Journey to Headline Lollapalooza 2021, Says Neal Schon
Schon said he "dying to get on stage again," telling Eddie Trunk (as transcribed by Blabbermouth) that the band has "our first date booked for Lollapalooza, and we're headlining in Chicago. And that's supposedly in April. Hopefully that'll not get pushed back, because [the] vaccine is finally here. And 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."
When Trunk mentioned that Journey was an unusual choice for the largely alternative, hip-hop and electronic music-minded festival, Schon replied: "I have not seen the bill. Alls 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."
The group's most recent concert took place almost a year ago, on Jan. 31, 2019 in Las Vegas. It turned out to be the last Journey 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'état" 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 / vocalist Jason Derlatka.