Journey is an excellent heavy metal group. In true heavy metal style, the musicians deliver screeching solos, shrill vocals and athletic drumming, all at a volume level that threatens to induce celluar damage.
It must be remembered, however, that being an "excellent heavy metal group" is rather like being an actor in soap commercials -- the work is steady and the pay is good, but take the average suds and the bucks (for the noise and the bucks) and there isn't much left.
Journey's concert at the Capital Centre Saturday night was a carefully designed commerical package replete with color-coordinated stage backdrops, intricate lighting effects and a stupedous fireworks display at the finale. The musicians added theatrics of their own, hurling themselves about the stage and assuming some unique playing positions.
If this description fails to mention music, it is because there was very little mentionable music at the concert. The songs were uniformly loud and stomping affairs, filled with stale blues phrases and interminable, incomprehensible solos.
But, like TV ads, it seemed to work. At one point, singer Steve Perry asked the crowd, "Do you like the blues?" Ten thousand screaming teen-agers jumped to their feet, flicking their butane lighters.