The ‘80s don’t show any sign of going away. The new wave, rap and college rock of that era remains of interest to many, but the arena pop of the 1980s managed to mix shmaltz, hair metal and power balladry in ways that stuck with radio listeners of the age. And new generations of fans learn to love the music with each succeeding wave of ‘80s revivalism.
Journey was among the biggest of ‘80s hit-makers. “Don’t Stop Believing,” the band’s defining pinnacle, was about prolonging the pleasure of having faith in something (love? possibility?) — holding on to the feeling. If you bore down on the list of Journey’s big hits, there’s a lot to take in: “Faithfully,” “Separate Ways,” “Anyway You Want It,” and more. There are hits that are slightly less prominent, like “Stone In Love,” which balance the compressed crunch of guitar riffage and the sing-along pleasures of stacked-harmony voices. “Wheel In the Sky” holds up pretty nicely, too.
It’s true that original singer of those hits, Steve Perry, with his impeccable hair, jeans and operatic high notes, is no longer with the band. But his former bandmates found a worthy replacement in Arnel Pineda, the former frontman in a Journey tribute band from the Philippines.
See Journey along with fellow ‘80s MTV staples Def Leppard at XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, on Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 and up. xlcenter.com