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Sunday, August 8, 2010

'Frontiers' (Journey tribute band) - Live in Michigan gig review.

Journey tribute band Frontiers live review.
Sterlingfest, Sterling Heights, MI. Friday 6th August, 2010.

On Friday night (6th August), we went to check out Journey tribute band 'Frontiers,' with Jeremey Hunsicker on lead vocals, the guy that didn't quite get the Journey gig, but co-wrote (Along with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain'Never Walk Away,' the lead track on Journey's last album 'Revelation.'

These guys are actually a national touring outfit now, doing this tribute gig for a living.
I have to say that the videos of them / their shows live, make them look a lot better than they certainly were last night.
When you go over to these guys MySpace page - or their own website it's almost too easy to be very impressed as I have been and have been telling everyone as much and so I was really looking forward to this gig.

To me, Hunsicker really doesn't look the part of a frontman, almost like a salesman in that suit, even if he was barefoot to stand on the Persian rug that was on the stage under his mic stand.
I can kind of therefore see why he wasn't right for Journey, even if his facial features are slightly Steve Perry like.
Admittedly this was an outdoor gig that was a free festival locally, but the mix for the most part was horrible ....

The drums and the guitarist's amp were mic'd but the bass and keys went direct via the mixer to the PA so when you're right in front of stage and PA is hanging overhead, what do you hear? Drums and guitar, faint, murky bass sound, keys non-existent - Although apparently they could be heard out of the PA, but how much ....?!

Hunsicker was controlling the sound at the back of the stage area and he kept wondering over to adjust it.
He was seriously struggling to hit a number of notes too though ... Shame. I wonder how good he could hear himself? - They all had in-ear monitoring, so it should've been as good as he had mixed the sound?

We stayed for about 45 minutes of their set - they were headline over other local acts. - then we left ... Shame.
These were the songs that we heard during that time - Which seemed a good song selection:

Seperate Ways - Hunsicker struggled in places on this and sound was rough mix from the start. Everything was a wash of sound.
Only The Young - Mix is terrible, keys should be prominent ... Where are they?!
Send Her My Love - Better than the previous two, but mix still not there yet.
Girl Can't Help It - Guitar comes through well, but bass now loud in the mix, keys are thin / sparse. Drums fine.
Stone in Love - Pretty good start and so, so mix ... Drawn out by lengthy guitar soloing.
Faithfully - Harmonies were good, even if Jeremey is struggling towards the end big time ... Sorry mate, that's how it sound to us ...
Lights / Stay With Me Awhile - Just so, so really, the mix is better than at the start but still disappointing.
Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' - It's not improving and we decided to leave ...

There's been quite a bit of hype about these guys - Probably down to lead singer Hunsicker's involvement with Journey. - and the fact that they make a living doing this, I guess there's reason and need to promote yourselves, right ...?
To be honest, either we caught them on a bad night (Day? - It started at about 8.30pm and it was still quite light out.) or I don't know what else to tell you?

I think when many live acts play directly through the PA via mixer of course, it often compresses the sound so much, that it really sounds like it's lacking something.
It weird as their You Tube video's all show them playing with amps miked up, so why not tonight?
These guys could also have cranked the volume a touch too, as after all, aren't they a rock band?

As a live presentation too, the guys looked like they could've just been a local band playing someone's back yard party and really didn't look into it except maybe the guitarist.

Disappointing. Maybe it's just because it was an outdoor gig and they were using the venue's PA, but they were without doubt lacking something.
Perhaps in an indoor venue, with more factors within their control (?), they'd really impress, who knows?
On this occasion I have to say I was very disappointed. Next time I'll try to check them out at an indoor venue, as a headline act and maybe then I'll pass a different judgement.
Anyway, you make up you own minds folks.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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