As already noted, the album opens on a somewhat somber note in ‘Something in the Heart.’  From there, the album’s energy only barely picks up as it progresses through ‘The Eye of God’ and ‘The Universe.’  From there, ‘Caruso’ pulls things back again before finally really letting loose in the cover of ‘Voodoo Child.’  The energy in that song carries through to ‘Third Stone From the Sun’ before really pulling back again in Schon’s cover of ‘Purple Rain.’  Listeners will be glad to know that things do not stay reserved for too long, as the album starts to pick back up again immediately after in ‘She’s For Real.’  The rises and falls in the album’s energy continues from here with full stability, ensuring just as much, that noted engagement and entertainment for audiences.  The bigger picture, looking back, is that of sequencing that took into full account, the songs’ energies and impact thereof.  The result of that attention to detail makes an album that listeners will find just as enjoyable to hear for this aspect as for the songs themselves.  Keeping all of this in mind, now it is even clearer why Universe is such a successful new offering from Schon.  It still is just one more aspect of the album that listeners will appreciate.  The production of Schon’s new album puts the finishing touch to the presentation.

As has already been noted more than once here, there is a lot going on in many of the songs featured in Universe.  This means that a lot of attention had to be paid to detail in each song.  That is so that the sound is balanced to the best degree possible in each work.  Those efforts paid off, too.  Schon takes center stage throughout the album, and with good cause.  At the same time though, Schon’s fellow musicians each get their own attention in each song.  The string arrangements are balanced so well each time they are incorporated into the songs.  The bass line, which far too often is under used by bands across the board, gets its own time in the light throughout the album, too.  Even the drums sound so rich, but never overpowering at any point. Simply put, throughout the course of Universe’s one hour, 10-minute presentation, each instrument and performance is expertly balanced in each song.  The result is that the album sounds that much more appealing.  When this is considered along with the appeal just from the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements and the effect of the arrangements’ sequencing, the album in whole becomes a presentation that is another presentation from Schon that will appeal just as much to his fans as to those of Journey and guitar rock.

Neal Schon’s newly released solo album Universe is a positive new offering from the guitarist, whose accolades are already numerous.  Its diverse musical arrangements in themselves are certain to appeal to the noted wide range of listeners, along with the sequencing of those arrangements.  The production of the arrangements puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation, giving them the aesthetic that makes their sound just as appealing as their general content.  It puts the final touch to the album’s whole.  When it is considered with the songs and their sequencing, that whole makes the album a presentation that will appeal just as much to Schon’s fans as to those of journey and pure guitar rock.  Universe is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Schon’s latest news at:

Website: http://schonmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/schonmusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Journey Front Man Debuts New Holiday Song

Courtesy: Imagen Records

Journey front man Arnel Pineda released a new, original holiday song over the weekend.

Pineda debuted his new song ‘This Christmas – A Beacon of Hope’ Friday through Imagen Records. The song, available to stream and download here, is a power ballad very much in the vein of so many Journey hits. Its strings, vocals, steady time keeping and piano line provide a true depth to the song that will resonate with any Journey fan.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is meant as a tribute to everyone who has done their part to help others over the course of 2020, according to a statement from Pineda; Not just in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to other things that have happened around the world.

“The Year 2020 has brought many challenges for all of us: Taal Volcano eruption in January, Typhoon Vamco/Ulysses in November and the ongoing COVID crisis,” he said. “Every single one of you has played the hero one way or another. Thank you for your commitment and dedication. Thank you for your collaboration, compassion and courage. Thank you for providing exceptional care and – most importantly – thank you for giving us hope during these uncertain times. APFI volunteers and donors have been – and are still – doing what we can with all that we have.”

More inforamtion on Arnel Pineda’s new single is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: http://arnelpineda.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ArnelPinedaOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/arnelpineda

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Journey Cancels 2020 Tour Amid Concerns Over COVID-19 Outbreak

Courtesy: Journey

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused the cancellation of yet another band’s tour.

Journey made the announcement Tuesday, it has canceled its 2020 tour as a result of the outbreak.  That is according to a news release distributed about the cancellation.

Band founding member Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and vocalist Arnel Pineda released a joint statement about the cancellation.

