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June 21, 2014

DSB - A Tribute to Journey @ Epcot's 'Sounds Like Summer' Concert Series


We all know that the Journey hit, "Don't Stop Believin'" is the center of the karaoke universe. Truth be told, it's so good because it's usually so badly done. After all... who can sing like Steve Perry?? Okay, so I'm partial to that voice. Personally, I think he's got one of the finest set of pipes in rock music - ever. Yes, I love me some Steve Perry, and of course... I love Journey. Last week's visit to "Sounds Like Summer" was a bit disappointing for me. The venue is not the kindest, weather is a considerable factor (ever been to Orlando in the summer? Land of the afternoon storm!)... it really isn't easy to hit a home run in this scenario, is it? But every now and then, you have that perfect pitch - and out of the park it goes!




I'm still in the process of moving, and as I struggle to get through all the boxes, this week has ticked away from me without a chance to visit Epcot to catch the current "SLS" act, DSB - A Tribute to Journey. By the skin of my teeth, I made it for their very last set. And... I thank my Fairy Godmother for letting all of my pumpkins fall into place for this one. What a fantastic performance!



DSB opened this set with "Wheel in the Sky", and it was flawless. I cannot say enough about the exceptional vocal talents of Juan Del Castillo. Speaking as someone who was ready to fault this poor man for even trying to pull off Perry... I'm ashamed of myself. Not only did he pull it off - he topped it! Song after song, note after note - nailed... and then some! 


This is not to take away from the strength of the instrumental performance. Songs like "Faithfully", "Any Way You Want It", "Escape", "Separate Ways" and, of course "Don't Stop Believin'", showcased the talent and solidarity of the entire band. They didn't hit a sour note - they never missed a beat. Speaking of beats... Gino and I were both beyond impressed with the stunningly stellar drumming skills of Scotty Kormos!




Although the talent was absolutely front and center tonight with DSB (and, let's face it - they had superior songs to draw from), I think what stood out the most was the SHOW! It was energetic, and it was passionate. These guys genuinely had fun, and they really played to the audience in a way that normally isn't seen at America Gardens Theater. To be blunt, the concerts there aren't meant to be a huge highlight. Sets are stunted and seats are not overly abundant. This did not feel like a typical free Epcot show. Apparently, the energy was contagious... unlike most SLS performances, this one filled every seat, and drew a large standing crowd. In fact, by the final song, everyone was standing. I know this is not uncommon at a concert, but it's rather abnormal for an Epcot concert. If I closed my eyes, I could have been convinced that Journey was performing to a packed stadium back in the 80s. Yes... it was just that good. Actually, if you take the opinion of a musician who has seen Journey, Gino claims that DSB is even better!! 


Crossing my fingers that DSB becomes a fixture at "Sounds Like Summer". This was a show worth braving the Orlando heat for! Next week's sizzling summer sensation - Good Vibrations: A Celebration of the Beach Boys! For the entire "Sounds Like Summer" schedule, click here

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