By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Easy targets, both of these bands -- you can smell the bull's-eyes on their foreheads from a thousand miles away. So get your e-mails ready, you old farts out there with your blood boiling, as we sharpen our butter knives and prepare for a little rock-and-roll tumor-removal. Yeah, you, the men and women who wrote in defending Rick Springfield and the lite-rock Aerosmith and Styx and whatever passes for Lynyrd Skynrd these days. Come on, we dare you to justify these touring bank machines; we defy you to offer up one solid, defensible alibi for these Monsters of Rock. And no, "Because they still rock" doesn't count, because we know you're lying...or at least kidding yourselves. Seriously -- you have heard the Journey song from the Armageddon soundtrack, right? That rocks? Dude, my grandmother doesn't think that rocks; she was saying just the other day she thought it sounded a little like Henry Mancini, actually, or at least Paradise Theater-era Styx. Come on, it's bad enough anyone out there still wants to see Journey with Steve Perry. But with the new guy, Steve Augeri? Oh, pardon. You must be in it for the songs. A little "Wheels in the Sky" or "Lights" or "Don't Stop Believin'," perhaps?
Stop fooling yourself. Wake up and smell the early 1980s; it's not too late to move forward, to get your feet out of the quicksand. It's a big world out there, Dorothy; let's go see the Wizard together. So what, you upgraded Infinity and Departure to CD a couple of years back; so you bought the Time3 boxed set in 1992. Big deal -- throw them overboard, before the dead weight drowns you in a sea of pedestrian arena-art-rock riffs and squealing lyrics about open arms and how much Steve Whasshisname wants to love, touch, and squeeze you (gross). Life's too short to listen to this shit any longer. It's empty calories, meaningless, the dead echoes of a fossilized era. Leave it alone. It's radioactive now. Funny thing is, only Journey could make Foreigner seem like a pretty good deal; amazing this tour isn't called "The Lesser of Two Evils." Christ, just imagine what it's going to be like listening to "Urgent" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded" and "Keep on Runnin'" and "Open Arms" and "Any Way You Want It," one piece of shit following another until the last of 15 encores fades into the night. Lordy, the hits'll just keep on comin'. Choose sides now. It's not too late.
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