“There is no greater thrill for us than playing for our incredibly devoted audience, but their safety must come first,” the statement reads. “Having seen what the world has endured during the last 45 days, and not knowing what the rest of this year or 2021 will bring, we knew the right thing to do was to make sure our fans’ health was not put in jeopardy and to provide immediate access to refund options given the unexpected events caused by this terrible virus. We would like to thank all doctors, nurses, police, other first responders and essential workers for their heroic efforts; as well as our fans for doing everything possible to stay safe. We would also like to send The Pretenders our best wishes and hope to see them in the future. We will see everyone again as soon as it is safe to tour, and we will share that news as it becomes available. In the meantime, please Don’t Stop Believin’ in the wonder of life and in each other.”

The band has ensured audiences who bought tickets to its planned shows will receive refunds.  Audiences can also request a 150% credit and Live Nation will donate the same number of tickets purchased to health care workers on the front lines.

More information on the refunds and ticket options is available at livenation.com/ticketrefund.  Fans who purchased tickets can also contact Live Nation here.

Fans impacted by the outbreak can still enjoy Journey live thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment even if they can’t take in the band’s show live in person.  The band released its recording Live in Japan 2017 last year on a variety of platforms.

The recording features the band performing two of its most iconic albums — Eclipse and Frontiers — in their entirety in front of a packed house in Japan.  The expansive show’s run time surpasses the two-hour mark.

More information on Journey’s tour cancellation is available online along with the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.journeymusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/journey

Twitter: http://twitter.com/journeyofficial

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Journey’s New Live Recording Is A Powerful New Musical Adventure

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

World-renowned rock band Journey released its brand new live recording this week.  The recording, Escape & Frontiers Live in Japan, was released Friday through Eagle Rock Entertainment.  While not the group’s first live recording ever – the group’s most recent live recording, Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour, was released in 2005 through Columbia Records – it is still a piece that audiences and the band’s more devoted fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list is just as important to discuss as the set list itself, and will be addressed a little later on.  The companion booklet included with the set plays its own integral part to the recording’s overall presentation.  Together with the recording’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of the set becomes an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.

Veteran rock band Journey’s latest live recording Escape & Frontiers Live in Japan is an offering that classic rock fans and Journey’s more devout fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  An expansive two-hour-plus concert, the set list covers two of the band’s most well-known and beloved albums – Escape and Frontiers.  The concert, originally recorded in 2017 at the famed Budokan in Japan, covers both albums in full.  What’s more, the band performs each album in its original sequence from start to end in the exact same order as their original presentations.  The band wastes little time between the songs, filling time with pointless chatter.  Rather, the band collectively does its talking through its music.  That is not to say that the band’s members don’t talk at all between songs.  There are moments in which each member of the band offers some commentary, sharing stories of songs’ creation.  However, those moments are limited in their frequency.  That limit makes the noted all the more special, and at the same time, the rest of the concert just as enjoyable for audiences.  With all of this in mind, the set list proves to be an integral portion of this recording’s presentation.  It is just one of the most important of the recording’s whole.  The band’s performance of the set list is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.

The band’s performance is important to address in the bigger picture of the recording because it is so engaging and entertaining throughout the show.  Lead guitarist Neal Schon shows time and again with his work, why he is such a respected musician.  From his work on the soaring show opener that is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ to his more subtle performance in ‘Who’s Crying Now’ to the driving riffs of ‘Chain Reaction’ and more, Schon shows that he is still at the top of his game even so many decades after first picking up a guitar.  Drummer Steve Smith’s timing in each song is impeccable. His fills, his control of his drum kit and stamina are just as impressive.  Drummers will note his stamina and creative performance is due to obvious classical training.  He uses his wrists instead of his arms to play.  He also uses plenty of rudiments throughout each song, utilizing every inch of his kit.  At no point does he ever show any sign of drained energy, nor does he lose any ability to keep the songs interesting in his own right.  Again, here is a clear example of the band’s talents throughout the show.  Keyboardist/guitarist and bassist Jonathan Cain and Ross Valory help maintain each song’s foundation in their own way, too, giving just as much positive energy as their band mates.  Front man Arnel Pineda, while maybe not as tall as his band mates, proves big things can and do come in small packages.  He delivers a nonstop powerhouse vocal performance, displaying time and again, an impressive control over his voice.  That includes not just in terms of dynamics, but also his ability to properly convey the feeling of each song.  When His vocal prowess is coupled with the talents of his band mates, all of which have been noted here, the whole of the band’s performance becomes a spectacle that shows how a live concert is done right.  As noted in the recording’s companion booklet, which itself will be discussed shortly, there is no pyro in this show.  There are no giant video screens behind the band.  There are no special effects other than lighting.  That puts the full attention on the band, and the band makes the most of that attention in every song.  That less is more approach makes the band’s performance more than enough reason for audiences to watch this show.  It will be two hours-plus well-spent.

