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Journey & Toto Rock BJC With Electric Performance During ‘Freedom’ Tour

Renowned ’80s rock band Journey took the stage at the Bryce Jordan Center Friday night as a stop on its “Freedom” tour along with another popular ’80s rock band, Toto, in front of an energetic, sold-out crowd.

State College residents and Penn State students eager to start their spring break off right filled the BJC for an electric night. Generations of Penn Staters came together in celebrating Journey’s 50th Anniversary tour.

Although most attendees waited in long lines in rainy weather conditions, the wait was well worth it, as fans vibed with both bands all night long.

To start the night off right, Toto stepped on stage and immediately had the crowd on its feet and moving. The rock band currently consists of seven members — lead vocalists Joseph Williams and Bobby Kimball, bassist John Pierce, drummer Robert “Sput” Searight, keyboardists Dominique “Xavier” Taplin and Steve Maggiora, and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham.

The group kicked off the concert with one of its hits, “Afraid of Love.” After the opening number, Williams invited the crowd to take a seat and relax.

“I don’t want to wear you all out,” Williams said. “We’ll get back to that… We’re happy to be here. Thanks for making us feel so good… You ready to get funky?”

The set continued on with performances of “Hold the Line” from its very first album as well as “I’ll Be Over You” and “White Sister,” which surely got the crowd back on its feet.

In the middle of Toto’s set, the lead vocalists officially introduced the band and its newest members to the crowd.

Performances of “Georgy Porgy,” “I’ll Supply the Love,” “Home of the Brave,” and “With a Little Help From My Friends” followed. The vocals by Kimball throughout these numbers amped up the crowd even more and got those in attendance singing along. Piano solos by Taplin and saxophone solos by Ham were frequent throughout the band’s set and showed off its many talented members.

After a thrilling performance of “Rosanna,” Williams asked the crowd, “You guys ready to hear that song now?”

Naturally, Toto ended its set with the iconic “Africa,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in the day. The BJC suddenly livened up even more with the crowd shouting, “I bless the rain down in Africa.” All seven members of Toto took hands after the song and took a group bow as they said goodbye to the BJC.

After a brief intermission filled with the crowd getting snacks, alcohol, and tour merch, the stage transformed and the crowd welcomed Journey onto the stage.

The band consists of lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, lead guitarist and songwriter Neal Schon, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jonathan Cain, drummer and vocalist Deen Castronovo, keyboardist and vocalist Jason Derlatka, and bassist Todd Jensen.

Journey opened with “Only the Young,” followed by “Stone in Love” and Schon’s first guitar solo of the night. At this point in the concert, fans were raving, and the energy in the BJC was like no other.

The group’s fourth song of the night was no other than the highly anticipated “Don’t Stop Believin,'” which reminded those in the crowd to never give up and keep following their dreams.

Following the iconic song, the band performed, “Lights,” causing fans to whip out their flashlights and brighten up the BJC. “Send Her My Love,” “Escape,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” and a piano solo by Cain followed.

“They say to every song there’s a story,” Cain told the crowd. “Some kind of inspiration… I thought what if we had a song to go home with everyone like a postcard.”

The set continued with “Faithfully,” another highly anticipated song that the crowd couldn’t help but sing along to. The song showed off the group’s softer side, while still showcasing undertones of rock.

Another guitar solo by Schon followed, showing the crowd true rock ‘n roll. That man certainly knows his way around a guitar. During the solo, fans were chanting “We Are” to the band.

The group then performed “Separate Ways,” featured in the fourth season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” this past summer.

Closing off its performance, Journey left the BJC singing along to “Any Way You Want,” followed by loads of confetti, leaving the crowd smiling and feeling nostalgic.

Journey and Toto brought together generations at Penn State on Friday for a night of rock.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your tips, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected]

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