Journey made their return to the stage last night after more than a year away, performing at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom with a new lineup that included former drummer Deen Castronovo and bassist Marco Mendoza. You can see footage from the performance below.
The Aragon show marked Journey’s first concert since New Year’s Eve 2019 and was billed as an “aftershow” to their upcoming Saturday night performance at Lollapalooza. The band previously canceled its 2020 tour with the Pretenders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Other fresh faces onstage last night included drummer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist and vocalist Jason Derlatka. Guitarist Neal Schon announced the addition of both members, along with the return of ‘80s bassist Randy Jackson, last year following an acrimonious split with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith. Mendoza — who previously toured with Neal Schon’s Journey Through Time and played with Castronovo in hard-rock supergroup the Dead Daisies — filled in for Jackson, who is reportedly scheduled to undergo back surgery.
The aforementioned players, along with singer Arnel Pineda and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, reportedly played until around midnight, interspersing hits with early deep cuts, according to one fan who attended the show and filmed their extended version of “Wheel in the Sky.”
Schon stoked excitement for the band’s Chicago shows this week when he teased the return of Castronovo on social media. He tweeted several Aragon rehearsal photos that mentioned Castronovo’s return, and he confirmed the lineup addition on Facebook while responding to fan questions.
Castronovo previously played with Journey from 1998 through 2015, when he was fired after being arrested on charges of rape, sexual abuse and assault. He began playing with Schon and Cain more than a decade before that in the supergroup Bad English, which also featured singer John Waite and bassist Ricky Phillips from the Babys.
Journey recently released their first new song in a decade, “The Way We Used to Be.” Schon said a full album — their first since 2011’s Eclipse — is in the works as well.
Journey Albums Ranked
Journey have been through their share of incarnations over the past four decades.