Legendary rockers Journey are scheduled to headline at the 2021 edition of Lollapalooza’s flagship event in Chicago. Guitarist Neal Schon broke the news during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”.
Journey have been inactive for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and Schon revealed his eagerness to get back on the stage when they return to the road.
“I’m dying to get on stage again,” declared Schon. “We have our first date booked for Lollapalooza, and we’re headlining in Chicago. And that’s supposedly in April. Hopefully that’ll not get pushed back, because vaccine is finally here.
“And hopefully they start dispersing it very quickly so everybody can get back on their feet and can get out and hear music, ’cause that’s what heals the world, I think.”
Lollapalooza predominantly features a lot of alternative rock, hip-hop and electronic music artists and Journey may seem out of place. When host Eddie Trunk pressed Neal about the fact JOURNEY is an odd choice for a headliner, Schon believes the band’s new blood will help them spring a surprise at the event.
“I have not seen the bill. Alls I know is we’re headlining it,” said Schon. I can guarantee you that with the new blood in the band, when we get together for two weeks of rehearsal before that show, we will be the new alternative. [Laughs] We’re gonna add a lot to the show. We’re gonna bring some new dynamics and open things up a bit and show people what the musicianship is really like in this band.”
The city of Chicago cancelled the 2020 edition of Lollapalooza because of the pandemic in June prior to the festival going on sale or announcing a lineup. The event typically draws about 100,000 people each year. However, it has been replaced by Lolla2020, a free, four-night virtual festival July 30th.
Lollapalooza was created by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band. Since its dissolution as a touring festival in 1997, Lollapalooza has become one of the biggest destination festivals in the world.
Schon revealed last month that Journey has recorded “six rockers” for its forthcoming studio album, which is due in 2021. The upcoming LP will be the band’s first with its new lineup, featuring drummer/producer Narada Michael Walden and bassist Randy Jackson.
This past March, Journey parted ways with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith after the two allegedly attempted a coup, in order to gain control of the Journey trademark.
The new Journey lineup performed a socially distanced version of “Don’t Stop Believin” for UNICEF USA’s virtual event “UNICEF We Won’t Stop”, which aired in May. Schon and the rest of the band were supposed to launch a North American tour with The Pretenders but cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.