Journey to Perform at Lollapalooza 2021, Says Neal Schon
Journey's newly revamped lineup will perform at the 2021 edition of Chicago's annual Lollapalooza festival, according to guitarist Neal Schon.
Saying he was "dying to get onstage again," Schon broke the news to Eddie Trunk (via Blabbermouth) back in December, declaring that Journey has "our first date booked for Lollapalooza, and we're headlining in Chicago." The festival's lineup is expected to be announced later this morning.
Schon reconfirmed the news with a tweet saying, "Chicago, it's on! See you there at Lollapalooza." A video from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed that the festival would return to the city's Grant Park this year, after being forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to convert to online performances in 2020.
After Dave Grohl appears in the video to confirm Foo Fighters will be performing at the event, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" plays as the dates July 29 to Aug. 1 are revealed, hinting at the band's participation.
Trunk mentioned to Schon that Journey were an unusual choice for the largely alternative, hip-hop and electronic music-minded festival during their December interview. The guitarist replied: "I have not seen the bill. All I know is that we're headlining it. I can guarantee you that with the new blood in the band, when we get together for two weeks of rehearsal before that show, we will be the new alternative. We're gonna add a lot to the show. We're gonna bring some new dynamics and open things up a bit and show people what the musicianship is really like in this band."
Journey's most recent concert took place on Jan. 31, 2019, in Las Vegas. It turned out to be their last show to feature drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory, who were fired in March 2020, after what Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain described in court documents as an "ill-conceived corporate coup d'etat" designed to take control of the band's name.
Two months later, Schon announced that bassist Randy Jackson, who briefly performed with Journey in the mid-'80s, had returned to the group, joined by new drummer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist and singer Jason Derlatka.
During his conversation with Trunk, Schon expressed optimism about the imminent arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and the return of live performances. "Hopefully, they start dispersing it very quickly so everybody can get back on their feet and can get out and hear music, 'cause that's what heals the world, I think," he said.