JOURNEY Returns To Live Stage With Revamped Lineup Featuring DEEN CASTRONOVO, MARCO MENDOZA (Video)
July 30, 2021
JOURNEY made its return to the live stage last night (Thursday, July 29) during a special "aftershow" at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. The concert took place just two days before JOURNEY's appearance Saturday night at Lollapalooza on the Bud Light Seltzer stage at Grant Park in Chicago.
JOURNEY's lineup for the Aragon show included the return of drummer Deen Castronovo, who shared the drum duties in the band with Narada Michael Walden. Walden, bassist Randy Jackson and keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka all joined JOURNEY last year following the band's acrimonious split with drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory. Jackson — who previously played with JOURNEY during the mid-1980s — was forced to miss the Aragon gig because he is scheduled to undergo back surgery. Filling in for him was Marco Mendoza, who previously played several shows in 2019 with Castronovo and JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon under the "Neal Schon's Journey Through Time" banner.
Schon first hinted at Castronovo's return on Monday (July 26) when he tweeted a photo from the rehearsal sessions for the Aragon show. "Ok … Double trouble Chicago @NaradaMWalden @DeenTheDrummer Narada Michael Walden and the return of Deen Castronovo on Drums @AragonBallroom @lollapalooza," Schon wrote.
Two days later, Schon answered a few questions about Deen's JOURNEY status below a San Francisco Chronicle story that he shared on Facebook. When fan asked, "So is Deen Castronovo back in the band full time now?" Schon responded, "Yes." After another fan who told Schon to "bring back Deen again," Schon wrote, "Deen is back. We are double (2) drummers now with Narada." He added: "They are BOTH PLAYING !!! JOURNEY AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD US BEFORE !!!!"
Castronovo's 17-year tenure with JOURNEY ended in 2015 when the group fired him after his arrest for a variety of charges involving his now-wife (including physical abuse, coercion, and unlawful use of a weapon).
Last month, JOURNEY shared a new single, "The Way We Used To Be". The song is the multi-platinum band's first new music since 2011's album "Eclipse", and the first song released by the band's revamped lineup. "The Way We Used To Be" marks Walden and Derlatka's first studio recordings with the band, and Jackson's first since 1986's "Raised On Radio". The song was produced by Narada Michael Walden at his Tarpan Studios, with co-production by Schon and Cain.
Just returned from a Journey concert at the Aragon in Chicago (for those not from here). Great 2 sets with about 2500 in attendance. Music was great and masks were on about 10 people. “Don’t Stop Believin.” pic.twitter.com/qj6C2KTAQj