Well, That Was Disappointing: A Journey & Santana Concert Review

Journey & Santana; April 13, 2016; Madison Square Garden

Live Tweeted with pictures and video: @jaxxshack

I’ve been extremely fortunate over the last couple of years to be able to attend hundreds of live shows – including some of the biggest names in rock history. Some were outstanding, some were horrible. And then there were Journey and Santana.


Santana opened the show at 7pm on-the-dot. (On behalf of venue employees everywhere, thanks guys). The first half of their set was pretty unremarkable. Tons of jamming, but not much substance – nothing I haven’t heard before from bands with a quarter of the tenure of Santana. Carlos Santana’s presence was seriously lacking, especially for a guitarist so celebrated.

Once they got into Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va, and Maria Maria, the crowd responded to the band for the first time since Carlos dejectedly mentioned the lack of marijuana smell at the top of the show. They weren’t bad. They just weren’t special.

MSG JaxxShack.com
Set change between Santana and Journey at Madison Square Garden.


I, like the rest of the world, LOVE Journey. When this show popped up I immediately jumped at the chance to attend. They opened with Separate Ways, and sounded awesome. Thennn, I’m not sure what happened. After an extremely rough segway into Be Good To Yourself, I could’ve closed my eyes and sworn I was in a karaoke bar. Arnel Pineda does a great Steve Perry imitation on the mega hits, but his voice does not cut it elsewhere.

Journey Concert Review JaxxShack.com

They recovered fairly well with Open Arms, only to fall back into amateur status afterward (100% due to the lacking vocals).  However, I was absolutely enamored with Jonathan Cain’s keyboard solo. This was the standout moment of the night, in my opinion, and of course I was too engrossed to record it.

The band then hit you with one after another: Wheel in the Sky (not the encore), Faithfully (not the encore), Don’t Stop Believin’ (NOT the encore?!), and Any Way You Want It (not the encore). Encore: Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’…..

From start to finish the show was okay. It definitely wasn’t the worst (looking at you, Ace Frehly), but I definitely wouldn’t watch it again if I had a choice. 5/10.

2 thoughts on “Well, That Was Disappointing: A Journey & Santana Concert Review

  1. I just attended a Journey/Doobie Bothers/Dave Mason concert last night in Ridgefield Washington. The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason were awesome. However, I was very disappointed in Journey’s performance. The band was too loud….most of the time you couldn’t hear the vocals. It was like there were competing with each other. Something was off……people were leaving before the concert was over.


    1. Thanks for weighing in, Wendy! I totally agree with your comment about them competing with one another. I was hoping I saw them on an “off” night, but I’m hearing more and more reviews like yours. I think I’ll stick to my records next time they come around :/


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