Steve Perry - vocals; Neal Schon -guitar; Jonathan Cain - keyboards
From the first public Mime Troupe events in 1965 to his untimely death in 1991, Bill Graham set the standard for excellence in concert presentations and in doing so, redefined the art of communication for an entire generation. To honor Bill Graham, Steve Kahn and Melissa Gold, the BGP staff organized a free concert in Golden Gate Park for Sunday, November 3. Mother Nature cooperated and provided a comfortable and cloudless day as 300,000 people gathered in the Polo Field of Golden Gate Park.
Although the Grateful Dead were expected to make an appearance, the list of performers was kept well under wraps and few had any idea who exactly would be performing. It didn't seem to matter though, as the feeling that permeated the crowd was one of quiet reflection. This concert marked the end of an era, but also memorialized Bill Graham in a manner that was fitting - a free concert in the heart of where it all started. The sad circumstances aside, this was truly a celebration of Graham's life and as the poster for this event noted, it was to be a day filled with Laughter, Love and Music.
Journey played its debut gig for Bill Graham at Winterland on the last day of 1973. For this special event, eighteen years later, members Steve Perry, Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain reunited to perform before the massive San Francisco crowd assembled in the park.
They open with "Faithfully," one of their most memorable songs. The sparseness of the instrumentation (just piano and electric guitar) showcases the lyrics, which take on added poignancy in the light of Bill Graham's passing. Schon's lovely guitar work at the end provides a bridge into a brief "Lonely Road Without You" sequence that segues directly into their biggest hit, "Lights." This familiar song serves as both an homage to Graham as well as the city of San Francisco.