Edit ModuleShow Tags

Who's on Vocals?


A DISCUSSION OF SAN DIEGO’S August concert lineup sounds like a new take on the old Abbott and Costello routine. Call it “Who’s on vocals?” Trying to figure out how many (if any) original members of your favorite veteran touring bands survive up on that stage is enough to make a music fan feel a bit hapless.

Classic rockers Journey appear this month at Coors Amphitheater without lead singer Steve Perry. He wasn’t the band’s first singer—Perry replaced Robert Fleischman when Journey was still a fusion spin-off of Santana—but he is the one who originally sang almost all the songs people want to hear. Handling lead vocals now is Steve Augeri. Steve who? At least Journey still has original lead guitarist Neal Schon.

Foreigner appears this month at Humphrey’s without original lead singer Lou Gramm, voice of all the band’s hits. Gramm’s replacement is Kelly Hansen. No one’s quite sure who he is. The only remaining original member of Foreigner is Mick Jones, who must be about 117 years old.

Dennis DeYoung, original lead singer of Styx, appears at Humphrey’s this month, sans Styx, billed as “The Music of Styx.” But just a few weeks ago, Styx, which still has guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young, appeared without DeYoung at the San Diego County Fair playing, uh, the music of Styx.

Wait, there’s more.

Creedence Clearwater Revisited visits Viejas Concerts in the Park this month, without John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s original lead singer and writer of the band’s classic songs. In the strangest booking juxtaposition of the summer, Fogerty himself appears on the same stage this month—just a couple of weeks after Creedence Revisited. Viejas, what were you guys thinking?

The Doobie Brothers appear this month at Humphrey’s and Pechanga without longtime co–lead singer Michael Mc- Donald, who is appearing at select sites this summer as guest singer with Steely Dan (but inexplicably not at Steely Dan’s San Diego show last month). Original Doobie Brother co–lead singers Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are still in the fold, but guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who left Steely Dan to join the Doobie Brothers, is no longer with either band.

Then there’s recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lynyrd Skynyrd, appearing this month at Pechanga without, of course, original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, who died in a plane crash nearly 30 years ago. Ronnie’s younger brother, Johnny, is the band’s current frontman and does an admirable job of filling some very big shoes. But is Skynyrd really Skynyrd without Ronnie “Free Bird” Van Zant?

In fact, are any of these bands worth seeing without their key members? Judging from ticket sales, they are. The shared sentiment among many summer concertgoers is that at least these musicians, whoever they are, are keeping classic-rock music alive.

Chicago appeared at the Embarcadaro a few weeks ago without original co–lead singer Peter Cetera—who left 20 years ago—and the venue was full. Thing is, Chicago always has deployed several lead singers, and the legendary original horn section (James Pankow, Lee Loughnane, Walt Parazaider) and founding member/co–lead singer Robert Lamm are still in the group. As far as most fans are concerned, Chicago is still Chicago.

But when a band is so indelibly associated with one person— as Creedence is with Fogerty—things get weird. You’ve been warned.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Where to Eat, Drink, Stay, and Explore in Kaua‘i

In this lush landscape, island time is for real. Unwind at rustic plantation towns, wild coastal trails, and locavore meals served under thatched roofs.

A Family Afar: The Benefits of Staying Close to Home

Our travel blogger dad celebrates a family milestone with a staycation—and realizes you don't have to journey far to reap the benefits of travel

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego Raises $225,000 on Red Shoe Day

Plus USO San Diego, Sycuan, and Promises2Kids help local families
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018
  2. Your 2018 San Diego Summer Bucket List
    Here’s our insider’s guide for Memorial Day through Labor Day
  3. San Diego's Best Restaurant of 2018: The Finalists
    San Diego Magazine's Best Restaurants issue comes out in June. Here are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best of the best.
  4. The Coolest Things Happening in San Diego Beer Right Now
    A dive into the new, notable, and lesser-known in our city’s beer scene
  5. Good Night, Cafe Chloe
    San Diego’s beloved French bistro is closing due to California’s unfair labor laws
  6. Pacific Gate: Downtown Living at its Finest
    Bosa Development brings Super Prime luxury to Downtown San Diego
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags