Gregg Rolie Sings Five Songs With Journey During Surprise Encore Appearance in Texas
There has been a lot of fuss about which classic members may or may not join Journey on their current 50th anniversary tour and yesterday (Feb. 22), original singer and keyboardist Gregg Rolie made a surprise appearance, playing five songs with the group near the end of the night.
Prior to the tour's kickoff, there was speculation that Rolie (keyboard, originally lead vocals) could possibly return to the lineup after having departed more than 40 years ago in 1980. It was also rumored that singer Steve Perry, who took over as Journey's singer in 1977 (through 1987 and again from 1995 through 1998) after Rolie sang on the group's first three records, was in the mix for a return as well.
In mid-January, Michaele Schon, guitarist Neal Schon's wife, revealed that two members of the band were on "adamant no" on Rolie rejoining the band, also hinting at a future appearance, stating the two "will be somewhere together at least one time this year in honor of what they began in 1972."
As the tour swung by the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, it was the ideal time to welcome Rolie back to the stage, at least temporarily.
On Twitter, Rollie shared a video clip from the set and wrote, "When the band you helped start 50 years ago is playing down the street you've got one option... JOIN THEM on stage!"
Before bringing Rolie onstage, Schon addressed the crowd, informing fans (quote via UCR), "We have an extra special set tonight. So when we go offstage at the end of the show, don't leave."
Singing on five songs, sharing the duties with drummer Deen Castronovo on two of them, Rolie also sat behind a Hammond organ during performances of "Just the Same Way," "Of a Lifetime" (played for the first time since 2005), "Feeling That Way," "Anytime" and a cover of Santana's "Black Magic Woman" (originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac) that also saw Toto guitarist Steve Lukather guest onstage.
See the complete setlist and fan-filmed video footage of Rolie's surprise appearance further down the page.
For Journey fans, Rolie's appearance is a nice moment to cherish amid a rocky year — one that has even seen current frontman Arnel Pineda express his frustration over all the drama. "[I'm] with the band to sing the legacy... if some of them are tired of me being with them, with all means, they can fire me anytime," he shared earlier this month.
Journey's tour runs through April 25 — see the remaining dates here and head to this location to get tickets.
Journey Setlist — Feb. 22, 2023 (via setlist.fm)
01. "Only the Young"
02. Neal Schon Guitar Solo
03. "Stone in Love"
04. "Don't Stop Believin'"
06. "Send Her My Love" (with extended reprise outro)
08. "Who's Crying Now"
09. "Let It Rain"
10. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'"
11. Jonathan Cain Piano Solo
12. "Open Arms"
14. "Girl Can't Help It" (Jason Derlatka on lead vocals)
15. "Wheel in the Sky"
16. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
17. "Be Good to Yourself"
18. "Just the Same Way" (Gregg Rolie on lead vocals)
19. "Of a Lifetime" (Gregg Rolie on lead vocals, first time live since 2005)
20. "Feeling That Way" (Gregg Rolie and Deen Castronovo on lead vocals)
21. "Anytime" (Gregg Rolie and Deen Castronovo on lead vocals)
22. "Black Magic Woman" (Fleetwood Mac / Santana cover with Gregg Rolie + Steve Lukather)
23. "Any Way You Want It"
Gregg Rolie Live With Journey — Feb. 22, 2023
"Just the Same Way"
"Feeling That Way"
"Black Magic Woman" (Toto's Steve Lukather also guests)