Earlier this month, ex-Journey frontman Steve Perry made his return to the stage after a nearly 20-year hiatus from performing. And just who was able to coax Perry out of his self-induced retirement? None other than California alternative rockers Eels, who Perry joined for two separate shows in Minneapolis and Washington.
The unlikely suprgroup first performed Eels’ own “It’s A Motherfucker” before eventually tackling Sam Cooke’s “Only Sixteen” and a handful of Journey classics (“Open Arms” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”).
“For years we’ve been friends,” Perry said during the Washington show. “And for years we’ve played croquet, we’ve gone to dinners. ‘Why don’t you come out sometime in sing?’ ‘Well, you know, I haven’t done it in a long time. I dunno.’ ‘Why don’t you get your ass out and sing with us?’ I want to thank The Eels for getting my ass out and singing.”
During their show Wednesday night in Amsterdam, Eels returned Perry’s favor by performing Journey’s most recognized single, “Don’t Stop Believin'”. In the hands of the eccentric Mark Oliver Everett and Co., the once anthemic ballad is slowed to a halt, a fragile and mournful number with nothing but heartache where optimism once shimmered. Still, I’d like to think that wherever he may have been, Perry was triumphantly raising a fist upward.
Watch fan-shot footage of the performance below: