A little rain never hurt anybody — least of all the hardy concertgoers at Friday night’s Waterfront Concert, which featured a triple bill of Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy. Temperatures in the upper 40s and a steady drizzle did not deter the near-sellout crowd, who donned multicolored ponchos and raincoats and braved the weather to rock for more than three hours.
Journey took to the stage at 9:15 on the nose, and played a long set that blended mega-hits like “Any Way You Want It” and “Faithfully” with newer songs from the past two albums, recorded with the band’s third lead singer, Arnel Pineda. He has been with the band since 2008, and he’s almost uncanny in his ability to translate classic Journey songs. Pineda is a ball of energy, darting all over the stage and mugging with lead guitarist and Journey founder Neal Schon, and against their big, bright stage show, they delighted the more than 10,000 people in attendance.
“I grew up on Journey,” said 40-year-old Cheryl Travis of Westbrook. “These are all the songs I loved in high school. I know every word.”
Pat Benatar played in the middle of the bill, and her lean, mean, four-piece band with her husband, Neil “Spider” Giraldo, played a quick and dirty set that showcased her big back catalog of hits, including “We Belong To The Night,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker.” Benatar and Giraldo are one of rock’s most enduring partnerships — the pair have played together for 34 years and have been married for 30, with 12 albums and two daughters.
Benatar, as well as all the other performers Friday, was bundled up — she wore a long black coat to protect her from the elements. But, as she said from the stage, rain is no big deal to her.
“You guys are so good to be here, and we’re so glad you’re here,” she said. “You guys have ponchos! We’re not afraid of a little rain, are we?”
Canadian band Loverboy opened the night, blasting their signature hits including “Working For The Weekend” and “Turn Me Loose.”
There’s one more concert set for the waterfront this year — Saturday, Sept. 29, will feature the Christian rock festival SoulQuest, featuring Switchfoot, Needtobreathe, the Wrecking and many others. This season featured more than 15 concerts that played to tens of thousands of fans. For more information and to stay updated on concerts set for 2013, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.