Journey – ‘Turn the Page: Live in Atlanta, GA’ (Bootleg)’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Journey were on a massive Stadium Tour with Def Leppard in 2006. Journey’s lead singer, Steve Augeri had struggled with throat issues and was really having a hard time vocally. The decision was made by Neal Schon to replace Steve and he needed someone he knew could handle the Journey catalog. Luckily for Neal, he had been working with Jeff Scott Soto in their supergroup Soul SirkUs and knew he was the man for the job. Neal called Jeff and there was no way Jeff could say no, it was a dream of his to sing with Journey. He had already been working with Neal, but now he could do it and sing those classic Journey songs, No way he was turning it down.

Jeff got the call and was on a plane the next day and arrived in D.C. on July 5th 2006 and luckily the band had a couple days off, but Jeff had to be ready to sing as the first show with him was on July 7th in Bristow, Virginia. And Jeff was thrown in to the deep end as he didn’t really get to talk with anyone until the day of the show and didn’t even have a setlist for the show until that day and to top that off, he didn’t even get a soundcheck or any real rehearsal with the band…damn that is insane. The only time he had with the band was on the tour bus prior to the show to discuss the set and show. Jeff, of course, survived and continued on with the band.

Jeff’s stint was supposed to be short term, but he was doing so well and the tour was extended until December. Then on December 19, 2006, Jeff was announced as the official new lead singer with the band. His reviews from the tour were glowing and all was going well. There were plans for a new album and work had begun, but by June 2007, it all fell apart rather quickly and as far as Jeff was concerned, unexpectedly. It was announced on June 12, 2007 that Jeff was no longer in the band and the band was going to take the rest of the year off. I don’t think anyone is really sure what happened, but the band eventually wound up with Arnel Pineda who is still with the band today.

At this time, Jeff was on tour with Talisman doing their farewell tour and rumors were running wild that he was going to be replaced. At the Sweden Rock show, the band Aerosmith was there and they had the same management as Journey. Someone from that camp came up to Jeff and said how sorry he was that he was no longer in the band. Jeff hadn’t been officially told yet he was out. What a way to find out. Now there is a lot more to that story, but I needed to condense it here as I’m writing a review and not a novel about the situation..

I’m going to speculate here for a second. I wonder if Neal & Jonathan were threatened by Soto. Soto likes to contribute in songwriting for his projects and I feel that could have been an issue with the Journey gang. They don’t tend to let anyone in and as proof, I don’t think Pineda gets a whole lot of writing credits. Or did the band truly want a Steve Perry clone with Arnel. Nothing against Arnel as I think he is great with the band and has an amazing voice. But it is still all very perplexing. Out of all that drama, at least I have a bootleg show of his July 13th show in my hometown of Atlanta. I was sadly not at that show and I am not sure why I wasn’t. Let us get to the show.

My copy of the show is digital, but I know there is a CD bootleg of the show as my friend Mike Ladano has it. And I need it…Guess I need to go up to the Great White North and get it!! The recording itself is an audience recording and it isn’t that bad actually. Everything is pretty clear although I have to turn things up a little louder to hear it better. The show kicks off with “The Star Spangled Banner” which has Neal Schon showing off his skills and he has some mad skills. No denying how great of a player he is. The band goes in to “Any Way You Want It” and Jeff attacks it with great confidence and the band sounds great. After the song, there is an announcement that Steve would not be singing tonight due to ongoing health issues and please welcome Jeff. I am going to go out on a limb that 1/2 the audience didn’t even notice the difference and the other 1/2 were probably expecting Steve Perry to still be singing.

After the announcement, the band goes in to “Ask the Lonely” and then when they get to “Only the Young”, Jeff’s voice totally cracks and he he has to stop for the rest of that line then picked it up on the next one. I don’t think Jeff can get as high as Perry and throughout the night he did struggle with those really high notes, but this song was the hardest for him I believe. Now, he has only been with them for a week and still getting used to these songs and the whole thing so I will cut him a break. If you expect Jeff to sound like Steve Perry, you’d be sadly mistaken. Yes, Jeff can really do these songs justice, it is still Soto. He is being himself and not trying to be Steve Perry as you can hear on “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin” as he is just himself and that is plenty good enough to enjoy that song as the band really has fun with it.

One of the cool things during the show was that drummer Deen Castronovo sang three songs. He did “Who’s Crying Now”, “Open Arms” and “Faithfully”, 3 of the band’s biggest songs. And Deen is an incredible singer and he sounds a lot like Perry. One of the most uncool things of the was the Jonathon Cain keyboard solo. Sorry, the only keyboard solo I ever want to hear is Jon Lord and Jonathan Cain is no Jon Lord…sorry Mr. Cain. The show is pretty much all Steve Perry song, nothing before his time and nothing after his time. If I was Steve Augeri, I think I’d be pissed that after doing two albums, no songs, but maybe they changed the setlist to all Perry songs for Soto…who knows.

I am really happy to have this piece of Soto history of his very brief time with Journey. I wish I could get one later in the tour to see how his vocals got better as at times he seemed out of breath and like I said earlier, he struggled a little with the really high notes. But, he still does a great job and this is live so you don’t expect things (or want things) to be perfect. His crowd interactions were great as he felt confident and comfortable in that role which he should as he has been doing this for 2 decades by this point. If you a fan of Perry’s era in the band, you got a great show, if you were there to see Def Leppard, you got a great opening act and nothing to be disappointed about (did I mention this tour was a co-headlining tour with Def Leppard?). My Overall Score is a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars because it is still Soto, it is a cool piece of his history, it is Journey, but it isn’t the best sounding recording for a bootleg, however, still not the worst i’ve owned. I just have to turn this up a little bit louder to get a good volume. I will still try to find a physical copy of this as I do need it to complete the Soto Collection.

Up next will be the very last studio album by Jeff’s band Talisman.

UP NEXT: TALISMAN – ‘7’ (2006)

THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES:

  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  57. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  59. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  61. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  63. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  64. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  65. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  66. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  68. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  69. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  70. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  71. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  74. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  75. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  76. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  77. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  78. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  79. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

21 thoughts on “Journey – ‘Turn the Page: Live in Atlanta, GA’ (Bootleg)’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

  1. Awesome setlist, even if a little light on pre-Cain material.
    It’s sad that Soto got sacked so early, as he seemed like a good fit, even with a different range than Perry. He also seems like a real pro, the way he handled the whole situation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In that case, it was a genius move on their part to pick an unknown soundalike like Pineda. Someone who can replicate the Perry sound, but is likely too respectful to interfere with songwriting and business matters.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think my favourite song on here would be “Jonathan Cain On Keys” must be a bonus Japanese track of some sorts!
    Audience recordings can be sketch so I’m glad this one sounds decent enough for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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