Remember when a song meant everything to you? When you were a teenager and a song could grab your full attention for three and a half minutes? I sometimes miss having the ability to be as fully present in a moment as I was back then. So I am gonna do my best to go back to that time. Wanna come?

There was a time when I thought “Escape” by Journey was one of the world’s greatest albums. I will even confess that when I, briefly, had a paper route I used to actually carry a boom box with me on my bike and alternate “Escape” with the self-titled “Asia” album. By album, I of course mean cassette.

The miles pedaled were eased by Steve Perry belting out “Stone in Love,” “Still They Ride,” “Open Arms” and of course Tony and Carmela Soprano’s favorite tune, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” It just didn’t get any better.

Around the same time, however, I discovered The Rolling Stones and David Bowie and never looked back. But there was a time that Journey rocked my world. Hard.

Having never gotten the chance to see the Perry-era Journey live, I am putting serious thought into heading to Gorham on Saturday night to see SCARAB: The Journey Experience. They’re a Boston-area band who have dedicated themselves to recreating Journey shows of the ’70s and ’80s.

Look, we all know they won’t be better than the real thing, but that hardly matters. What matters is that they’re good enough and I get the feeling that if a like-minded crowd of Journey-loving music geeks like myself head to Gorham, we’ll have a ball. And for the record, I hit up YouTube for some SCARAB clips and they’re a solid group of musicians who clearly love Journey and play their hearts out.


It might be a good idea to download a “lighter” app so as to illuminate the room without setting off smoke alarms during “Open Arms.” We don’t want the Gorham Fire Department to be the ones crying now, after all. See what I did there?

I am willing to let singer Sean Volpetti hit me with his best Steve Perry any way he wants it. When the show ends, we’ll all go our separate ways as the lights go down in the town of Gorham. Are you with me?

Do I expect the SCARAB show to be a near religious experience? Probably not. But I do expect to have a blast with a gaggle of friends hearing some of the best of what the ’80s dished out in the rock genre by a group of musicians who get it.

SCARAB: The Journey Experience. 9 p.m. Saturday. Spire 29. 29 School St., Gorham. $10; 21-plus;

IF SCARAB JUST ISN’T your thing, fear not dear music fans. Here’s another option for the weekend, this one on Friday night. Immerse yourself in sounds from an “icier bayou” with a band that is funky, swampy, soulful, emotional, rootsy, bluesy and more. To get there, just hop onto the Black Cat Road with Jessica Hines, Kate Seavey, Steve Bailey, Don Reed and Kenny Chapman.

Black Cat Road. 9 p.m. Friday. Gingko Blue. 455 Fore St., Portland. No cover, 21-plus;

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

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