Journey is looking forward to headlining the 2022 Concert for Legends on Aug. 6 as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s induction weekend festivities in Canton, Ohio. But at least one band member hopes it will help open the door for another prestigious gridiron gig.
“That could be a Super Bowl nod,” Journey’s Jonathan Cain tells UCR. “I’m hoping they see us and go, ‘Wait a minute – Journey’s never played a Super Bowl!’ That’s right guys, we haven’t. I shouldn’t say it out loud, but I’m secretly hoping they might put two and two together and say, ‘Wait a minute, maybe Journey and the Super Bowl.’
“And we could make it a Bay Area extravaganza. We could bring some of the other Bay Area guys, the Doobies and Santana. And maybe the [San Francisco] 49ers will win next year,” Cain adds, with a laugh.
Journey certainly has longevity: Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation. They also have a track record of hits and multi-platinum sales, but getting the Big Game nod could be a long shot.
The prestigious halftime show was the home of classic rock during the 2000s when the likes of Aerosmith (2001), U2 (2002), Paul McCartney (2005), the Rolling Stones (2006), Prince (2007), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2008), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2009) and the Who (2010) showcased to a global audience during the 12-minute segment. Since then, however, the NFL has leaned in a more contemporary direction (Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, etc.).
Since Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation began producing the halftime show, it’s featured the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, the Weeknd and this year’s hip-hop spectacular with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent.
Super Bowl wishes aside, Cain is planning to have a good time as one Hall of Famer (Rock & Roll, that is) playing for others.
“It should be a blast,” says Cain, a “huge football fan” himself. He particularly hopes that some of the 49ers Hall of Fame members will be in attendance, noting that the team’s Super Bowl championship era (five between 1981-1994) coincided with Journey’s most successful years. “That era, to me, was some of the best football ever. All those guys were just insanely great, and they played under the hardest circumstances. When you’ve got Lawrence Taylor taking you down, man.
“I just hope Joe Montana will be there in his gold jacket, and Steve Young and Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott and all those guys from the Niners. They’re just part of my Bay Area experience.” The group also remains friendly with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and members of his family; his sister Denise DeBartolo York and her husband John York are current co-owners and co-chairs of the team.
Journey is nearing the end of 2022’s concert schedule after releasing Freedom, their first album in 11 years. The group toured arenas during the late winter and spring, and now has four more dates on the books – including two in Mexico. They’re planning to be out again in February 2023, with four already-confirmed dates starting March 1. More will be announced shortly.
This year’s tour, Cain says, “really reestablished Journey as a marquee name. We have to take our hats off and say thank you, thank you, thank you to our fans who came out for us … and wanted to buy T-shirts.” Cain says Journey is also hoping to head overseas in 2023, possibly over the summer. “It will be good to get back to the U.K. and maybe Sweden and places we used to go to. It’s been so long since we’ve been over there.”
Meanwhile, Cain is also recording a Christmas EP to follow his Christian music solo album, Arise, from earlier this year. He adds that there were more songs from the Freedom sessions that “we didn’t get to,” though he’s not making any predictions about when the next Journey album might be recorded.
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