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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Believe it: Journey brings it in new Las Vegas residency

LAS VEGAS – “How are you feeling so far, Las Vegas Colosseum?,” Journey frontman Arnel Pineda shouted to the audience on Oct. 11 from the vast stage built for Celine Dion at Caesars Palace and now the home of his rock band’s new residency.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers kicked off “Journey’s the Las Vegas residency” on Oct. 9, and, if Night 2 of the run two evenings later is any indication, the band could have a longer run in the Entertainment Capital of the World. In fact, the first dates sold so well that four dates for New Year’s week have already been added to the schedule.

Journey’s new residency is certain to please fans, as it features 14 mostly high-energy hits in a fast-moving 90-minute concert – somehow, the power ballads (“Faithfully,” “Open Arms”) are high-energy, too, and that most likely has to do with Pineda, who replaced Steve Perry in 2007 and at 52 is a nonstop Energizer Bunny belting out every song and jumping and kicking onstage.

Pineda isn’t the only band member in the spotlight, as founding member and lead guitarist Neal Schon, co-founding member and bassist Ross Valory and longtime members keyboardist Jonathan Cain and drummer Steve Smith rightfully take the stage for extended solos.

Awesome guitar solos followed “Only the Young,” “Be Good to Yourself” and “Whose Crying Now.” Before “Lights,” there were nods to the band’s hometown, San Francisco, and former lead singer Perry. And Cain, also a winemaker nowadays, took to the piano for a beautiful and elegant solo before “Whose Crying Now.”

Pineda reminded throughout the evening that he is a vocal powerhouse, and Smith received a standing ovation after his drum solo. In a reminder of Spokane, “Only the Young” from the “Vision Quest” soundtrack was the second song of the night. The coming-of-age 1985 film starring Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino features Spokane prominently, and the soundtrack also features the ballad “Crazy for You” by a very 1980s Madonna.

Journey’s residency also is a showcase for the newly and noticeably renovated Colosseum. Upgrades include a new state-of-the-art sound system; new moving light fixtures; an all-new, high-definition LED video that was used spectacularly during Journey’s performance; and cozy box seats on the floor that were formerly rows of seats.

Journey joins a list of other resident headliners at the Colosseum that includes Dion, Shania Twain, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, Jerry Seinfeld and Mariah Carey. Co-headliners McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, Seinfeld and Carey currently have dates at the Colosseum, while Twain begins a residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood in December.

Christina Aguilera

Speaking of Zappos Theater, a sister venue of the Colosseum in the Caesars Entertainment and Live Nation family, Christina Aguilera has added the same New Year’s Eve week dates to the schedule for her residency, “Christina Aguilera: The Xperience.” The dates to experience “Xperience” through March: Dec. 27-28 and 30-31, Feb. 26 and 28-29 and March 4-6.

Pro tip: Post-show at the Colosseum, stop by nearby Vanderpump Cocktail Garden for the rose cake, Montecristo Cigar Bar for cigars and Old Fashioneds and Vista Lounge and Nobu Caesars Palace for excellent crafted cocktails.

Actually, how about New Year’s Eve week in Las Vegas for Journey, Christina Aguilera, dessert and cocktails? Now that sounds like a plan.

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