Gig Review

Foreigner, Styx
Birmingham, LG Arena
5th June 2011

Journey                  Foreigner                   Styx        
Photo Of Styx © Copyright Robert Lawrence Styx step up first to a decent turn out so early on in the night. Their set is lively and full of energy the way rock music should be performed; with attitude and confidence, absolutely terrific fun. Every so often their logo will appear on the digital screen behind them and their keyboardist spins around effortlessly with his spinning keyboard. They even bring out their original bass player to run through a few tracks which is quite a surprise! They amble around the stage full of attitude and confidence with a dedication to putting on a great show, at one point the guitarist threw all of his picks away without realising and had to play with his fingers, now that’s dedication. 8 tracks from the band and after an enjoyable set they depart and the setup begins for the legendary band which is Foreigner.

Foreigner bring out the big guns with a set of some truly astonishing hits. Stage setup is terrific with a different animated sequence for the screens to accompany each individual song including their logo at the end of each one. For a band that’s old as these guys are the lead singer definitely has some youth with him shown by Photo Of Foreigner © Copyright Robert Lawrencethe fact he flings himself over the front barrier and sets off running around the audience before returning to the stage to continue singing. A 9 song set including some really old school classics like “Waiting for a girl like you”, “Cold as Ice”, “I want to know what love is” and the closing song “Juke Box Hero”; would absolutely love to see this band again, the singer get the percussion instruments on the go and then the guitarist comes out and really blows us all away with his saxophone capabilities, what a talented group of guys.

Journey whilst putting on an enjoyable quirky show for me don’t have the power in the material to stand up to the other 2 acts as they warm you up to tremendously bouncy tunes and then Journey are a bit more emotional and soothing. That by no means is me implying that they were bad because they gave a terrific live show but I just feel after the first 2 bands they have a different atmosphere. The lighting for this was phenomenal; beams everywhere, shaped lights, screens displaying the band and animated sequences. The members themselves are extremely talented musicians in their own right; guitarist shredding up and down the stage, drummer Photo Of Journey © Copyright Robert Lawrencesmashing the kit to pieces with extreme precision and my favourite member of all, lead singer Arnel Pineda. The man never stops smiling and is an agile little bugger; leaping onto and off of everything, bouncing around like a rubber ball on speed and sprinting around with his quirky little dance moves, he seems like a very genuinely happy guy. The band bring in tracks from throughout their entire career right up to the latest album “Eclipse”, including their encore they effortlessly ring out 18 tracks which is very respectable in an hour and a half set. Near enough 100% spot on renditions of such popular tracks like “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Anyway You Want It”, “Wheel In The Sky”, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Mother, Father” which featured drummer Deen Castronovo on lead vocals with some newbie’s slotted in from the new album like; “Edge of the Moment”, “City of Hope” and “Resonate”. Bouncing back on stage for an encore to perform “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” in which Pineda decides to jump down to the barrier and hug people, which spurs a lot of people to flood down to the front row like a star struck mob. Terrific night at the NEC with classic bands playing tracks that take me back to my childhood!

Styx – 5/5
Foreigner – 5/5
Journey – 4/5

Review By James Webb
Photos By Robert Lawrence


Neal Schon
Ross Valory
Jonathan Cain
Deen Castronovo
Arnel Pineda


Mick Jones
Thom Gimbel
Kelly Hansen
Jeff Pilson
Michael Bluestein
Jason Sutter


Chuck Panozzo
James "J.Y." Young
Tommy Shaw
Todd Sucherman
Lawrence Gowan
Ricky Phillips

 Band Related Links
Journey MySpace
Foreigner MySpace
styx MySpace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?