A few days ago I spoke of a "special sneak preview announcement" that would be coming soon. Well the press release is out (and word on the street is that I received the very first one), and Journey Island will be opening on 1 February 2008!
There are pavilions around the perimeter of the island that celebrate each of Journey's albums. As you enter each one a short narrative about the album is given then select clips are played. Especially sharp-eared visitors may even be able to identify the special celebrity narrators!
There is a park with billboards containing pictures and a short biography of each band member; an amphitheater where videos will be played on a large screen, and of course a gift shop. Near the entryway there is a place to get a free scooter to help you get around the large island. There are plenty of seats and shade, and around the edges of the island there are even beach areas with recliners and umbrellas to help you rest and recuperate.
The highlight of the island, at least for me, is it's centerpiece: the Escape Club. There's a stage for the band with massive banks of speakers to the sides, and the most amazing dance floor I've ever seen. I have seen many, many dance floor and this one totally rocks! The best ever.
The billboards near the entrance gives start times for the festivities on February 1st, but I've been told that those times are just place holders and that the actual times and order of events have yet to be determined. In any case I will do my best to be there early, because I don't even want to think what traffic will be like around there just before the start!
The press release is copied below.
Journey Scheduled to Open Virtual World In Second Life!
On Feb 1st 2008 the rock band Journey will release their new Virtual Island in Second Life. A grand opening party is planned inside Second Life at the "Journey Rock Band" sim and will feature a meet and greet with band members as well as live DJ's covering much of Journey’s history, and playing recorded studio and live performances as well as lots of other great music for fans to party to! The grand opening party is scheduled to start at 10:00 am on Feb 1st. The Journey island region in Second Life is named “Journey Rock Band”. Learn more at http://www.secondlife.com
Journey has long been known for innovations in stage sets so creating a Second Life Island for fans to enjoy was an easy decision. The island features dedicated areas for each album along with audio and video presentations. There are also two venues on the island the Escape Club and the Captured Amphitheater where live SL events can be held.
Journey’s new redesigned website http://www.journeymusic.com will be re-launched on or around January 29th. It will feature band history, tour information, photos and a new forum.
Journey is currently getting ready to start their 2008 World Tour which begins in Santiago Chile in mid February.
The Journey Island was built by Industrial-Design.com Journey’s long time web developer and features work by SL builders Farrokh Vavoom, Argus Collingwood, Adrian Harbinger and Jocelyn Sands.
Recent Press Release:
Journey--Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Ross Valory (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums)--is proud to introduce fans all over the world to their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda ("pin-eh-da"). He replaces Jeff Scott Soto, who parted ways with the band earlier this year after stepping in for Steve Augeri, who had to leave the band in 2006 for medical reasons.
Arnel hails from Quezon City in the Philippines and has been singing Journey songs--in addition to original material--with his band, The Zoo, for the past couple of years in clubs all over his homeland. Joining the legendary band is a dream come true for him.
"It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world. It’ll be a lot of hard work on my part and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll get from the hardcore Journey fans. I know they’ll expect me to sound exactly like `the voice` (Steve Perry), but that will never happen. I know there’s only one Steve Perry in this world."
When it was time for Journey to look for a new lead singer, the internet came to their rescue. Guitarist Neal Schon wanted someone new to the music business, so he turned to YouTube. After finding Arnel singing "Faithfully," he knew he had found the perfect frontman.
"I was frustrated about not having a singer," explains guitarist Neal Schon, "so I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours. I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found The Zoo and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted. After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, `he can’t be that good. But he is that good, he’s the real deal and so tremendously talented. Arnel doesn’t sound synthetic and he’s not emulating anyone. I tried to get a hold of him through YouTube and I finally heard from him that night, but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an imposter."
Arnel Pineda picks up the story: "My friend Noel picked up the message on YouTube and told me it was from Neal. I thought it was a hoax so I ignored it. Noel said, `what if it really was Neal and he wanted to offer you the chance of a lifetime?` So I e-mailed Neal back and the rest is history."
"Arnel brings a soulful and passionate voice to Journey," continues keyboardist Jonathan Cain. "His personality is very well-suited to our music. He’s a sincere, authentic person with a great smile and a big heart. I think fans are really going to love him. With Arnel’s soaring tenor, Journey returns to our heritage sound."
Schon agrees, "We feel reborn. I think there’s a lot of chemistry between the five of us. At first we were going to go into the studio and just write 4 songs, but now it’s escalated to a lot of great new and diverse material. The stuff sounds tremendous. Everyone’s so stoked about it. We feel very fortunate to have found Arnel."
Journey is currently working on a new album with legendary producer Kevin Shirley, which they hope to release by spring/summer 2008.
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