HOLLYWOOD HILLS—To kick off its 94th season, the landmark Hollywood Bowl continued its tradition in record-breaking fashion, enlisting legendary American rock band Journey to celebrate the occasion.
The performance venue saw a record $1.6 million raised for fundraising, beating the previous record of $1.4 million set in 2011. Proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s youth outreach and education programs of the city. The talent of youth was on full display as the LA Phil’s Youth Orchestra LA and the LACHSA Choir shared the stage with Journey and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by conductor Thomas Wilkins. The concert repertoire featured a string of the band’s popular hits like “Wheel in the Sky” and “Open Arms.”
Journey is a recent Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inductee. Notable inductees from previous years include: The Go-Go’s, fellow rock giants Aerosmith, and crooner Harry Connick Jr. Several of these inductees were highlighted in a video shown prior to the concert.
Of the band’s original members, only lead guitarist Neal Schon and bassist Ross Valory were on-hand for the occasion. Joining them were long-standing members Jonathan Cain on keyboards and Omar Hakim on percussion. The Grammy-award winning Hakim was brought in as a replacement for the band’s regular drummer Deen Castronovo, whom was involved in a domestic violence incident this past weekend.
Center stage was Filipino lead singer Arnel Pineda who joined the band in 2007, proving a worthy fill-in for iconic front man Steve Perry. Pineda spoke about the night stating, “We are playing for the first time with an orchestra and chorus. So we dug deep for songs that fit, that we haven’t played for a long time.”
The night’s fireworks display was appropriately accompanied by the Journey 1978 hit “Lights.” To close out the event, the band played their popular tune “Don’t Stop Believing.”