Wine Country

Tribute Rockers, Escape, Bring the Journey Experience to Wine Country

Just a small town girl living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere…

We all know the words and we’ve all belted them at the top of our lungs at a bar, party or wedding reception. Sometimes considered rock’s most perfect song, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was released in 1981 as a single from the band’s wildly successful album, Escape. Now, Journey tribute band, Escape, takes the album, as well as the band’s legacy, and brings them to life.

“The song, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ is an anthem that everybody realizes and loves and, as soon as you play that song, everybody is up singing along,” Marvin Sperling, Escape bassist, said during a recent phone interview. “Journey definitely has several songs that touch people that way.”

Formed in 1996 by professional musician Stu Simone (keyboards, vocals and guitar,) Escape was the first Journey tribute band based in Los Angeles.

Since their inception, members have come and gone but, with the recent addition of Perry-esque vocalist Chad Smith last October, Sperling feels the band is now perfectly crafted for excellent staying power.

“We brought [Smith] in and he just blew us away,” he said. “He is just an extraordinary talent and we decided right then we wanted him as our front man. Since then, we’ve been firing on all cylinders trying to get back in the game again.”

Along with Sperling, Simone and Smith, Escape’s current lineup includes Jay Gore on lead guitar and drummer Gary Ponder.

Performing at Mount Palomar Winery on August 22nd, the members of Escape hope to be described as talented, fun and entertaining, but they don’t want to be referred to as a cover band.

“A tribute band goes a step further,” Sperling said. “They try to look like the personnel, as close as they can, or find lookalikes. They try to recreate the actual sound of the band with the same kind of instruments, the same kind of amplifiers and create the same kind of experience as a Journey concert. I feel we’ve gotten to a point where we’re pretty close to that.”

Escape has so many similarities to the Journey of the late seventies and early eighties, that some actually prefer their show to the 2014 version of the real thing.

“We’ve had several people tell us that they like our singer better than Arnel [Pineda], the current singer,” Sperling said. “Most people get really excited and are very impressed with the way we sound. Its great music and we do our best to capture Journey’s light and energy as well as their sound.”

With fans already in the community from past local appearances, the members of Escape look forward to another awesome Temecula Valley show.

“Journey has touched so many people in different ways and I’m very grateful that we’ve come to this point as a tribute band. I’m excited to see where we can go from here,” Sperling said. “Wine and Journey music are a great combination so come on out to Mount Palomar for a great time.”

Escape: The National Journey Tribute Experience

August 22nd from 7-10 pm
Mount Palomar Winery
Event website

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

1 Comment

  1. Chad
    August 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm — Reply

    Thank You Holly. Your choice of words are perfect.
    Very nice article.

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