November 24, 2017 | Club Regent Event Centre
The venue was full house! Buzz was all around. One could feel the energy and excitement amongst the crowd. Local power bands Traffikk Jamm and The 12/21 lifted the spirits of everyone to an even higher level as they each dished out their set of engaging songs. The crowd burst out their suppressed anticipation when the main star of the night finally appeared onstage—lively, bubbly, ready to rock and bring the house down. Many in the audience were expecting Journey songs. That was understandable. After all, Arnel Pineda catapulted to charismatic worldwide popularity when Journey’s founding member/guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain had ultimately decided in 2007 to hire Pineda as their band’s lead vocalist—and the rest was music history. Pineda has already on his sleeves two released Journey studio albums with him on the mic—2008’s Revelation and 2011’s Eclipse.
Every time Journey would be on a sabbatical, Pineda would pursue performing on his own, guesting on TV shows, and making his own music—something that he had already been doing even before his having become the frontman of the legendary American band. He released his first, self-titled solo album in 1999. His sophomore work, titled AP, followed in 2016. This year, Pineda embarked on a North American tour, backed up by equally prolific and virtuosic session musicians—guitarist Perf de Castro (formerly of Rivermaya and Triaxis), drummer Wendell Garcia (Triaxis, Barbie’s Cradle, and Pupil), bassist Don Morales, guitarist Butch Victoriano (South Border), and keyboardist Raffy Mendoza.
The Winnipeg leg of Pineda’s tour was successful, as evidenced by the size of the audience that attended it and the rapturous response to every song that Pineda and his band delivered with electrifying energy and gyrating gusto. Despite the lack of any Journey song on the setlist, the whole experience was still worthwhile, as this was compensated by Pineda’s dishing out in stellar glory equally engaging Pop Rock songs that included Queen’s “We Will Rock You,”
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”; Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”; Sampaguita’s “Nosi Ba Lasi?”; a beautiful semiacoustic rendition of Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You”; and the apt concert closer “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. Pineda treated the audience with also a few tracks from his recent album that included “Ewan Ko Ba” and “Owe,” CDs of which were made available at the venue’s lobby.
A couple of times did Pineda said thank-you and goodbye to the audience, but the crowd just kept on shouting for more.
Pineda and his crew happily obliged, satisfying the concertgoers at the end of the night. And then humbly posing for pictures at the lobby after his high-octane, tiring performance, Pineda delighted his fans and the rest of the production team.
The show was a success. This was made possible by the hard work of everyone involved in the production—promoters, volunteers, photographers, escort/drivers, ushers, and other members of the team, whom included Bojie Yangco, Ardie Gervacio, Jhayzon Paredes, JP Sumbillo, AJ Batac, Bobby Forte, Josel Catindoy, Nonie Manalili, Jeprox Arnel, Ayen Dandan-Zamora and Maui Zamora of CKJS Winnipeg Radio, Joping, and many more.
[photo credits: AJ Batac / Bobby Forte / Robert Maceda]