The band’s performance in whole gives audiences more than enough to appreciate in this recording.  It would be unfair, of course, to ignore the work of those behind the cameras, lenses and computers in the production and post.  It is thanks to those individuals’ efforts, that the energy of that performance is heightened even more for home viewers.  The timing of the shots, the shots’ angles and the sound are top quality.  Given, Eagle Rock Entertainment would not release a recording whose production values are any less.  It is the standard for which Eagle Rock has come to be known.  Even with that in mind, it would be wrong it ignore the part of those who captured the band’s performance and prepared it for its presentation.  Those individuals did just as much to make this show enjoyable for audiences as the band itself.

Having noted the set list featured in this recording and the band’s performance thereof, it is obvious that the recording offers plenty of appeal.  They are only a portion of what makes the recording another positive offering from Journey and Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The recording’s companion booklet adds its own share of interest to the recording’s whole.  As already noted, the recording’s booklet notes the simplicity of the show’s stage setup.  There’s no pyro, no giant video screens behind the band, no other special effects.  There are some steel structures behind the band, but they are really more cosmetic than anything else. They don’t really serve any other purpose than to add to the stage’s look.  The liner notes, crafted by journalist Matt Wardlaw, gives audiences insight into the importance of Escape and Frontiers, noting that the two albums collectively spawned eight Top 40 singles and sold no less than 20 million copies worldwide.  The liner notes also note that Journey’s 2017 Budokan performance was not the first time the band performed at the famed venue.  The full story on that will be left for audiences to discover on their own.  There is even a mention about Smith’s technical prowess by Valory included in the liner notes, going back to the previous discussion on Smith’s talents.  If that is not enough for audiences, Wardlaw cites Pineda as he talks about his nerves before going on stage with his band mates because of his own lifelong view of the Budokan.  Everything noted here is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that is the liner notes in the recording’s companion booklet.  Between these notes and many others featured in the booklet, audiences get a rich, thorough setup on the concert before they ever take in the concert.  At the same time, the notes give an equally rich examination of the albums performed in whole in the concert.  In other words, the liner notes offer audiences just as much appeal as the concert contained in the two CDs and one DVD/BD (One set is 2 CD/DVD and the other 2 CD/BD) that make up the recording’s packaging.  When that concert is considered alongside the liner notes,  the whole becomes a presentation that classic rock and Journey fans alike will appreciate.

Escape & Frontiers Live in Japan is a strong new offering from veteran rock band Journey.  The recording presents the band as a unit that is still going strong decades after its formation.  It also gives longtime fans a full performance of two of the band’s most iconic albums in exactly the same sequence as their presentation in those noted albums.  The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet put the finishing touch to the recording’s presentation.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, they make Escape & Frontiers Live in Japan a work that proves itself worthy of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  It is available now.  More information on the recording is available online now along with all of Journey’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.journeymusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/journey

Twitter: http://twitter.com/journeyofficial

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Journey To Release New Live Recording Next Month

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Journey is partnering with Eagle Rock Entertainment to release its next new live recording.

Live in Japan 2017Escape + Frontiers is scheduled for release on March 29.  It will be available on DVD+2CD and Blu-ray+2CD combo packs.

Originally recorded Feb. 7, 2017at Japan’s famed Budokan stage, the concert features the band performing songs from its landmark albums Escape (1981) and Frontiers (1983).  The two albums combined produced eight Top 40 singles and sold almost 20 million copies worldwide.  Among the songs featured in the concert’s expansive 26-song, 2-hour set are the timeless classic ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ ‘Edge of the Blade,’ and ‘Faithfully.

The concert’s complete set list is noted below.

