Arnel Pineda is truly one of a kind. His transformation from an obscure rocker playing gigs at Hongkong nightclubs to a lead singer for a band like Journey is like winning a lottery jackpot. I could even say a miracle. Make it climbing Mount Everest. Filling the shoes of Steve Perry, the former lead singer of Journey is no easy feat. Arnel Pineda’s new job is to resurrect Journey’s historic past and better yet, catapult the band into new heights ! And thanks to YouTube, for without it, Journey had no idea who he was. The video caption of one of his gigs where he sang a Journey hit aroused the interest of the band. A case of self-advertisement that worked – big time at that. After an audition the band overwhelmingly voted him in. Pineda was shocked at how terribly good he was. In his words, he described the incredulity akin to “ dreaming while you are awake and it is happening”.
The lady announcer had goose bumps listening to Arnel’s electrifying delivery. Plain awesome. You got it Virginia. Journey is embarking on a world tour with Arnel at the helm. This is HUGE ! Incredibly HUGE.
Now here’s a controversy that had people play tug of war at an online forum and of all unlikely places, a Pinoy boxing online forum 🙂 I didn’t quite get to the origin of the debate but it had to do with Pinoy flag waving at a Journey concert. Some readers were aghast at the supposedly tacky display of patriotism at the Journey concert in Vegas, where a patron waving a Pinoy flag handed it to Arnel who reciprocated by waving the flag and handing it back to the owner.
Question : was the flag waving appropriate ?
Let’s delineate a concert from a boxing match, where the protagonists are representing their respective country’s flag. They walk to the boxing ring wrapped in their country’s flags. In fact the represented countries are honored by singing their national anthems prior to the fight. Here’s the main difference – a boxing match is a competition – a concert isn’t.
Is it considered social ineptness for someone to effusively display Pinoy pride at a Journey concert? Perhaps we must backtrack a bit and ask the question – what was Arnel Pineda back in Pinas prior to his discovery ? If he is that good and he is damn good, why wasn’t he a superstar? Why was he doing gigs in Hongkong nightclubs and not in prime time TV shows back in his country? Was he a victim of discrimination because of his rather unpopular rock music genre or his lack of mestizo looks? Was it a case of superstardom from the national to the global stage? A case of accidental discovery ?
Die hard Journey fans who welcome the resurgence of the group may very well be color blind but I am sure they would be asking these questions when they see hordes of his fans in waving the Pinoy flag in unabashed adulation. Ok, flag waving is innocuous. Heck, you can even streak with the multicolor Pinoy flag tattooed in your body. Whatever . There’s silly and better ways to support Arnel and see him in that spotlight in the many years to come. It’s your choice. But most importantly, allow the man to be himself, minus the distractions and controversies. Watching Journey concerts and shouting to the top of your voice or buying Journey records as a sign of support won’t be a bad idea at all.
What’s your take on this if I may ask?
Filed under: Human Interest |