Boston and Journey perform this week 

Wait, wait, hold the phone. So rockin' Mike Huckabee's not in Boston anymore and won't be playing the Botanic Garden this Saturday? Mind blown. It's so hard to imagine big hits like "Foreplay," "Peace of Mind," and "Amanda" without the former Arkansas governor and presidential also-ran playing his conservative bass.

Just kidding! Huckabee never was in the band Boston. He tried to make "More Than a Feeling" his theme song, and he played it on the campaign trail with some guy who played with Boston for a couple of years, till Tom Scholz, the technology wizard, musical polymath, and Obama supporter behind all things Boston, finally told ol' Huck to cease and desist. For Scholz, who wrote "More Than a Feeling," played all the guitar parts, and invented the gear that made his guitars sound unlike anything else on the radio in 1976, it all boiled down to identity. "I think I've been ripped off, dude," he wrote in a sternly worded letter. Scholz' message was clear. He is Boston. And if Neal Schon's still running his guitar through Scholz-built Rockman equipment, he's at least a little piece of the Journey sound too. Both Journey and Boston — certifiable monsters of the monsters-of-rock era — are in town this week, to compare and contrast.

click to enlarge Journey
  • Journey
click to enlarge werecbox_boston.jpg

Steve Perry was Journey's face in the '80s during a run of MTV-era hits like "Open Arms," "Any Way You Want It," and "Who's Cryin' Now." He's the eternally warbling voice of the band's inescapable megahit, "Don't Stop Believing." But Perry didn't show up till album number four and when he went solo in the mid-'80s, the prog-pop band soldiered on without him. Schon and company, always tech-forward, found Arnel Pineda, Journey's current lead singer on YouTube. They're playing the hits at the BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove Wednesday, July 5th. Mike Huckabee won't be there either. Probably. Unless he's somehow landed a gig in the current lineup of Asia, who open the show.

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