TRACK LISTING:

DVD portion:
1. Don’t Stop Believin’ Intro
2. Don’t Stop Believin’
3. Stone In Love
4. Who’s Crying Now
5. Keep On Runnin’
6. Still They Ride
7. Escape
8. Lay It Down
9. Dead Or Alive
10. Neal Schon Guitar Solo
11. Mother, Father
12. Jonathan Cain Piano Solo
13. Open Arms
14. Separate Ways Intro
15. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
16. Send Her My Love
17. Chain Reaction
18. After The Fall
19. Faithfully
20. Edge Of The Blade
21. Steve Smith Drum Solo
22. Back Talk
23. Frontiers
24. Rubicon
25. La Raza del Sol
26. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

2CD:
CD1: Escape
1. Don’t Stop Believin’ Intro
2. Don’t Stop Believin’
3. Stone In Love
4. Who’s Crying Now
5. Keep On Runnin’
6. Still They Ride
7. Escape
8. Lay It Down
9. Dead Or Alive
10. Neal Schon Guitar Solo
11. Mother, Father
12. Jonathan Cain Piano Solo
13. Open Arms

CD2: Frontiers
14. Separate Ways Intro
15. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
16. Send Her My Love
17. Chain Reaction
18. After The Fall
19. Faithfully
20. Edge Of The Blade
21. Steve Smith Drum Solo
22. Back Talk
23. Frontiers
24. Rubicon
25. La Raza del Sol
26. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

A trailer for the recording is streaming online now herePre-orders are open now.

More information on Live in Japan 2017Escape + Frontiers is available along with all of Journey’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.journeymusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/journey

Twitter: http://twitter.com/journeyofficial

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Live In Manila’ Re-Issue Is A Great Musical “Journey” For Journey Fans

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

On March 14th, 2009 Journey performed a landmark concert in Manila before thousands of fans.  The concert was a landmark for the band because it marked a homecoming for the band’s then new front man Arnel Pineda. It marked the first time that Pineda had performed in front of his fellow countrymen since joining the band two years prior in 2007.  Though, not the first time that Pineda had performed with the band since he replaced former front man Steve Augeri—who left the band in 2006—it was still a very special performance both for Pineda and for his band mates.  It ended up being recorded for DVD and released on DVD the same month.  Now seven years following its original release, that same concert will be re-issued by Eagle Rock Entertainment on separate DVD + 2CD combo pack, Blu-ray + 2CD combo pack, and digital platforms.  The concert will be released this Friday in stores and online.  For fans that were not lucky enough to get their hands on the concert’s original presentation, this upcoming re-issue offers plenty to appreciate beginning with its set list.  That will be discussed later.  The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is another positive to the concert.  Last but definitely not least of note in to the new re-issue’s presentation is its companion booklet.  Each element presents its own importance to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Journey: Live in Manila yet another clear example of what makes Eagle Rock Entertainment the leading name in live entertainment and why Journey remains today one of the most respected bands in the rock community.

