Concert Review: Journey

As a musician at heart, live music will always be a win — whether I know the artist or not. With most of the concerts that I have been to, I have had little to no prior experience with the artist or their music before hearing it at the venue. This most recent concert exists in the gray area of the spectrum.

Journey performed at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks earlier this month(right at the start of spring break) and, I must say, it was an experience. It may not have been the best or worst concert that I have attended, but some moments really make the night stand out.

First: the opening act. Toto was an incredible opener(I believe, at least). The only song I knew by Toto was “Africa”(as probably everyone knows), but I was actually surprised by how many songs I recognized as they were playing them. 

They also just had an incredible presence on stage. They were obviously having so much fun playing music with their friends and anyone who has been a performer knows the audience and performer(s) feed off of each other. When one has energy, the more likely the other is too, and it will keep growing. It was electric.

As for the main act, Journey, it was also quite fun. I am not a person who listens to Journey often, and I knew that I would only really be excited to sing along to a few songs. However, I was pleasantly surprised that their most well-known songs(e.g. “Don’t Stop Believing,”) were not simply left to the end, but sprinkled throughout the setlist, which was nice for the people like me who didn’t know too many songs.

My favorite part of Journey’s performance was the gorgeous piano solo that was performed. I love all different types and genres of music, but I am a classically trained musician at heart, and I adore any instance of admiring an artist’s technique and talent.

The best part of the night was actually the other concert attendees. The music was fun and everything, but the people-watching opportunities were definitely the most entertaining. 

Part of the fun was seeing the various outfits of everyone else. Similar to the varying ages of all the attendees, the looks had vastly different vibes. Some people were dressed in casual jeans and sweatshirts, but there were also people dressed in skin-tight, shiny faux leather jackets and pants. It was fun to see the different levels of commitment in the newer concert culture.

Additionally, it was even more fun to see the different actions of the other audience members. Watching people struggle to take photos on their phones, accidentally throwing drinks, or taking one of the longest-lasting hugs I have ever seen. The most shocking was a woman attempting to climb over a tall barrier (which she definitely would have fallen from) to see her friends only to be stopped and pulled back by another member of her group.

Overall, it was a fun night and I continue to recommend that people attend concerts when they can, even if they are not familiar with the artist.

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