The guy who came up with the statement "mighty oaks from little acorns grow2-inust have had this gig in mind.
On stage Journey was putting the finishing touches on a set that had five hundred of the locals begging for more. Fine. Any band with the chops can have an audience foaming at the mouth if the music is good and the crowd isn't too far into the homegrown to respond. But, unbeknownst to the throng, their response to Journey's material was being gauged as an indicator of better things to come for the group.
Since the band's formation (as a result of what Journey afficienodos claim was Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon's refusal to follow Carlos Santana to the promised land) Journey has been the victim of what has been described as the "kissing your sister" syndrome of rock and roll.
The band's musical concoction (something along the lines of the Moody Blues meet Black Sabbath) seemed a natural in the progressive rock dry spell that was 1973. This was the ideal rock package! There's no way this band can stiff.
1973: Journey's first LP and one of the best singles recorded in the last decade, "To Play Some Music," lands with a resounding thud.
Undaunted, Journey (which also contains the talents of Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar) released Look Into The Future, an earthier extension of the band's predominantly instrumental bent. It too went to bubbling under with an anchor before sinking like a stone. Ditto their third LP, Next, which continued the group's stature as the gods of northern California. Unfortunately, Next and a ton of touring couldn't get Journey arrested anywhere outside the bay area.
All of which brings this odyseey to 1977 and two additions that will, doubtless, push Messers Rolie, Schon, Valory and Dunbar at long last into the black. One was the production hand of Roy Thomas Baker whose deft hand on Journey's latest LP, Infinity, added just the right polish to the band's rough edges. The other being the presence of lead singer Steven Perry, a mouthpiece whose soulful vocals and commercial leanings would seem to have bridged the final gap to Journey's commercial success.
Between sets in Santa Clara, Ca., Rolie, Perry and Valory talked about various aspects of Journey's pursuit of the brass ring. The concensus of this round table discussion was that Infinity was not a new Journey rising phoenix-like out of the old.