Journey: Live in Manila is yet another example of what makes Eagle Rock Entertainment the leading name in live recordings and why Journey remains today one of the most respected bands in the rock community.  That is due in part to the concert’s extensive set list.  The twenty-six song set list spans two CDs and almost every era of the veteran band’s life.  Fans will especially appreciate in examining the recording that every song featured in the recording’s CD presentation is also included in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation, too.  On the surface that might not seem like much to some audiences.  But the reality of the matter is that there are many live recordings out there that feature set lists which vary between their CD presentations and DVD/BD presentations.  That includes not only their sequencing but also in the very omission of songs in one format or the other.  They are not rare but they are not overly prominent either.  That being the case, the fact that the set list presented in this concert is exactly the same both in terms of its featured songs and its sequencing is a major positive to note.  The fact that it reaches through so much of Journey’s catalogue makes the show’s set list even more notable.  The set list is, of course, just one of the concert’s most notable elements.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the extensive two hour plus concert is just as important to note in its presentation as the shows set list.
The extensive set list that is presented in Journey: Live in Manila is a hugely important part of the concert’s presentation. That is because it reaches through so much of the band’s catalogue.  It is also important to note because even now in the concert’s re-issue the show’s set list remains the same on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.  It stays the same both in terms of its makeup and its sequencing.  It is just one part of what makes the concert’s presentation so enjoyable for fans in this new re-issue.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is just as important to note as the featured set list.  Whether in its CD presentation or in its DVD/BD presentation, the band’s stage presence is incredible from beginning to end.  Pineda proves at every point that the band made the right choice bringing him in as its new front man.  From his vocal prowess to his very charisma and energy, Pineda keeps the throngs completely engaged in his homecoming.  Pineda’s band mates are just as impressive in their performances, too. Between the powerhouse riffs provided by guitarist Neil Schon, the creative and impeccable time keeping of drummer Deen Castronovo, Jonathan Cain’s keyboard lines, and bassist Ross Valory’s bass line, every member of the band brings his own special touch to the band’s overall stage presence.  Altogether, the energy exuded by the band puts the show over the top.  That is especially the case when the band’s presence is coupled with the set list itself.  When both elements are set against one another, the reasons for Journey fans to own this collection become even clearer.  They are not the only elements that are worth noting in the recording’s presentation, though.  As with so many Eagle Rock recordings, the recording’s companion booklet plays its own important part here believe it or not.
The set list that is featured in Journey: Live in Manila and the band’s performance thereof are both key elements to the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because of their ability to entertain home audiences just as much as the audiences that were in attendance for the original concert.  Both elements succeed entirely.  They are not the only key elements to consider in this recording, however.  Believe it or not, the concert’s companion booklet plays a part in the concert’s presentation that is just as important as the concert’s set list and the band’s stage presence.  That is because the booklet sets up the concert contained in the various platforms.  It shows once again why there will always be a place for physical copies of any recording even in a digital age.   The companion booklet sets up the concert by presenting a written background on how Arnel Pineda came to be Journeys then new front man and the importance of his performance with the band in his home country only a couple of years after he first joined the band.  Even being in written form, that brief but concise history paints a rich picture of the band’s rebirth and its triumphant “return” of sorts upon that rebirth.  It is a picture that is so rich that it is easy to see everything unfold in one’s own mind.  It shows why the booklet, as simple as it might be, is just as important to the concert’s presentation and experience as are the shows featured set list and the band’s performance thereof.  What’s even more interesting is that it still is not the last element that could be noted.  The top notch audio and video mix could be noted just as much as the concert’s packaging, too.  But those are elements for another discussion.  All things considered, Journey: Live in Manila shows in the end once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings and why Journey remains to this day one of the most respected bands in the rock community.
Journey: Live in Manila is a must have recording for any true fan of the veteran rock outfit.  It is one more clear example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  It is just as much an example of why Journey remains today one of the most respected acts in the rock community.  That is evidenced through the set list featured in this recording, the band’s performance thereof, and companion booklet that comes with the recording’s new re-issue.  One could also cite the recording’s packaging as a positive and its top notch production values, too.  Each element is important in its own right.  That goes without saying.  All in all this re re-issue shows itself to be a welcome addition to any Journey fan’s music library.  It will be available tomorrow, September 9th in stores and online.  More information on Journey: Live in Manila is available online now at:
More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Re-Issuing Journey Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is teaming with Journey to release the band’s latest live recording.

Journey: Live in Manila will be released Friday, September 9th via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The concert presented in this recording was originally recorded on March 14th, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia in Manila, Philippines.  It would go on to be released on DVD only months later.  Now, seven years later, it is being re-issued on separate DVD + 2CD combo pack ($34.98), Blu-ray + 2CD combo pack ($39.98), and digital platforms by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The twenty-seven song, two-hour-plus set was recorded in 4K utilizing RED technology for the best possible visual and audio experience for fans.  That set features many of the band’s biggest hits and some of its lesser-known pieces including but not limited to: ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ ‘Be Good To Yourself,’ ‘Stone In Love,’ ‘Open Arms,’ ‘Faithfully, ‘Still They Ride,’ ‘When You Love A Woman,’ ‘Any Way You Want It,’ ‘Lovin’, Touchin’,’ Squeezin’,’ and a number of others.  The concert’s complete set list is noted below.

