DALLAS--No garden variety little rock show, this--Journey was playing three consecutive dates at Reunion Arena, all sold out, and according to a spokesman with a sponsoring radio station, a record for the facility if not the city.
About an hour before the show began, the traffic jam on Stemmons Freeway stretched past the Continental Avenue exit. In lots which stretch near the arena, groups of youths milled around parket (sic) cars, finishing one last swig of beer. Somber-faced policemen at the entrance to the escalators mutley enforced the "Dispose of all containers before crossing the viaduct" signs displayed prominently on the premises.
Along the trek to the Will Call window (the only window open) several unfortunates desperately asked concert-goers, "Extra tickets?" The litany was quite a change from the usual "Wanta buy a ticket?" entreat from unofficial ticket hawkers.
The window fogged up as people crowded in front and recounted their sorrows: "I'm with the group. Hasn't Journey's personal list been delivered?" "I'm a deejay from New Orleans, aren't my passes here?" "Can't you talk to a road manager or something? I'm a real fan, and I KNOW there must be a ticket or two left." "I know that you always hold back 1,500 tickets. Let's see 'em." "Any single seats left?" "Can I reserve tickets for tomorrow night?"
Presently the lights went down and the show opened with Bryan Adams band (naw, not the east Dallas high school marching band). Bryan Adams, the blond vocalist who headlines the act, pranced about during the opening number, GETTING STRAIGHT.
Supergroup Journey made their first appearance before the crowd on a screen mounted high above the stage. Video cameras broadcast scenes of five group members dashing from a dressing room, through a corridor and onto the stage. By the time Journey reached the lights, the audience was already on its feet screaming.
With no preliminaries, Journey launched into their first of 21 numbers, Chain Reaction. Well-known vocalist, Steve Perry, was in fine form as he strutted from one end of the stage to the other.
The bulk of the show came from two albums, the groups 1981 smash album ESCAPE and their most recent, FRONTIERS.
The followed up with a better known song, WHEEL IN THE SKY and LINE OF FIRE. Slower numbers (at least, for Journey) were SEND HER MY LOVE and OPEN ARMS, two of Perry's very best efforts.
Drawing card that he is, Perry isn't the group's only talent. Neal Schon, lead guitarist and a hard driving singer in his own right, was highlighted in NO MORE LIES, and keyboardisht Jonathan Cain's instrumental talents were displayed in a spectacular solo intro to RUBICON. Drummer Steve Smith and bass guitarist Ross Valory also had their moments to shine.
FAITHFULLY was accompanied by a beautifully done graphics show on the overhead screen depicting the sorrow of road life. Throughout the show, superior lighting effects gave a feast for the eyes to go along with the loud music.
Can a rock group from San Francisco that played small nightclubs in Dallas five years ago find itself selling out Reunion Arena three nights in a row? Believe it.