Before I had a chance to screen Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman's Journey, I’d heard rumors: It’s corny. It’s silly. It’s hagiographic.
Yes, it’s corny and silly. Hagiographic…have these people criticizing Don’t Stop Believin’ ever listened to Journey? You don’t write blatantly anthemic stadium rock without the kinds of personalities that lend themselves to self-sainthood.
who cares whether this documentary about taking on new singer Arnel Pineda is a
little goofy? Any band that drops its (kinda goofy) jam-band/prog-rock origins
and hires Steve Perry as a way to generate hit singles in the late 1970s long
ago surrendered its ability or desire to be criticized.
Journey is as Journey does.
Journey does what Journey does, which is blow up stadiums. Huge drums, huge
guitar riffs, tight harmonies and a big, boisterous, Steve Perry-rivaling voice
that comes from new frontman Pineda.
If you’re given to Journey’s aesthetic, what’s not to love?
Believin’ is for
die-hard fans, and maybe casual fans who can forget the “Separate Ways” video
and focus on the song’s ridiculously forceful bombast.
Neil Schon shreds,
Pineda wails and keyboardist Jonathan Cain seems like a jerk, but this is a big
train to run. Someone has to be the muscle.
BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN'S JOURNEY
Directed by Ramona S Diaz
With Arnel Pineda, Neil Schon and Jonathan Cain