Former Journey singer Steve Perry performed a couple of his famous songs for the first time in 19 years Sunday night. Perry joined Eels for the band's encore. After singing one of their songs, he belted out two Journey classics: Open Arms and Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'.
A video of the performance has gotten well over a million views in less than one week.
But, why did Steve Perry do it?
Eels singer E (AKA Mark Oliver Everett) explained the story of the band's relationship with Steve Perry to Stereogum. Perry apparently became friends with the band and eventually started coming to the band's rehearsals. E says the band would bait him into singing Journey songs, but Perry never seemed interested in stepping out onto a stage.
That all changed this year. E explains:
"We started talking to him about it, like, 'Hey maybe you’d want to do this on stage with us sometime.' And he’d say, 'Nah, too much pressure.' Because it is, you know? When you’re that well-known for something you do that well, and you haven’t done it for so long, it’s kind of a big deal. I get it. But this year it was different. He showed up to our tour rehearsals like he always does, but on the second day he came in carrying his own microphone that he brought with him. And I thought, 'Huh, this is different. I wonder what’s going on here.' And he started talking about doing it on stage. And we all decided that we’re not going to get too excited about it because it’s more likely to not happen than to happen with him. And then he actually came out to St. Paul — and I don’t know why he chose St. Paul. Only he could tell you that. And even that day when we were there, I still thought, 't’s probably not going to happen. I’ll believe it when I see it.' It wasn’t until he actually got on the stage and he started singing that I realized, 'Oh wow, it’s really happening!' And it was such a beautiful moment. Again, it sent chills down my spine just to be there with him in his element doing what he was made to do. And as my friend, it felt good to see him feeling so good about that."
Ironically, there will be an Eels concert in Washington, DC at the Lincoln Theater on Saturday, May 31. One day later, Journey will be in the area for their performance at the BIG Concert.