AOR legends Journey invited original vocalist/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and Toto electric guitar player Steve Lukather onstage for an electrifying performance of Santana’s Black Magic Woman last Wednesday (February 22).
Journey are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary, and marked the occasion by reuniting with Rolie, a founding member of the band, at their Austin, Texas date for a six-song cameo performance.
Rolie and Journey’s lynchpin guitarist, Neal Schon, both performed in Santana prior to forming Journey in the ’70s, with Rolie serving as the original vocalist on many of Santana’s most iconic early hits, including Black Magic Woman (itself a cover of one of Fleetwood Mac's early smashes), Oye Cómo Va and Evil Ways.
An Austin local, Rolie dropped in on Journey’s show at the city’s Moody Center to perform an extensive run of tracks that included Just The Same Way (from 1979's Evolution), Of a Lifetime (from 1975's Journey), Feeling That Way and Anytime (from 1978’s Infinity), in addition to Black Magic Woman.
For the latter performance, the band also invited Toto guitarist and tour mate Steve Lukather onstage and, fortunately for us, fan footage ably captured the moment. The 37-minute encore was concluded when Journey’s current vocalist, Arnel Pineda, returned to the stage to close the show with Anyway You Want It.
Schon initially teased Rolie’s appearance at the start of the show, telling fans, “We have an extra special show tonight.” Later, he personally introduced Rolie for the encore.
“We have a brother here,” said Schon. “Someone I started the band with 50 years ago. He first took me under his wing when I was 15 years old. He came and picked me up from school, [which was good] because I wasn’t going to school anyway…”
Journey’s 2023 50th Anniversary Freedom tour is set to continue throughout March and April.
Head to Journey’s official site for tickets and information.