Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman 


By Diane Fleischman

Out on the road for a limited three concert tour Santana and Journey landed at the PPL Center last night.  A special pairing of two legendary bands,  Neal Schon, a former member of Santana is the link between the two, highlighted a full circle in his career.

The show opened with Santana, Carlos Santana wore a Phantoms jersey ready to set the night on fire.  The set began with “Soul Sacrifice” and followed with “Oye Coma Va”, with such masterful eloquently performed guitar riffs one can only possess with age.  Much like a fine wine,  here is Carlos Santana at his best.

“Black Magic Woman” was an early crowd favorite, as the packed arena swayed to the seductive sounds of this 1974 classic.  Neal Schon then joined Santana on stage for the remaining set.

Along with the night’s performance, was the release date of  “Santana IV”,  16 new songs to delight any Santana fan, as the early 70’s line up is reunited in the studio for the first time in over forty years.

Journey was due to hit the stage next.  Although it’s been nine years since Arnel Pineda joined the band as the lead singer, certain songs contained the ghost  or longing of Steve Perry. However, Pineda’s energetic performance, like a puppy just set loose from the pound, along with a shattering vocal range, allow him to securely fill these shoes.

Journey kicked off with “Separate Ways” as the pounding drum lines filled the arena.  The night held many favorites in store like “Open Arms”, “Lights”, “Stone in Love”, “Wheel in the Sky”, “Only the Young”, “Mother Father”, and “Who’s Crying Now”.

Keyboardist, Jonathan Cain, described the meaning behind one of their biggest hits, “Faithfully”, “What we wanted to do is use this song, and send it like a postcard.”  The fans sang along to this beautiful love song:   “And being apart ain’t easy on this love affair, two strangers learn to fall in love again.  I get the joy of rediscovering you, Oh girl, you stand by me.  I’m forever yours, faithfully.”

The crowd screamed as the encore started with “Don’t Stop Believin’”, while confetti cannons fired, and later a yellow spotlight dappled the audience. “Any Way You Want It” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” rounded out the encore leaving fans completely satisfied.


Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman