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Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour

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  • Journey’s Live in Houston 1981, The Escape Tour was first released in November of 2005 as a CD and DVD package.
    Turns out, it was a limited edition as now Legacy/Columbia has released both the CD and DVD separately but copies of the CD/DVD package are still out there.
    1981 was the year the band ruled the rock music roost as their album Escape hit #1 on the Billboard album chart and they were possibly, aside Rush and Styx, the best concert act touring the States in 1981(all three were selling out arenas with ease).
    This classic 1981 Journey concert was recorded and filmed at The Houston Summit in Houston, TX that November and originally aired on MTV(Queen recorded and filmed a concert of theirs in December of 1977 at the same venue which hasn’t been released yet).
    For years this Journey concert was not available on either DVD or VHS but until last November.
    This Journey concert features the classic line up with singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, then new keyboardist Jonathan Cain, bass player Ross Valory and drummer(and my fellow Bay Stater(Massachusetts native)) Steve Smith(who had the Tasmanian Devil attached to his drum kit).
    The Escape Tour saw Journey at the top of their game.
    On this CD and DVD, the band played 8 of Escape’s 10 songs(the title cut(which had a killer opening fanfare), Open Arms, Mother Father, Who’s Crying Now, Dead or Alive, Don’t Stop Believin’, Stone in Love and Keep on Runnin’) as well as songs from Infinity(Lights and Wheel in the Sky), Evolution(Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’), Departure(Line of Fire, Stay Awhile, Where Were You and Any Way You Want It) and the studio track from Captured(The Party’s Over) plus solos from messieurs Cain, Smith(superb drum solo and is easily one of the greatest rock drummers ever) and Schon.
    The sound quality of the CD(and the off-shoot DVD) is very good and the packaging, a 16-page booklet is excellent too.
    Overall, Journey Live in Houston is a great piece of live Journey at the top of their game.
    Thank you to Steve Perry for helping restore the true Journey legacy.

    Posted on December 8, 2009