By RICK ROUAN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
THE FIRST TIME LORI TERPACK saw Journey in concert, it was 1978, and the longtime concert-goer still has that teenage twinkle in her eye.
Now, 31 years and 10 Journey concerts later, Terpack could enjoy the music she grew up on with her 23-year-old daughter.
“We kind of taught our kids the music,” said Terpack, 48, of Sharon. “I made my daughter come.”
Terpack was one of more than 6,000 people who rushed into the Covelli Centre to avoid pouring rain Thursday night and listen to Journey, a timeless band known for its Billboard hits of the 1980s, and its opening act, Heart, a ’70s-era band known for its hit “Barracuda.”
Journey, which was formed in 1973 and has enjoyed success for more than three decades, has returned to the public eye as a frequent pop culture reference. The band’s hit “Don’t Stop Believin” was featured on the hit HBO series “The Sopranos” and as the unofficial theme song for the 2005 World Series run of the longtime underdog Chicago White Sox.
“When you go on iTunes it’s the most popular song. I never even watched ‘The Sopranos’ until the last episode,” said Pete Gavelli, 56, of Pittsburgh.
Gavelli stood outside the arena about a half-hour before the concert began, belting Journey tunes himself. Other attendees were humming the band’s many hits and dancing as they approached the arena’s front gate.
“I’m Steve Perry for a night,” Gavelli said.
In reality, though, Perry, the band’s original lead singer, was absent from the stage Thursday. The band has had a handful of lead vocalists across its 36-year history. Now, Arnel Pineda, a Filipino man the band discovered on YouTube, performs lead vocals.
“He sounds like an angel. Not many men have voices like that,” said 17-year-old Vince Cavanaugh of Struthers.
The crowd at the Covelli Centre was a mix of old and young fans, but the consensus among attendees was that Journey was among the best acts of the ’80s because the band’s music was easily relatable.
“The lyrics were better. It wasn’t about drugs and sex,” said Cassidy Stirk, an 18-year-old from Youngstown who had to sell her tickets because of her work schedule.
For the Covelli Centre staff, the concert was just another event. Concert-goers bombarded beer stands and T-shirt shops for a chance to take home a souvenir.
“It’s a sold-out show, so it’s a little better,” said Mark Candel, a T-shirt vendor doing his first Covelli Centre show. “It seems like the recession hasn’t hurt [rock and roll] as much as others.”
Vendors said they try to enjoy their jobs when big acts come to town.
“You have to have fun. That’s what this job is: fun. I love Journey,” said Chantelle Lee, a beer vendor who has worked the arena since November.
Local residents said the ability of the arena to draw big acts such as Journey is a positive for the Valley.
“We don’t have to drive far,” said Cindy Italiano, 51, of Youngstown who was attending the concert with her husband and daughter.
“We need that here.”
Journey performed Thursday night for a Covelli Centre crowd, but it has rocked the Billboard charts and pop culture for more than 25 years. Its success on the charts:
Billboard Hot 100 Songs of Year
# Where Song Peaked - Song (Year)
23 - Send Her My Love (1983)
9 - Only The Young (1985)
9 - Be Good To Yourself (1986)
17 - Suzanne (1986)
17 - Girl Can’t Help It (1986)
14 - I’ll Be Alright Without You (1987)
60 - Why Can’t This Night Go On Forever (1987)
74 - Lights - (1993)
12 - When You Love A Woman (1996)
Pop Culture References
- The song “Don’t Stop Believin” closed the doors on the finale of the hit show “The Sopranos.”
- “Don Stop Believin” is the first iTunes track to sell 2 million digital copies.
- The song was featured as the unofficial theme song of the 2005 Chicago White Sox during a World Series run.
- During sporting events in Detroit, “Don’t Stop Believin” is frequently played because of its reference to South Detroit.
- Zach Braff’s character on the television show “Scrubs” is a well-known Journey fan and frequently sings and makes references to the band’s songs.