Don't stop believin', Journey fans! No, Steve Perry has not re-joined the classic arena rock band, but on Sunday he did something almost equally surprising: He got back on stage and sang live in front of a St. Paul, Minn. audience.
The Fitzgerald Theater performance wasn't a solo Perry gig, however; the belter joined alternative rock band The Eels during an encore of their show. After a brief introduction, Perry sang one of the band's songs, a gentle piano-driven tune ... with a title that's largely unprintable here ("It's a Mother------").
"I love that song," said Perry, and then asked about whether the Eels had ever done any of his tunes.
Ask and you shall receive: The band and Perry then went on a very different journey, singing "Open Arms" and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" — and sounded great doing it. The YouTube video of the full performance is here, and has already racked up over 250,000 views. (And for those with sensitive ears, beware that first song's vulgar title, which gets sung a couple of times.)
Perry has some of the greatest pipes in the business, but he hasn't used them in public for a while now. As he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, he got "burned out" being in Journey in 1998 and "had to leave." He's released solo albums since then, but has largely remained, in his own words, a "bit of a recluse."
That said, don't expect this is likely to lead to a Journey reunion: The band is now well-established with a Perry-sound-alike, and as he wrote on his blog in February, "I'd like to make clear that the rumor that I have returned to the band Journey is totally untrue and only a rumor."
Too bad! But as Sunday's show made clear, fans would welcome him back ... with open arms.
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