Tampa-bound Journey keeps fans believin' with replacement singer

October 11, 2012 

It might be the strangest ongoing success story in rock history.

"Don't Stop Believin'," a single from Journey's 1981 album "Escape," didn't even reach the Top 40 upon release. But the sing-along-ready anthem has aged amazingly well, ranking as one of the all-time top-selling catalog tracks on iTunes.

Credit the song's use in a slew of films ranging from "The Wedding Singer" to "Monster" and, most importantly, its 2007 placement in the season finale of "The Sopranos."

But even odder than the success of the recording is that thousands of people will go see Journey perform the song Friday in Tampa despite co-writer and original lead singer, Steve Perry, having left the band in the late 1990s.

Former Philippines star Arnel Pineda (a Perry sound-alike) has been fronting Journey since 2008.

For Journey fans, hearing, not seeing, is believin'.

Eighties faves Pat Benatar ("Heartbreaker," "Love is a Battlefield") and Loverboy ("Working for the Weekend," "This Could Be the Night") are the opening acts.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Ask Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 N. U.S. 301, Tampa. Tickets: $32-$166. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.

--Wade Tatangelo

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