Perry “looks out” for his audience
November 6th, 1986 Steve and Journey came to Hampton VA on their Raised on Radio tour. i’ve been to dozens of shows but will always remember this one for several reasons. I counted the days until the show. i had wanted to see Journey for 8 years and finally had a date on which i would see my favorite band and my favorite vocalist. what would make this event even more special for me was the fact our second child was due shortly before the show. november 5, 1986 my beautiful daughter kimi was born. god has already blessed me with a son and that day gave me a daughter. i was in heaven but also distressed that i might miss the journey concert the next night. well, my wife understood and i went to the show with her blessing (in those days women were allowed to recover in the hospital).
i was very excited as was the crowd packed into the standing room only arena. Glass Tiger performed for about 45 minutes but everyone was obviously awaiting Journey. Later the stage was set and when the lights went down the crowd erupted as the band kicked into Only the Young with Steve spinning circles in front of Michael Baird whose seemingly effortless performance on the drums was awesome. Steve covered every inch of the stage, waving at screaming fans and occasionally making a “hatbill”out of his fingers so as to see the crowd better as he welcomed everyone after the song.
As he chatted about being at the beach, he asked the crowd to be mindful of the fans near the stage and to not put much more pressure towards the stage. the crowd surged towards the stage people wanted to be nearer to the man called Steve Perry. the band started into another song and Perry says: “hey wait a minute, c’mon man these people up here are being hurt now people backup or we aren’t playing another song until you do. we don’t want anybody to get hurt tonight so c’mon everybody take two steps back…we came to have some fun but we’re not playing another song until you guys take a couple steps back man”… i’ll never forget it. i’ve NEVER before that and haven’t after that night encountered a performer who cared that the fans were comfortable.
i’ve seen other bands shows where exhausted, passed out individuals were passed overhead to waiting medical personnel all the while the band played on without regard for their fellow man. Journey/Steve Perry was the exception. their music indicated they were an exception, Steve’s actions proved it. Did everyone take two steps back? You betcha. it was amazing. Steve thanked everyone and said we were all there to have fun and the band kicked into more songs: anyway you want it, be good to yourself, girl can’t help it, lights, and ending with Faithfully almost two hours later.
Local Norfolk/Va Beach/Hampton radio station DJs talked for days about Steve’s interaction during the show and fans talked of their appreciation to Steve for making the night truly enjoyable. I called friends and family in Roanoke VA who were preparing for the Saturday night show in Roanoke after a Friday night stopover in Richmond VA…unfortunately Roanokers never got the show – the band canceled due to sickness. i’ve told this story countless times to Roanokers who anxiously await Steve’s coming to Roanoke. So, Steve – next tour put Roanoke VA on the map, you will be greeted with appreciative fans! Many thanks Steve for enhancing the wonderful experience of my daughther’s birth by putting on such a wonderful performance!
- Published by admin in: Perry Tales