By: Gabriela Yareliz
/So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me, open arms/ Journey
This week had a dream come true. I almost feel cheesy saying that because this wasn’t even a dream of mine. There are some things we don’t even dare to dream because we figure they aren’t possible.
I went to an amazing double concert of the original (yes, Woodstock original) Santana and Journey.
Carlos Santana was amazing. He has such a humble demeanor. He stands up there with his little hat, doing his thing, while chewing gum. I loved the fact that there was footage of Carlos Santana from the 70s, side-by-side with the live footage. One could see the young Carlos Santana, with his long wild hair, playing passionately at an outdoor concert; and next to that, Carlos Santana, now in real time. Older, long hair, same passion.
Santana jammed and charmed us with his Spanish Harlem songs, and the crowd was wild. Standing and swaying. Cell phone lights making a sparkly Madison Square Garden. I loved watching the old band mates’ dynamic and the way they would smile and nod at each other.
At the end of the concert, Santana played one last song, Toussaint L’Ouverture.
Carlos Santana introduced the song by saying: “There is a lot of mental slavery. If you aren’t happy you are a slave to something. When you are [truly] happy, it means you are free.”
After Santana, the stage base was rolled up, revealing the Journey logo, the famous Egyptian beetle.
When Journey took the stage and the lead singer opened his mouth and sang “Separate Ways,” the energy in the room was amazing. The place was going to explode.
The energy was spectacular. Incredible. The show of a lifetime. At the end, Journey shared some stories behind its songs. There was a song that was dedicated to the musicians’ families. It was written on a dark night bus ride to NYC, by the band pianist. When the pianist started playing the opening notes of “Faithfully,” we all clapped and exclaimed in a collective sigh.
Following this, came “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and the crowd sang with passion. This is my favorite song. At that point, my face hurt because I had been smiling for two hours straight. The last song was “Any Way You Want It,” which made us stand and clap.
I love a lot of Journey songs. I am an 80s radio station junkie. I listen to this music often at night, while I wind down for rest. It’s bizarre to hear a song live, when you are used to listening to it at night, in your home on the radio, while getting ready for bed.
It really hit me when Journey performed “Open Arms.” I love it when reality feels like a dream. Reality can be that good, sometimes. Music takes us to another world.
This whole experience was a reminder to me that while “some will win and some will lose”… We can’t stop believin’– we’ve got to hold on to that feeling. We need to embrace each other and life, with open arms.