Steve Perry has been pretty quiet since his comeback LP Traces hit shelves last year, but earlier this week he celebrated the one year anniversary of the album with a Tweet that revealed some future plans. “Thank you for receiving it with such kindness,” he wrote. “More to come including Christmas music this year. Thank you for you support and acceptance of this new music.”
If he’s truly releasing a Christmas album or single, expect an announcement of that pretty soon since the holidays are fast approaching. And well his fans will be grateful for anything new — especially considering that Traces was his first release of any sort since the 1996 Journey LP Trial By Fire — the thing most of them are hoping for more than anything is a tour. He promoted Traces with music videos and several in-depth interviews (including this one), he never played any of the songs live in any capacity.
The only time audiences have had the chance to see him live since his 1995 For the Love of Strange Medicine solo tour took place at three shows by the Eels between late May and early June of 2014. The first time was May 25th, 2014 at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul Minnesota. Without any sort of announcement, he came out near the end of their set to sing the Journey classics “Open Arms” and “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin.” They repeated it in Washington, D.C. on May 31st and Los Angeles on June 11th. Check out video of “Open Arms” from one of the shows right here.
These were seismic events in the world of Steve Perry and they seemed to be the first tentative steps toward a comeback tour. We’re still waiting for that to happen, and when we spoke to him last year he wasn’t willing to commit to one or the other.
“I don’t know if a tour will happen,” he said. “Right now, it’s premature to even guess. But there would be no way in the world I’d go out there and not sing Journey music too. It would be solo and Journey together. But those songs are vocally challenging. They’re challenging for Arnel and everyone else. They’re not easy. They were challenging for me when I wrote the damn melodies, but back then I was young and in my olympic singer mode. [Barbra] Streisand lowers the keys when she does her old songs. There’s nothing wrong with lowering a key We’re not spring chickens.”
Nobody buying a ticket to see Steve Perry in 2020 or beyond would expect him to sound like he did in 1978 — or even 1996. He’s 70 years old and those songs are indeed quite challenging for a singer at any age. But Traces proved he still has his voice and in these appearances with the Eels in 2014 he proved he could still thrill a live audience. A Christmas album is a fine idea, but let’s hope he’s also plotting out a secret tour for next year. It’s time.