I Took A Little Break From Country Music To Rock With My Favorite Band

Matt Appleby and his wife Kelly just before the Concert For Legends in Canton Saturday August 6, 2022Photo: All photos by Matt Appleby

I have a birthday coming up and, as has become our family tradition, we make it a week long celebration aka my "Week Long Birthday World Tour". This year's celebration began with a big surprise; tickets to see Journey at the Concert For Legends at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. I had already missed two other opportunities to see Journey (Cleveland and Columbus) and had figured it was not going to happen this year.

My wife left a couple of bread crumbs, clues, that something was going to happen Saturday night and I was not to make any plans. Still I had no idea. Then, Saturday morning, the truth was revealed. We'd be headed to Canton that evening!!!!!!!!!

This would mark the 10th time I've seen this band since I first got hooked on their music in 1978. The first two Journey concerts came in May and August of 1981 respectively. Back then their lead singer was Steve Perry. Perry is widely considered as one of the greatest Rock voices of all-time. Perry officially exited Journey in 1997. Only recently has there been a rumor or two of Neal Schon, the lone remaining founding member, leaving the door open for Perry to return to sing a few songs when the band celebrates it's 50th Anniversary next year. That would be sweet!

Journey is currently fronted by 54 year old Arnel Pineda. Pineda, the third Perry replacement, was invited to join the band in 2007 after Neal Schon discovered the native of the Phillipines singing on a YouTube video. He's doing a great job carrying-on the legacy of those classic Journey tunes as well as providing lead vocals on Journey's three most recent albums including "Freedom" which came out last month.

Toto has been the opener on Journey's "Freedom" Tour, with Saturday being the exception when Donnie Iris took the stage first with his hits "Ah Leah" and "Love Is Like A Rock".

Here's a gallery of photos from the show shot on my phone with most aimed at the video display at the stadium. Good enough to capture some great memories when these Rock Hall of Famers came to the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

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