 

TRACK LISTING

1) Intro Medley: The Journey (Revelation) / Majestic

2) Never Walk Away

3) Only The Young

4) Ask The Lonely

5) Stone In Love

6) Keep On Runnin’

7) After All These Years

8) Change For The Better

9) Wheel In The Sky

10) Lights

11) Still They Ride

12) Open Arms

13) Mother, Father

14) Wildest Dream

15) When You Love A Woman

16) Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

17) What I Needed

18) Edge Of The Blade

19) Where Did I Lose Your Love

20) Escape

21) Faithfully

22) Don’t Stop Believin’

23) Any Way You Want It

24) Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

25) Turn Down The World Tonight

26) Be Good To Yourself

27) Credits: The Journey (Revelation)

 

More information on Journey: Live in Manila is available online now along with all of Journey’s news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.journeymusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/journey

Twitter: http://twitter.com/journeyofficial

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

The Rock Carnival Returns This Summer

Courtesy:  Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

Courtesy: Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

The Rock Carnival is officially returning.

The Rock Carnival, the Northeast’s only classic carnival + Rock ‘N Roll experience returns this year for its second year.  And headlining this year’s festival is none other than one of the great legends of rock, Alice Cooper.  The second annual Rock Carnival will be held Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd.  It is produced by Stan Levinstone Presents and Game Loud.  It will take place at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood New Jersey.  It is the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball team.  The team is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  This year marks the first time that it will take place at FirstEnergy Park.  General Admission tickets for single day and weekend access are available now along with Reserved Seat Weekend passes VIP packages, and Skybox Meet and Greets.  The General admission passes and Reserved Seat Weekend Passes can be purchased online here now.  The VIP and Skybox packages are available here.

While Alice Cooper will headline this year’s festival he will not be the only big name on the bill.  Also on this year’s bill are the likes of: Kyng, Overkill, Texas Hippie Coalition, Jackyl, Ace Frehley, Clutch, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Fuel and many others. Twisted Sister will also be on hand for the festival in its final tri-state appearance.  The performance is part of the band’s official farewell tour.  Performances will take place across a number of stages including two side-by-side main stages.

Along with the major acts scheduled to perform, a special “Classic” Friday night celebration has been added to this year’s festivities.  The celebration will feature performances by a number of cover bands including: Voyage (Journey tribute band), Almost Queen (Queen tribute band), and Zakk Zabbath.  Zac Sabbath’s lineup features Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals and guitar, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) on bass, and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on drums.

More information on the second annual Rock Carnival will be announced in the weeks to come.  Audiences can keep up with all of those updates online now at:

 

 

Website: http://therockcarnival.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockCarnival

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRockCarnival

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Tempt’s Debut EP Is A Guilty Pleasure For Any Fan Of Big Hair And Even Bigger Rock

Courtesy:  Chipster PR

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Indie rock band Tempt recently released its debut EP Under My Skin.  The New York based band’s debut record is something special, especially for fans of bands such as Def Leppard, Journey, Poison and others of that ilk.  The band’s members—Zach Allen (vocals), Harrison Marcello (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmi Kane (drums), and Zak Gross (bass, vocals)—are way too young to have grown up in the 80s.  But the sound that the band’s members collectively craft is one that displays such respect for the music of the era.  It truly makes Tempt quite the rarity in the current era of rock music.  The band transports audiences back to that era of big hair and equally big rock songs right off the top in the EP’s title track.  That pomp and bombast doesn’t let up even in the slightest as the band moves into the EP’s second song.  The song exhibits something of a Queensryche influence circa Rage for Order.  And on the EP’s penultimate track, the 8-s big hair influence keeps rolling before the band closes things with a standard 80s ballad-style song.  All things considered, anyone that is a fan of big rock and big hair will agree after hearing this EP that Under My Skin is one of the best of the year’s new EPs.

The members of Tempt look to be far too young to have grown up in the 80s.  That hasn’t stopped the band from crafting an EP loaded with music that sounds like it has been kept in a time capsule for ages and pulled right from that era of big rock and big hair.  This is obvious right off the top in the EP’s opener and title track.  If one didn’t know any better, one would think this was Def Leppard, Journey, Poison, or another major name act that had its heyday in that era.  Lyrically speaking, the song centers on the standard subject of a broken relationship.  What’s most interesting about it here is not just the standard over-the-top nature of the song, but [Zach] Allen’s vocals on the song.  He sings much in the same style as other big name vocalists from the day as he sings, “Stop and start many years ago/You was a looker that I/Got to know/Now I’m sitting here/The pain won’t die/With the letter saying you’ve left my side.”  There is just a certain quality to his vocal style.  And the song’s chorus brings about even more of that classic song style with the rest of the band joining in almost the same style as the aforementioned bands.  It is pure retro rock joy for fans of that sound.

