newsreview journey toto draw fifty and sixty something teens to sold out jpj

Review: Journey/Toto draw fifty- and sixty-something teens to sold-out JPJ

Chris Graham
journey at jpj
Photo: Crystal Abbe Graham

The thing I’ll remember most from the Journey/Toto concert at JPJ Sunday night: the endless waves of fifty- and sixty-something women dressed as teenagers.

And I mean, to the nines – fishnet stockings, blue jean and leather jackets, mall hair held up by amounts of hairspray that will hasten the early onset of spring in Central Virginia.

The estrogen, indeed, was strong; but honestly, the Viagra being downed by the dudes, you know, in anticipation, was stronger.

The music was of the baby-making variety, but, well, you know, no worries about that, with this age group.

This one was for the teens of the early ‘80s whose parents wouldn’t let them see Journey and Toto live because the show was on a school night.

But for a night, here they were.

No school the next day.

The kids are grown and moved out.

The van with the shag carpet long ago was sent to the junkyard, but if had been a-rockin’, you damn sure shouldn’t come a-knockin’.

toto at jpj
Photo: Crystal Abbe Graham

Journey and Toto were a smidge before my time. I was a late ‘80s teen; our mall music was different, more Beastie Boys, Tiffany/Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block.

My older cousins’ music was far, far better, obviously.

I didn’t think, going in, that I would know much from either’s set list, but as the show went on, I kept turning to my wife, Crystal, an early ‘90s teen, the era of boy bands, even worse than mine, and one or the other of us would say, I know this one!

We were just glad the show went on; apparently, the Journey guys have been at each others’ throats for a while now, over politics, over credit cards, the rights to the music.

It may have just been coincidental, but the two guys at the center of the spats over politics and the credit cards, lead guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, were set up on opposite sides of the stage, and didn’t have or find cause to interact during their set.

Cain did offer that his daughter recently got married to the son of Toto guitarist Steve Lukathe.

“That was just so they could unite their respective rock ‘n’ roll kingdoms and create a new bloodline,” I remember remarking to my wife at that news.

It was funny in the moment. Maybe.

I was impressed that the show went all the way to just shy of 11 p.m. I’d assumed, and if you’re tired of the old people jokes, sorry, but I’d assumed that they’d send us old folks home a lot earlier, knowing our bedtimes.

There was one concession to old age reality: Journey didn’t make us go through the pretense of an encore, leaving the stage, having us chant, the rest.

I won’t spoil the set list, but they ended it well.

The hard part in the aftermath wasn’t getting back to routine the next morning, but more, just having to be fifty-something again, after a night of getting to be a teenager.

Note to self: need to check the car lots for vans with shag carpeting …

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].

Latest News

Karen Hult Virginia Tech

Political expert on Mike Pence’s historical presidential run against Donald Trump


ShenanArts’ fall 2023 season includes ‘Anastasia The Musical’

“The Marvelous Wonderettes” has one more weekend of productions at ShenanArts, but the theater has announced its fall 2023 season.

ethan o'donnell

UVA’s Ethan O’Donnell battles through rough weekend, has eyes on Duke, Omaha

Ethan O’Donnell had one hit in last weekend’s Charlottesville Regional, but he made it count – taking a first-pitch fastball out to The Clubhouse in left-center for a three-run shot that was the difference in an 8-3 regional-clinching win on Sunday.

Washington Nationals

Nats Notebook: Nationals look to rebound with D’backs coming to town

ron sanchez

Ron Sanchez gives up head-coaching job to return to Bennett’s staff at UVA

brandon mills

Family of man shot by police at Harrisonburg Walmart disputes official story


Glass is half-full for economy in 2023 as survey results reveal states with best performance