The first impression that the band makes on its brand new EP is just the beginning of the retro rock joy for fans of hair metal.  ‘Use It Or Lose It’ comes second on the disc.  Those that are more familiar with bands from the era of hair metal will hear influences from the likes of Queensryche right from the song’s opening riff and the chorus style vocals.  The song is just as good a follow-up to ‘Under My Skin’ lyrically as it is musically.  That’s because it follows a similar lyrical theme.  Allen sings here about a woman that is bad news for all intents and purposes.  He sings in the song’s opening verse, “She’ll steal your soul/Drag your mind through pouring rain/Take you down into the dark/She don’t feel no pain/But if I turn my back/Would you turn your eyes on them/Are you ready/Let the games begin.”  He goes on to sing of the woman in question in the song’s second verse, “She’s a one-of-a-kind/A storm within a name/A natural disaster/But I want her just the same.”  As with the EP’s opener, the style of Allen’s vocals and the song’s musical side together make this song sound like something right out of the 80s.  And again, that taken into consideration fans of that sound will welcome this song in with arms and ears wide open.

Both ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Use It Or Lose It’ are impressive additions to the debut EP from Tempt. The third of the EP’s tracks, ‘The Fight’ instantly conjures thoughts of Journey and other more melodic rock bands of their time. Its forward-driving sound and infectious chorus of “It’s the fight that makes us stronger, baby/We both know you can see” will have audiences singing along in no time whether it be in their vehicle on the road or in their own living room/bedroom. Along with the previously noted songs, this song is just as much an arena anthem as them and the EP’s closing number. Allen and his band mates are seemingly singing about the fight that we have within ourselves to not give up. In this case, it seems to be the fight to not give up on a relationship. If that be the case, then the song takes quite the upbeat turn from so many songs rooted in relationship issues. It actually argues that there is hope for a relationship that would otherwise be broken. That and the song’s musical side together make this one of the EP’s best numbers. And together with the EP’s previously noted tracks, it makes the EP even more worth the listen especially by anyone that grew up a fan of the era of big hair and big rock. Audiences can listen to the title track from Under My Skin now via Tempt’s official website at http://www.temptband.com/#!listen/c1x9v.

Under My Skin can be purchased online via iTunes and Amazon.com or at the band’s next live performance. The band is next scheduled to perform live Friday, July 18th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Audiences can keep up with the band’s tour schedule and all of the band’s latest news online both through its official website, http://www.temptband.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TemptBand. Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band through its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/temptband and its Reverb Nation website, http://www.reverbnation.com/temptband. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gus G. Debuts EPK Ahead Of New Single, Album Release

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Firewind front man Gus G. will release his debut solo album this Spring.  I Am The Fire is scheduled to be released March 18th in the United States.  It will be released March 17th in Europe.  It will be released worldwide via Century Media Records.  Before he releases his debut, Gus G. has released a brand new EPK that offers audiences a look inside the making of the album.  Fans can check out the new EPK online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJd38EoTLkA&feature=youtu.be.

The album’s title track is impacting radio now.  It is currently playing on Sirius RadioXM Octane.  It will be added to mainstream radio stations’ playlists beginning next Tuesday, February 18th.  It features the members of hard rock band Devour The Day as special guests.  It will go on sale digitally via iTunes February 25th.  The track listing for I Am The Fire is listed below.

        ‘I AM THE FIRE’ TRACK LISTING:

  1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
  2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
  3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
  4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
  5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
  6. Just Can’t Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
  7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
  8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
  9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
  10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
  11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
  12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

Gus G. handled all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on his solo debut.  Brought along for the record were drummers Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Devo) and, Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Marty O’Brien (Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen), and vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex-Yngwie Malmstein/Therion), Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill),Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jacob Bunton (Adler) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey).  The album was produced by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther).

More information on Gus G., his new album, tour news and more is available online at http://www.gusgofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/officialgusg, and http://twitter.com/gusgofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.